PSYC 1001 wk5: Accepting A New Normal Essay

PSYC 1001 wk5: Accepting A New Normal Essay

Accepting A New Normal
Allen is the individual that I chose to describe in my case study. Allen seems interesting to study because he has been through a lot with his car accident and the loss of his leg. Even with so many traumatic things, he is still trying to make the effort to live his life and move on do more than just exist. He and his wife are very much in love and I think that he gets strength and hope and courage from her. Other people that are in Allen’s life also notice that he is trying and they are willing to work with him to get him back on track with living a normal life, and I think that this also gives Allen hope and a sense of security. PSYC 1001 wk5: Accepting A New Normal Essay
Allen seems like he gets really anxious in different situations because of his accident and he is trying to cope with losing his leg and still having to go on with his daily activities. He does acknowledge that his therapist says that he has anxiety, but he doesn’t want to accept that. Allen does get very frustrated and upset in certain situations and he does have some tips and help from his therapist to get through those situations. The therapist that he works with is not only helping him with his anxiety, but is also trying to help him with different strategies that will help improve his overall quality of life.PSYC 1001 wk5: Accepting A New Normal Essay
Brain and Behavior
The brain has many different ways of coping a dealing with new and changing situations. It produces neurotransmitters which are different chemicals that send out messages to help facilitate a wide range of movements, emotions, and thought processes and can also be the cause of certain diseases and disorders. (Feldman, 2012 p. 52-54) The article “The effects of regular physical activity on anxiety symptoms in healthy older adults: a systematic review” discusses how older adults could benefit from being more active and by being more active, it could help with anxiety symptoms and could possibly supplement medications used for anxiety. Research that was conducted, that is covered in the article, showed that people who used a placebo drug with exercise had better results with their anxiety than the people who took the medication. This article would be beneficial for my case study because some of the the things that are discussed in the article would help explain some of the things that are happening with Allen, the focus of the case study, and how being more physical could help him with some of his anxiety. Since Allen is already taking medication for pain, becoming more physically active could help reduce the amount of medication he is taking. (Mochcovitch, et. Al, 2016). PSYC 1001 wk5: Accepting A New Normal Essay
Sensation and Perception
Sensation and perception work in direct correlation with one another to help you function in day to day life. Your body uses the information that it receives from different stimuli in order to activate your sensory organs and uses that information to form a specific perception about something.(Feldman, 2012 p. 86) In Allens case, when his sense of sound is stimulated by the song he heard when he was involved in his car accident, he says that he heart rate increases and he starts to feel very anxious. The therapist that he is working with has given his techniques that help him to control his heart rate when this starts to happen. Because he is able to perceive that his heart rate is increasing, he is able to implement the breathing techniques in order to clam down and resume what ever he was doing. If Allen has a sense of calm from using the breathing techniques, then he is more likely to feel better overall and things may start to fall more into place in other areas of his life. Especially with his wife, who has perceived that he has been more temperamental and maybe even more angry than what he used to be, before the accident.
Learning and Memory
Once we learn something and the way that the information is acquired, can be stored in our memories in a few different ways. Our brains can then pull that information for different uses and make varying connections based on what we need to do. After Allen’s car accident, he told his therapist that he remembers how to drive a car, which would be a procedural memory (Feldman, 2012 pg.210), and is still able to drive a car. However, he is not sure of the exact details of the accident, he only remembers what song was playing on the radio when the accident happened which could be considered somewhat of a flashbulb memory. (Feldman, 2012 pg.215) Since Allen does remember this specific song and it is the cause of some of his anxiety, it does negatively impact his work performance. Allen’s manager has noticed that he has had issues with coming to work on time and sometimes not showing up to work at all. Allen’s manager has tried to use positive reinforcement in order to help with Allen’s attendance goals. (Feldman, 2012 pg.178) With this type of support of having his team and his manager on his side, Allen may be able to start performing better at work and feel more like him self.
Motivation and Emotion. PSYC 1001 wk5: Accepting A New Normal Essay
There are many things that can have an impact on a persons motivation and their emotions. Allen struggles with both of these issues in his daily life since his accident. One of his biggest motivational issues is with his job. Allen’s boss says that he has had trouble being on time for work and even not showing up for work on numerous occasions,and has given him the incentive of lunch for his team to help encourage him and provide him some motivation while in the workplace. Even Allen himself has said that he feels as if he could be successful at work if he just had the right drive to get back on track. Allen’s lack of motivation directly ties into his emotions and causes him to feel sad, angry, defensive, anxious just to name a few. Allen’s therapist has tried to encourage him to smile more during the day in order to put him in a better mood, which is the theory behind the facial- feedback hypothesis. If Allen smiles throughout the day for no reason, then this should put him in a better mood and causing him to have a better day (Feldman 2012 pg.283). This could also work if Allen workouts out more, as his wife has suggested. Maybe by Allen working out, he would be able to release some feelings and emotions that maybe holding back from living a more fulfilling life.
Several factors contribute to your overall development and help to form who you are as a person. If something happens that affects the way that you are developing in any particular area, such as physically, cognitively, or socially, then it could cause the development in that area to slow down in varying degrees or impact the way your body would naturally respond to that change in development. After Allen’s accident, he says that he has issues with chronic pain that requires medication. It is possible that his body is not able to heal as quickly as it could or used to because of the genetic preprogramming theories of aging. According to this this theory, since Allen’s cells are not able to divide and help provide the necessary healing that he needs, it is taking longer for his injuries to heal and that is possibly why he still experiences pain (Feldman 2012 pg. 335). Cognitively, the way that Allen views the world and the people around him has changed since his accident too. He feels as if people see him in a different light and treat him differently because of his physical deformity, which probably isn’t true, that’s just the way he thinks now. Socially, Allen could be going through his midlife transition and because of his accident, it has made this transition more severe or dramatic and caused him to question the trajectory of his life and has made it even harder to come to terms with his circumstances (Feldman 2012 pg.332). PSYC 1001 wk5: Accepting A New Normal Essay
The traumatic accident that Allen had has dramatically changed his personality in more of a negative way rather than it allowing him to have any kind of positive outlook at all. The main thing that has taken the biggest hit has been his self- efficacy, the way he believes in his ablilities, because he no longer has confidence in his abilities at work and moving forward in his career (Feldman 2012 pg.364). Also, his self-esteem has been impacted because of his physical deformity, the loss of his leg, and feels as if people view him in a different light and also treat him differently. If Allen were to spend time focusing and remembering the person who he was before his accident, then he could slowly work on getting back to being that person that people remember and that would build his confidence and provide him with more overall happiness. PSYC 1001 wk5: Accepting A New Normal Essay


Social Behavior
Social behavior affects how people think, feel, and things that they do as a direct result of the people around them at any given moment or people that have a constant presence in their life (Feldman 2012 pg. 485). In Allen’s case, he feels as if people impact the way he behaves socially because he feels as if people have formed certain opinions about him and have certain feelings toward him when really these are all things that he has created within his mind. Allen does not feel the need to interact with people socially because he fears that they will judge him and not accept him because he has a handicap and because of how he is after his accident. Allen’s wife says that he prefers to be in more relaxed and calm surroundings and this is probably why he has never really had many friends, because he doesn’t like to be in big groups of people. But she does try to get him to be more social and interact more with the people in his community and people that he might run into on a day to day basis. Also, Allen’s therapist has tried to encourage him to step outside of his comfort zone and maybe take some online courses so that he can start to develop a feeling of self worth and like he is a part of something that is good in his life. PSYC 1001 wk5: Accepting A New Normal Essay
Overall, Allen at his core is a good person who just happened to experience something traumatic that has had a negative impact on his life. Allen has lots of support around him and people that actually care for him and want him to be successful and return to the person that he was before his accident. I believe that the only person that is standing in Allen’s way of living a better life is Allen. He allows his accident and the fact that he now is missing and extremity to now define who he is as a person, why he can no longer be happy, and why he has so much negativity in his life. But if Allen was more willing to work through all of his issues with all of the help and resources he has around him, he will be able to regain his sense of self and purpose and learn how to to be happy again. This will improve his quality of life in general and allow him to not only just feel like he is making it or just getting by, but like he is thriving and becoming successful with achieving his goals.

Feldman, R. (2012). Psychology and your life (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Mochcovitch, M. D., Deslandes, A. C., Freire, R. C., Garcia, R. F., & Nardi, A. E. (2016). The effects of regular physical activity on anxiety symptoms in healthy older adults: a systematic review. Revista Brasileira De Psiquiatria, 38(3), 255-261. PSYC 1001 wk5: Accepting A New Normal Essay

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