Healthy thinking was the topic I focused on in regard to Pete’s life. The World Health Organisation defines the term ‘Healthy thinking’ as “A state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities and can cope with the normal stresses of life” (WHO, 2001d, p.1).
Pete, who works from home as an I.T worker due to a back injury from a car crash. Pete is concerned with his health and often seeks help regarding questions he has and he has a history of cardiovascular disease in his family.
Erikson’s psychosocial developmental model explains that every person will experience some sort of psychosocial crisis, which will have either a ‘positive or negative’ result depending on how they act on the situation. If an individual is unable to complete a certain stage of Erikson’s model they reduce their chances of completing other stages. This can result in an unhealthy lifestyle. Pete is 25 years old which places him in the “early adulthood” stage of intimacy vs. isolation where young adults begin to branch out and become intimate with others. However, Pete is currently single, living in a boarding house and surrounds himself with a few close friends. According to Erikson’s model this means that Pete is possibly unable to complete the prior stage of finding “identity”. Being unable to have a strong self-identity can lead to role confusion which makes it difficult for individuals such as Pete to open up and accept other individuals. This may explain why he isn’t in a relationship. Pete’s behaviour categorises himself in the isolation category rather than intimacy as he works from home and doesn’t get out much. Individuals who have not developed a strong self-identity are more likely to have less committed relationships. According to Erikson, Pete should theoretically be settling down to start a family. This may be stressful for Pete as he may feel pressure from society to settle down. (McLeod, 2008). People who are successful in resolving the conflict of the intimacy versus isolation stage can develop deep relationships with others. Pete attempts to connect with his siblings and mother at least once a week and tends to keep to himself when placed in social situations. This may be because of low self-esteem. According to Trzesniewski’s research (K.H (2006)), adolescents with low self-esteem have overall poorer mental and physical health when compared to adolescents with high self-esteem. The long-term consequences of low self-esteem cannot be explained by gender or socioeconomic status.
Success in the isolation vs intimacy stage can lead to strong relationships, while failure results in loneliness and isolation. Adults who struggle with this stage experience poor romantic relationships and they may never exchange deep intimacy in partners and struggle to develop any strong relationships such as marriage. Studies have demonstrated that those with poor sense of identity tend to have less committed relationships and are more likely to emotionally isolate themselves. The United Kingdom’s Mental Health Organisation states that “Friendship is a crucial element in protecting our mental health. We need to talk to our friends and we want to listen when our friends want to talk to us.” (UK MHO, 2018). This relates back into Erikson’s theory that to settle down and begin the next stage in life intimacy is needed, whether this is intimacy in friendship or with a partner, you need be intimate with one another. It is important that in relationship we share deep and meaningful connections mutually, a strong intimate relation will not be as effective if only one person is willing to share information and talk, it must work both ways.
Pete has recently experienced a negative experience in his life as his father recently passed away from a cardiovascular disease. The event happened two years ago and would have been hard for Pete to deal with mentally. During times like this it is vital that you have someone you can talk to and turn to for support. This could be friends or family. “Loss of family members, close friends, or acquaintances often heightens the risk of mental health problems. “(Fullerton, Ursano, 2008). Sudden deaths such as Pete’s fathers are major stressors in mental health. One of the most important ways to ensure a good mental health around this time is to turn to friends and family for support. According to Wheaton (1990) “Major life changes and role transitions are often treated as stressors that create a generalized demand for adjustment by the individual; Empirically these transitions have been shown to produce a wide range of effects on mental health.” (Vol 55, Page 209) A major life change for Pete could be his father’s passing or the car accident that forced him to work from home.
Through evaluating Pete’s profile, it has been made clear that there are some changes that need to be made in Pete’s life in order to reach his full potential These include things Pete plays the guitar as a way of being able to express himself. This would be beneficial for him to continue as it can be “a significant improvement in psychological resilience” as well increased levels of “functional connectivity” in the brain (Bolmerk, A et al., 2014). He could join a band or a music group to form new friends who share common interests. It is also crucial that Pete has a strong support system from his family and friends. It offers companionship, to celebrate the happy and comfort during the bad times. “Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI)”. (Mayo Clinic, Sept 2016). Many have conducted research on an individual’s ‘perceived social support’ from various roles, this can then decrease the pressure the individual is feeling about current events. (Zimet, D. G et al., 1988) It would be best for Pete’s mental wellbeing to stay connected with her friends, having them in his life is maintains her wellbeing and gives him an outlet to express feelings and either get support or advice. It would also be good for Pete to put in more effort to stay connected with her family. These are different cognitive behavioural technical that should be recommend to Pete so that he doesn’t can live a more stable life and avoid a path down more serious mental health issues. Such as mindfulness, it is stated she thinks deeply about life and its meaning. It is believed that getting too focused on the past or the future can lead to overthinking which can induce anxiety and/or depression. A great way to prevent this is by practicing mindfulness, in the form of diaphragmatic breathing, yoga or meditation. It could also be recommended for Pete to seek some professional help if he felt life was getting too difficult. There are many services that are offered such as support groups, online services, and helplines. These things are all great paths to follow to find services to benefit Pete’s life and healthy thinking.