For this Discussion, you will analyze a case in which a returning soldier, who is also a husband and father, experiences mental health symptoms resulting from combat.
Review the Learning Resources on psychological aspects of young and middle adulthood, psychoeducation, and military populations.
Access the Social Work Case Studies media and navigate to Marcus.
As you explore Marcus’s case, consider the ways in which the social environment, including the trauma he has experienced, has impacted Marcus’s psychological functioning.
Post an analysis of how the social environment has contributed to Marcus’s psychological functioning. In what ways has trauma impacted Marcus’s daily functioning? Describe how you as the social worker would integrate elements of psychoeducation with Marcus and his family. How would you adapt psychoeducation for the cognitive level of the family member?
© 2021 Walden University, LLC. Adapted from Plummer, S. -B., Makris, S., & Brocksen, S. M. (Eds.). (2014). Social
work case studies: Foundation year. Laureate International Universities Publishing.
Marcus is a 28-year-old, African American male who recently returned to his hometown
after having served in multiple deployments in both Iraq and Syria. Marcus lives with his
wife, Tamika, and their 5-year-old son, Jayson. While serving overseas, Marcus was
exposed to combat and to blasts from three explosions caused by improvised explosive
devices (IEDs). As a result of his experiences, Marcus sustained several physical
injuries, including wounds from shrapnel released by the IEDs, a mild traumatic brain
injury (TBI) in the form of a concussion caused by being thrown from a blast site after an
explosion, and mild hearing loss in one ear that does not require the use of a hearing
aid. Marcus’s physical wounds had healed completely at the time of his discharge.
Marcus joined the military immediately after his graduation from high school and
planned to begin working at least part time while studying for an associate’s or
bachelor’s degree after his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army. Marcus sought
mental health treatment with me because he “felt different” after arriving back home
from military duty. Marcus reported that he was having difficulties adjusting to domestic
life and found it hard to feel emotionally connected to his wife, though he knew that he
loved her. Similarly, Marcus felt that he had difficulty being an attentive father to his son.
Marcus also reported that despite his goals for continued employment and education,
he could not motivate himself to look for a job or enroll in courses at the local
community college and spent most of his days sitting on the back porch of his home
smoking cigarettes, “staring into space,” and remembering violent scenes from his
combat experience. Additionally, Marcus was having difficulty sleeping due to
nightmares, had lost weight because of a general loss of appetite, had an increasingly
“short fuse” with his family, and reported that he felt constantly nervous and “on edge,
like something is going to blow” inside him.
Strengths and Goals
Marcus came to treatment with several strengths, including the ability to identify his
symptoms and their effect on his life, his strong connections to his family, vocational
and educational goals, and the ability to work well within structured environments under
a great deal of pressure, as evidenced by his successful wartime military career.
Marcus reported that his goals for treatment included being able to be a more active
husband and father, to stop thinking so much about his combat experiences, and to
reengage in working and going back to school.
Neurological and Physical Evaluation
Because Marcus has a history of mild TBI, I referred him to a neuropsychologist
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