Categories for Anxiety

The Rain Man Essay

The Rain Man Essay

“Of course I don’t have my underwear. I’m definitely not wearing my underwear…. These are not boxer shorts. Mine are boxer shorts. These are Hanes 32… My boxer shorts have my name and it says Raymond…I get my boxer shorts at K-Mart in Cincinnati”. (Rain Man, 1988) This quote from the popular movie Rain Man perfectly captures the disorder that plagues Raymond Bobbitt, one of the main characters. He is a very particular man who must always do everything on a schedule; any disruption in this schedule completely turns his world upside down.

He shows very little emotion, unless something happens to upset him, in which case he completely melts down. His behavior is almost that of a young child. However, he also has a very unique gift. He has an absolutely astounding memory and can recall the smallest details from events that occurred when he was just a young child. At one point in the movie, a lady drops a box of toothpicks and Raymond is able to immediately determine how many of the toothpicks spilled out of the box.

The behaviors of Raymond Bobbitt, while very interesting, are nowhere near normal and they prevent him from functioning in any kind of normal society. It is because of this that I have determined he has a mental disorder and could benefit greatly from treatment. In order to diagnose Raymond, it is important to look at all of the factors that may contribute to his behavior. The DSM-IV multiaxial system is a great way to break everything down and do this. It has 5 sections that take a deeper look in to all of the factors that contribute to the possible mental disorder of a patient and provides a standard for classifying mental disorders. Because of this, it is heavily relied on when making an accurate diagnosis and will be used to diagnose Raymond.

Axis one of the DSM-IV system is reserved for the clinical symptoms of the disorder. Raymond showed many of the typical clinical symptoms of a person with autism. The first symptom that they generally display is developmental regression. Most sufferers of autism do not show any signs of developmental
problems until around 15-30 months. Since Raymond was a young child and not an infant when he was sent away to live at the care home, it can be assumed that he did not start to show problems until he was a young toddler, which is consistent with the autism diagnosis. Another clinical symptom of autism is abnormal reactions for environmental stimuli. This is clearly seen by Raymond when we see him completely melt down when the fire alarm goes off. The loud noise, which is not something that would bother normal people, is too much for him to handle. Abnormal social interactions are another thing that Raymond displays that is also characterized by autism. He cannot hold a normal conversation and has big problems understanding the social intentions of his brother as he takes him on their trip. It is also clear when you listen to the way that Raymond talks that he might suffer from autism; he refers to himself as “Raymond” instead of “I” and he often rambles on to no one in particular about his schedule or whatever else he is thinking at the time. The final characteristic of autism that is seen in Raymond is the stress that he feels whenever his routine is broken. (Brasic, 2013) When his brother takes him away from the care home and changes everything, Raymond displays significant anxiety. He insists that they watch Jeopardy at 5:00 and is constantly talking about what he should be doing at any given time. He starts to melt down when he is not doing what he normally does and continues on until his brother finally lets him get his way.

Under axis II, the personality disorders and intellectual disabilities are assessed. There are several of these that are associated with both Raymond and Autism, specifically and autistic Savant. The biggest personality disorder that is shown by Raymond and that is also exhibited by autistics is that he has extreme anxiety. (Mayo Clinic, 2013) It is clear by the way that he will not get on an airplane because there are no available airlines that have never experienced a plane crash. A normal person would not think that much in to getting on a plane, and they definitely would not know the statistics of every airline that there is. Even after they start driving, Raymond starts rambling off statistics about driving and car accidents, making it clear that he is not even comfortable riding in a car. You can also look back at some of the other examples that we have already looked at to show his elevated anxiety levels. When the fire alarm goes off, and he starts breaking down, he is reacting abnormally (the symptom from axis I); it is because of his extreme anxiety that he starts to display this behavior. The same goes for why he is constantly rambling and is so distressed about missing his shows, not having dinner at the right time and everything else that has changed in his schedule; he does all of this because he is suffering from constant anxiety due to his autism and his change in routine. Another thing to look at under axis II is his intellectual abilities. While he is not able to function as a normal person intellectually (another symptom of autism), he shows extraordinary abilities intellectually in other areas. He remembers specific events from his childhood starting at a very young age, and he remembers them with extreme accuracy and detail. He is also able to store things in his memory that no normal person would be able to, such as when he knew the one and only airline that had never had a plane crash (it was a very small and unknown airline at that) or when he knew all of the highway statistics concerning car accidents. It is also made clear that he is brilliant at math, counting and patterns when he is in Vegas and is counting the cards with ease. All of these amazing intellectual abilities that he shows are characteristics of a savant as well. (Hiles, 2002)

Axis III is reserved for and physical problems that may be relevant in diagnosing or treating the mental disorder. For example, if a person is suffering from a mood disorder and they also have a disease which causes them pain or discomfort, then that might be something that contributed to their depression. (Edelson, 2013) Raymond does not display any of these however, so there would be no diagnosis for him under this axis.

Axis IV:
Axis IV is used to assess any environmental stressors that may affect the diagnosis or treatment or the mental disorder. This was a big factor in Raymond’s diagnosis and his display of symptoms. He was doing fairly well at the care home and, even though he was still displaying some symptoms of an autistic savant, he was able to live happily and relatively stress free.
However, when his brother took him from his place of comfort, his symptoms got significantly worse. His anxiety levels went through the roof and it was clear that he was not handling the change well. He had lost his primary support group, which included all of the nurses at the hospital and he was left only with his brother who he had not seen since they were young children. This caused him anxiety because he was not familiar with him and his brother was not prepared to deal with all of the behaviors that Raymond displays. He was also showing elevated levels of anxiety due to his environment. When they left the care home, it was clear that Raymond did not want to go because he said it and started acting out. But his brother made him, and his actions just got worse from there. Every night Raymond would insist that they at least follow his schedule and he would start throwing a tantrum if they didn’t. Also, when they were in the casino, he could not handle all of the flashing lights and the ringing of the bells. This eventually led to another melt down. After being with his brother for almost their whole trip, it seemed like Raymond started to warm up to him a bit. Since his brother was the only constant during their trip, this again shows how much Raymond needs something consistent and some sort of routine, a need that is very common in autistic. (Bellini, 2013)

Axis V is used for the Global Assessment of Funtioning (GAF). It is an evaluation of the patient’s ability to function in daily life and is based off of a 100 point scale (100 being the most functioning and 0 being the least). When looking at Raymond, I would assign him two separate GAF scores. When he is in an comfortable environment, such as when he is living in the care home, I would give him a GAF of 40 because he still displays symptoms and would not be able to keep a job and function in society, but he is not extreme. However, when taken out of his environment and put out in the world, I would give him a GAF of 20 because he starts to display extreme behavior and even becomes a threat to himself or others. (PsyWeb, 2013) There was a point when one of his melt downs became so bad that he started banging his head and hurting himself. He is in need of constant supervision when he is not in a comfortable familiar place.

After taking a look at the symptoms that Raymond displayed (which include things like not making eye contact and constantly fidgeting, not seeming to hear when people talk to him and not being able to hold a conversation, and resting touch and changes in routine) and breaking them down with regard to the DSM-IV multiaxial system, I have determined that he suffers from Autism, and more specifically, he is an Autistic Savant. He would be classified as a Savant because he, while lacking in many areas, does have extraordinary skills in other areas. There was a time in the movie when his brother takes him to Vegas and tells him to count cards in blackjack and Raymond (having to prior training) is able to do it with ease. His symptoms under the DSM-IV model are extremely consistent with those of an autistic savant. He displays all of the clinical symptoms (axis I) that an autistic would display, including abnormal social behavior, the inability to hold a normal conversation and the constant fidgeting. These behaviors are also consistent with the autistic and savant personality disorders and mental abilities (axis II), including the extreme anxiety and the extraordinary abilities in specific areas. There are not necessarily any physical problems (axis III) that contribute to being an autistic savant, and Raymond did not show any of these either. His environment (axis IV) however, did play a significant role his behavior and that is very common with autistics as well. (First Signs, 2012)

After diagnosing Raymond as an autistic savant, the most important treatment that I would recommend for him would be to return to the care home and live the rest of his life there. When treating autism, there is no one set treatment because every person with autism is unique. (Autism Speaks, 2013) Since we were able to see how Raymond responded to living in the care home and sticking to a strict routine, we were able to see that it worked for him. This plan, and the routine that was tailored for him, worked to minimize his symptoms and reduce his behavioral problems. As far as him being a savant as well, there really is no treatment needed for that because it does not pose a problem in his life. It is a talent that he lives with and not something that needs to be fixed. If Raymond is returned to the care home and his familiar schedule, there is no reason that he cannot live out the rest of his life as happily and comfortably as possible.

Autism Speaks. (2013). How is Autism Treated? Retrieved from: Bellini, Scott. (2013). The Development of Social Anxiety in Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Retrieved from: Brasic, James. (2013). Autism Clinical Presentation. Retrieved from: Edelson, Steven. (2013). Research: Autistic Savants. Retrieved from: First Signs. (2012). DSM-IV Criteria Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Retrieved from: Hiles, David. (2002). Savant Syndrome. Retrieved from: Mayo Clinic. (2013). Autism. Retrieved from: PsyWeb. (2013). Axis V- Global Assessment of Functioning Scale. Retrieved from:

Effects of Population Density and Noise Essay

Effects of Population Density and Noise Essay

Effects of Population Density and Noise
Density and noise is able to effect people differently, a person’s personal space; territory and privacy can be disrupted by other people, chronic noise, and short-term noise. The different effects can be from an annoying noise to a more strong intrusive and anxiety forming illness. When population density increases the personal space, privacy and territory are approached a person may demand the acknowledgment to help stop or prevent crowding, and to help maintain the anxiety and frustration levels that a person could reach.

Personal space is defined as “a physical distance that people choose to keep in interpersonal relationships” (Hutchinson & Kowalski, 1999). Personal space can also be defined as a invisible space or boundaries that surrounds a person’s body and where other people would be considered an intruder if the individual gets to close to that person. Territorial space is when a person uses durable but preventative behaviors such as a defense of a home, place, person, objects, etc.

This could also be done by verbal, signs, self-markers, this can imply to a person the one in or on that property or near the property will react in a manner that will help keep that space safe. People are not the only one’s or things that use territory. Animals use territory to show ownership. Privacy is defined as “a control over information about a person and have control over interaction with others” (Hutchinson & Kowalski, 1999). Privacy is a major concern especially with technology today, people have information that is suppose to stay private where some information can be made very public, the individuals place the values and needs of this information through technology can cause a huge risk on privacy.

According to Straub (2007), a study done by John Calhoun experimented with a population density with living conditions of rats. Through his study the rats would behave as normal and were given ample living space and as the rats population increased the rats social environment starts to deteriorate. The rats would kill the young, reproduction would decrease, the rats would fight, and some even became cannibals. Although the study does not completely compare to people, the behavior of people can have certain affects as the population starts to get denser. Population density can start to affect crowding, which can ultimately lead to people feeling confined and very limited to the surroundings. In crowding a person can “start to feel aggression, inappropriate social interaction, social withdraws, and sometimes even criminal actions” (Stokols, 1972). If crowding becomes a factor but is able to be decreased the personal space, territory and privacy could be restored. This becomes a high demand and needs to be acknowledged so that others do not feel controlled or start to react to such annoyances.

Having the perception of population density gives components, one being ample space provided to that person, and two having crowding diminish. This giving the perception of space an influences to give more space if needed. Since crowding is inevitable a person psychological mindset is to change with the space that is given. If the person is able to get the space they need the likelihood of the person not having high anxiety and stress could look into a positive spectrum.

Natural settings are typically managed, such as zoos, green spaces, even parks, this can create a social context as well as a support, this leading to interaction, and nurturing the environment, especially in urban living situations. People who are able to live in urban settings and are able to encourage the perception to live with nature are more influenced that people were to believe that nature would reduce disease, it would increase health and would reduce crime, although most theories are able to support this evidence. Urban parks can play a significant role in not only physical activity but some evidence even support fewer health issues. Some studies found that people who live in green spaces have a “lower mortality rate then those who do not live in green spaces, this study was shown through the culture of the Japanese, and has also shown that the stress from urban settings can be reduced with green spaces” (Gidlofgunnarsson & Ohstrom, 2007). Having a neighborhood with more green space is also known to cause closer interpersonal relationships, less aggression and violence, more positive social interaction with in the community, and even better school performance.

Noisy environments have also shown to be a cause in negative health issues. Through, studies of people and animals the noise in an environment can cause an “increase in cortisol levels, and blood pressure” (Staub, 2007). Studies show even chronic exposure to noise can even cause risk of cardiovascular disease, and even a decrease in learning. This can become an issue for children as well, as children grow they learn maladaptive skills and how to block certain stimuli. Having to much noise in the environment can have them learn to block the wrong stimuli’s which can have the child lack verbal skills.

Due to some studies in “chronic noise effects the louder noise can start to disrupt the short term memory as decrease the ability to be able to perform even the simplest tasks“ (Straub, 2007). Although noise can not be directly responsible for stress, it does however relate to sleep disturbance, it provokes anxiety, and can affect a person’s attitude. People may not have access to control the noise outside the homes, but the ways of decreasing the noise would be putting drapes up, objects on the wall, more objects within the home such as furniture. Being able to trap the sound waves from outside to the windows by layering things like blinds, and curtains, having carpet instead of wood floors would help muffle the noise that would have a tendency to bounce off the walls.

There is a perception of noise that one sound will affect a presence of another sound, natural sounds like water running, is considered a white noise this ultimately effects the sound waves in an environment that are typically used in a home setting live a bath or vacuum. This can help reduce stress levels especially in young children. Some people are known to purchase sound machines, which can be inexpensive and take only a small portion of electricity. Auditory Masking is what creates this noise on top of noise. This does not change the noise that is around but it will be able to decrease the awareness of such noises. Infants seem to be the ones who adjust more to auditory masking, if a mother/father is vacuuming as the child is crying to constant noise of the vacuum starts to soothe the child into a sleep (in most cases).

Looking back, privacy, territoriality, and personal space are involved in a personal choice and is that person’s individual perceptions of how the space is used for a normal functioning day. Privacy can be subjected by technology, which in some cases cause the privacy to be leaked to the public. There are some psychological effects that the perceptions of the choices that person has made, does vary individual to individual, however limited space has a toll on every person. In urban, environments having limited space can increase aggression, and even violent behavior. The average academic performance decreases, and there is more negative reactions that is observed between the community. Intrusive noise, can cause a large amount that can cause annoyance, and depending on the individual this could lead to an interpretation of an intrusion. The access of a noise reduction can help strategies from complex to even simple annoyance. When the outside noise can not be controlled a person may look at internally controlling the situation which then decreases the anxiety and stress that noise can make. Having objects such as fans, or running ponds, can help reduce levels of stress due what is called “white noises”. Many people can have their personal space intruded by outside noises, especially when a person has state or county construction going on in the area. There are laws that help prevent certain times that are allowed to start and finish, just as a homeowners community does for daily noises such as mowing a lawn.

Hutchison, E. D., & Kowalski, S. (1999). Dimensions of human behavior: person and environment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press. Stokols, D. (1972). On the distinction between density and crowding: Some implications for future research. Psychological Review, 79(3), 275-277. doi: 10.1037/h0032706 Straub, R. O. (2007). Health psychology (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Worth.

Meaning of Life and Adult Essay

Meaning of Life and Adult Essay

Like most people, I had the urge to grow up quickly. Despite the constant “they grow up so fast” from relatives, it was not fast enough for me. I used to say, “I can’t wait until I grow up,” usually when I was frustrated with my mom’s strict rules. I fantasized about living a posh life, walking under the warm sun wearing designer shades with my athletic boyfriend before stopping at a restaurant and drinking expensive wines without my mom nagging me.

My fantasy would abruptly end when my mom shattered my thoughts by reminding me that it was getting late and I had not yet started my homework.

Sigh. Through my own experiences—wearing excessive makeup to make myself appear older and dating older guys and enlightenment, my views of being an adult have changed. Adulthood is something that will occur whether we are ready or not. College is a big leap that forces people into that transition from childhood to the beginning of adult life, especially if you are going to be living on campus.

In college, I will have to cook and clean and care for myself. I will no longer have my mom telling me to avoid certain people, not to procrastinate and to make the right decisions.

However, I will be able to keep the advice my mom has instilled in me so far, even when we are apart, although it may be hard to do so with the partying and alcohol and stress of college. Legally, being an adult could mean being 18, yet there is no way that minute that distinguishes someone from being 17 on one day and 18 the next can determine their adulthood. Being an adult comes gradually as people take responsibilities for their actions, take care of priorities and look out for themselves with limited support of others.

Adulthood is not determined by age or ability to bear children or being physically developed. I know people older than 18 who have not yet obtained these traits and I’ve seen many teen moms dependent on their parents to support the baby. I will be an adult when I am able to make the right decisions determined by my morals that I have acquired over my years, when I understand the repercussions of my actions, when I am self-sufficient or accept limited help from parents or friends, and when I care not only for myself but others.

The closer I get the more frightened I become. Now I’m in no rush to become an adult. I will take advantage of my mom’s guidance and housing and rules for as long as I can. I will enjoy the moment I am in and embrace my life when I am an adult. What does make you a grown-up? Is it moving out of the house? Hitting a certain age? Having a relationship? Getting a job? How is it that we can do those things, that we consider to be “adult”, but we still feel like kids?

Or that we feel like grown-ups, we’re certainly old enough, but we haven’t seemed to have accomplished any of those things “grown-ups” have done? For me being an adult is a compilation of various features and components and is more or less a personal achievement. There is no exact pattern of becoming an adult as every single person has their own way of improvement. But you always have to make that first step that draws the beginning of your self-improving. There are a number of abilities I believe you have to acomplish in order to even begin to get closer to being an adult.

The ability of making reasonable decisions for yourself and people around you, being able to take responsibility for your actions, able to make the most of what you have and try to improve yourself in any possible way. Becoming an adult is a journey everyone should make at a certain moment in order to become the most they can be, to grow as an individual – mentaly and spiritually. Many people find it rather difficult and they… [continues] There is no clear determinant for determining when a person becomes an adult, Some say it’s when you turn eighteen others say it’s when you get your drivers license.

One thing is for sure though to become an adult you must be mature and ready to take on the world. Being an adult means achieving a separate identity, being able to support your self and/or your family financially, and being able to provide yourself with a house or a place to call home. Adulthood consists of many different aspects, and is not an easy part of life. To become an adult you must achieve a separate identity. Erik Erickson a Austrian psychologist defined identity as “a sense of self part from one’s family.

” This means to be an adult you must become independent so that you will be provided the opportunity to learn and take responsibility for your own lives. Young adults need to know who they are in order to be self-dependent, they also need to know their strengths and weaknesses, and the values they consider to be important to them. People never seem to quite understand the meaning of being an “adult”. I myself am not very sure of the full meaning of it. It has always seemed to me that age is irrelevant.

You can be 12 and understand things better than a 30-year-old or you can be 40, have two PhD’s and still wonder if pigeons are migratory birds. Many people my age think that getting out of their parents’ house is an act of maturity but how does changing your situation prove that you are an “adult”? If they run away from home it is more likely to lose themselves trying to cope alone and underprepared with the difficulties in life. To become an adult you must achieve a separate identity. Still everyone perceives the world and every thought in it through their own consciousness.

All Stressed Out Essay

All Stressed Out Essay

This activity examines the way that psychologists conceptualize stress, emphasizing that stress is a biopsycho-social process. You will explore the sources of stress in your own life, review your body’s response to stress, and then learn how cognitive appraisal dramatically affects how much stress you actually experience.

Checking the Level of Stress in Your Life
• What was your “Stress Test” score? _______30_____

• Do you think that such a test accurately captures your experience? What other stressors should be included?

I do not feel that it rates high enough on some aspects that are heavily weighing on a person’s chest.

I think they should add an area for personal responsibilities and problems with children.

Stress, Stressors, and Coping
• Psychologists differentiate stressors, strain, and stress. What does each of these terms mean?

Stressors- an external event, situation, or other demand that triggers coping adjustments in a person. Strain- the outcome of stress such as loss of sleep, headaches, and lack of concentration.

Stress- the process by which we perceive and respond to a certain event that we appraise as threatening or challenging.

The General Adaptation Syndrome
• Describe Selye’s general adaptation syndrome.

When something occurs that takes your body away from its original homeostasis state, into fear or rage, and then into exhaustion.

The Biology of Stress

• Although both men and women experience the fight-or-flight syndrome, some scientists argue that women also can experience stress differently (tend-and-befriend). Briefly explain this hypothesis.

This is because natural selection developed stress relieves differently as they grow of different ways and situations.

• Can you think of why this alleged gender difference in fight-or-flight and tend-and-befriend may “make sense” from an evolutionary perspective?

Because natural selectionwas developed in ways that the fittest was more successful than the weaker people.

• Outline the body’s two-part endocrine response to stress.

Hypothalamic, pituatary adrenocortical system is a delayed response that function to restore body to normal, and the Cortisol which affect glucose metabolism.

Stress Harms Your Body’s Organ Systems
• List the effects of stress on:

o the heart: Raise the heart pressure

o the digestive tract: Reduction in enzyme digestions in blood flow.

o the brain: It can damage the neurons involved in learning and in memory, hypocampus is smaller in stressed patients.

Cognitive Appraisal – The Filter Through Which Stressors Are Processed • According to the transactional model, what triggers the process of stress?

By considering it as a transaction in which each person makes continual adjustments to everyday circumstances. It is triggers when we exceed the ability to cope with all our problems in life.