ADJUSTMENT CASE STUDY 1
The first article discusses the life story of Patricia Mishler, 73,who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateralsclerosis) almost two years ago. Mishler was responding to questionsfrom her two daughters, Suzanne and Janette Lynch (Nearing life’send, 2016). ALS is a terminal disease that affects muscle function.The disease has a prognosis of three to ten years. Mishler lamentedhow the disease had ravaged her body and hindered many of herphysical abilities. For example, she had lost the capability to useher hands on gardening work (Nearing life’s end, 2016). ALS hadcaused a debilitating physical decline that intensified herappreciation for her family. Mishler was proud of having broughtforth two daughters and watch them mature into responsible adults.Although she does not fear the reality of death, she is saddened bythe prospect of leaving her daughters when her life ends.Notwithstanding, her two daughters are grateful to their mother forher strength, support, and inspiration. Mishler’s love for herfamily is her enduring legacy (Nearing life’s end, 2016).
The second article features the story of Sharon Long, 75, whoreconstructs human faces from skulls for law enforcement agencies andmuseums (Reborn at 40, 2016). In the 1980s, Long lived as a singlemother with two dependents. Her desire to provide for her childrenled her to take up three jobs as a secretary, a cleaner at dentist’soffice, and a worker at Dairy Queen. When she turned 40, Longaccompanied her daughter to enroll in college. An officer in thefinancial aid department convinced Long to study at the institution.Subsequently, she elected to study physical anthropology. Eventually,Long qualified to become a highly-respected forensic artist. Shesupposes that she had reconstructed faces from 86 skulls during hercareer. Long also reveals that she would ordinarily spend 12 to 15hours to reconstruct a face from a skull (Reborn at 40, 2016).However, Long mentions the turmoil she experiences whenreconstructing faces of murder victims. Incessant observation ofpeople at restaurants and airports has helped her to hone her skillsof reconstructing. Developing arthritis in her hands has led her tocontemplate retiring after 25 years as a forensic artist.
In the first article, the adjustment issues concern Mishler and hertwo daughters. Mishler is distressed about her terminal condition andthe loss of limb function. Her inability to perform seemingly mundaneor routine tasks is a source of intense frustration. Also, Mishlercan hardly feed herself (Nearing life’s end, 2016). Furthermore,she is troubled by the likelihood of leaving her family when herdeath occurs. The prospect of living without their mother`s love andsupport saddens Suzanne and Janette. In the second article, Longfaces adjustment issues related to retiring from her work.Previously, she had to adjust to college life as a 40-year old motherof two (Reborn at 40, 2016). Subsequently, she had also adjusted tolife as a forensic artist after attaining 50 years of age. Hercurrent adjustment issues have been exacerbated by arthritis, whichcauses pain in her hands. Her advancing age has caused moreadjustment issues.
Various strategies can be used to help the people in both articles toenhance their adjustment skills. For example, Mishler can be helpedby contextualization (Weiten, Hammer, & Dunn, 2012). In thisregard, she should place her situation in proper perspective andconsider other people that suffered worse diseases without thesupport of a loving family. Mishler should also develop gratitude andself-satisfaction for having raised two daughters till maturity(Santrock, 2006). Her children not only recognized but alsoappreciated the efforts she put forth to nurture and train them.Besides, Mishler would enhance her adjustment skills if she embracedthe aspect of rationalization (Santrock, 2006). Although ALS hadlimited the use of her hands, Mishler still had competent cognitiveabilities. Her mental faculties were still in proper condition.Furthermore, she had the loving, assured support of her twodaughters. Therefore, the evidence-based strategy ofcontextualization is best-suited for Mishler and her two daughterssince it would help them to examine their situation vis-à-vis thatof other families with terminal illnesses.
On the other hand, Long would enhance her adjustment skills if sheadopted the strategy of contemplation (Weiten, Hammer, & Dunn,2012). Undoubtedly, retiring from her work as a forensic artist wouldpresent particular challenges. However, Long needed to contemplateher course of life and consider the unexpected successes she attainedduring her career. Her expert work had also presented her withacclaim and recognition. Long can also cultivate an appreciation forthe milestones she has attained despite her advanced age (Santrock,2006). Although she began her career as a 50-year old, she hadmanaged to earn admiration from her peers. Her long period of serviceas a forensic artist had enabled her to restructure human faces fromover 80 skulls. Long should also practice rationalization so as toenhance her adjustment skills (Santrock, 2006). Her present strugglespaled into insignificance when compared to the stress she enduredwhile doing three jobs in the 1980s. Although arthritis had causedpain in her hands, advancing age had not prevented her fromaccomplishing certain tasks. Therefore, the evidence-based strategyof contemplation is best suited to Long. Such a strategy would helpher to accept her situation and adjust to her retirement just as shehad managed to adjust to college and employment.
Nearing life`s end, a mother reflects on `the most important thing Idid` [Audio file]. (2016, May 6). Retrieved fromhttp://www.npr.org/2016/05/06/476872164/nearing-lifes-end-a-mother-reflects-on-the-most-important-thing-i-did.
Reborn at 40, she uncovered new life in a `dream` — looking atskulls [Audio file]. (2016, April 29). Retrieved from:http://www.npr.org/2016/04/29/476025729/reborn-at-40-she-uncovered-new-life-in-a-dream-looking-at-skulls.
Santrock, J. (2006). Human adjustment: 2007 custom edition.Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Weiten, W., Hammer, E. Y., & Dunn, D. (2012). Psychology andcontemporary life: Human adjustment. Belmont, Calif.:Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.