Write your paper in essay form; include an introduction and conclusion.
Maggie is a 40-year-old sales clerk living in New York. Because of her father’s heavy drinking, Maggie’s parents divorced when she was a young child. When Maggie’s father drank, he would become angry, and often ended up beating Maggie, and her two brothers. After the divorce Maggie didn’t see much of her father, and even though she was glad the beatings had stopped, she missed him.
Two years ago, Maggie thought that she was going to be promoted to floor manager, but the promotion was given to one of her co-workers instead. Since then she has felt hopeless about ever achieving any career success. Three months after hearing that she was not going to be promoted, Maggie’s husband was killed in a hit and run car accident, leaving Maggie solely responsible for her two young children. Sometimes Maggie’s grief is so great, and, without her husband’s income, her financial obligations so overwhelming, that she feels she cannot take things any longer. Recently she has begun drinking at a neighborhood bar, and sometimes stays out so late that she misses work the next day. Her mother, who sometimes helps out with the children accuses her of abusing alcohol and worries that she has an addictive personality like her father. Maggie insists that this is not true; she’s just trying to ease her emotional pain and has everything under control.
Maggie’s eight-year-old son has become withdrawn, no longer playing with his friends. He refuses to do his chores or homework. He argues with Maggie relentlessly, and picks on his nine-year-old sister. He and Maggie have started having screaming matches over this behavior. Maggie has become so frustrated by his defiance that she often loses her temper and hits him. When this happens Maggie becomes so upset that she can not get out of bed. At these times she becomes so incapacitated that she cannot cook, or care for her children, and they are left to fend for themselves.
Maggie is having more and more trouble getting to work, and her job is in jeopardy because of her frequent absences. She often feels a sense of dread at the thought of leaving the house, and sometimes cannot even bring herself to go to the market to buy food for herself and the children. Even on the days that she can function, she feels she is living in a dream, and she is plagued by endless thoughts about how worthless she is, and how incapable she is of coping with her life. She has begun to think life is not worth living, and finds herself fantasizing of ways of killing herself. This frightens her so much that she comes to you for help.
When you interview Maggie, you learn that for the last year, she has had no appetite and has lost 20 pounds. She often awakens in the night and cannot go back to sleep because of anxious thoughts about her children, her job, and the unpaid bills. Sometimes she becomes so anxious that her heart races, and she feels she cannot breathe. She has lost touch with her former friends, believing they don’t care about her anymore, and wouldn’t want to be around her even if they did. Maggie cannot stop thinking about her husband. The horrible details of his death go through her mind over and over, and she cannot imagine ever getting over his death. She wants to be a good mother to her children, but she feels hopeless that they can ever be happy again.
For this paper, define and apply five (5) of the concepts listed in Section 2 (Abnormal/Clinical Psychology: Psychoanalytic Theory, Diagnosis/Psychopathology, Psychotherapy on your syllabus) to describe Maggie’s case. You must explain the causes of her behavior, diagnose her, treat her, or any combination of these (e.g., diagnose and treat her).
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