Matthew is a 45-year-old lawyer who recently lost his wife and 12-year-old daughter in a terrible collision with a truck. Matthew, who was the driver of his family car, recovered from his injuries but blames himself for the death of his family members. He has also discovered that since the accident, he has a negative attitude towards all truck drivers, and finds himself being unwilling to take any cases involving persons employed as truck drivers.
He has begun to question his achievements in life, and feels that he lost most of his valued accomplishments with the death of his family members. He has difficulty falling asleep at nights and when he does fall asleep, he is awakened frequently by nightmares, which he describes as “so real that he can actually feel the impact of the collision and wakes up with his wife’s and daughter’s screams of terror still ringing in his ears.” At other times, he experiences such vivid flashbacks of the accident that he is left in a panic-stricken state. He has also lost weight due to frequent lack of appetite.
Matthew’s friends reported that before the accident, he was outgoing, talkative and regarded as one of the best lawyers at his law firm. Since the accident however, Matthew has become withdrawn and irritable. He no longer attends social gatherings, nor does he devote much time and effort to his work. His closest friend reported that he has started to drink on a regular basis, and on one occasion, even turned up at work in a drunken state. He has also started to spend money on things that he would never have invested in in the past. For example, he recently bought a flashy sports car and has been visiting bars and nightclubs, often picking up young women and engaging in risky sexual behaviours. He is especially attracted to young women whose physical features remind him of his wife.
Matthew has lost most of his friends as a result of his behaviour and his close relatives reside in a distant parish. When remaining friends and coworkers confront him about his behaviour, Matthew reports that he is “A-okay” and does not have a drinking problem. He is quick to lash out at anyone who inquires about his well-being, and is especially mean to Max, the family dog. Matthew argues that it is not he who has the problem, but his colleagues who “need to relax.” However, sometimes when he remembers the accident, his only relief is to curl up in bed with his daughter’s favourite stuffed toy in his arms.
1) a. In your own words, define the word ‘stress’. (2 points)
b. Name and describe the SPECIFIC TYPE OF STRESS Matthew is experiencing. Give a reason for your response. (3 points)
c. Briefly describe ANY THREE of Matthew’s physical and/or psychological reactions to the stress he is facing. (3 points)
d. Name and describe ONE defense mechanism that Matthew is using to cope with his current situation. Provide justification from the case to support your answer. (3 points)
2) a. In YOUR OWN WORDS, define the term ‘consciousness’. (2 points)
b. Matthew reported having nightmares. Name and describe the STAGE OF SLEEP in which one experiences nightmares. (3 points)
3) a. In YOUR OWN WORDS, what are somesthetic senses? (2 points)
b. Name and describe the SPECIFIC SOMESTHETIC SENSE that is most likely to have been affected by Matthew’s drinking. (3 points)
4) a. what is memory? (2 points)
b. Name the type of long-term memory which Matthew retrieves regarding the accident. (1 point)
c. Briefly explain the characteristics of this type of memory. (2 points)
d. Compare and contrast the form of memory mentioned above with one other form of memory which Matthew may use. (3 points)
5) Highlight THREE (3) positive and healthy methods of coping with stress that Matthew could employ and BRIEFLY explain how each would be helpful. (6 points)