Erikson’s Eight Stages Of Development

Our discussion starts with us examining our survey, and the desire to change a few things. Our survey asks participants if they received treatment for their mental illness, but we didn’t add any follow-up questions. We think we should have added more specific questions, especially regarding treatment; such as, whether they are satisfied with their treatment or if one form of treatment served them better than another. We feel like this would have helped us have a better understanding of PTSD and GAD and the process of treatment.

Also, going over our survey, how family plays a major role in GAD and how nature versus nurture may have had an influence on resulting conditions. Of the people used in this survey, we found that those with GAD and PTSD were most commonly unable to stay focused or concentrate, have moments of introversion, or have panic attacks. These three common traits of GAD and PTSD, people portrayed as difficult. Focus and concentration are often taken for granted, the inability to achieve success in this area is problematic for advancement in life.

Introversion is another common symptom that both of these mental illnesses face. For those with GAD, it’s more of a reclusive trait, always wanting to be by yourself. However, for those with PTSD, it coincides with panic attacks and difficulty concentrating or focusing, causing them to reclude into their minds to replay the event over and over again. From what we found, Panic attacks have shown to be one of the more terrifying of the symptoms. We are in agreement that this part of the disorder is not only scary for those who experience it, but also comes in a variety of forms.

Hyperventilation and becoming over-sensitized being the most common; but also, the opposite symptoms may occur; such as, sudden exhaustion or nausea. Reduction of the minds ability to stay on topic or be present with the tasks at hand, comes to be despairing for the victims of GAD and PTSD. Piaget’s theory of Cognitive Development Theory helps explain our feelings within the context of the foster care child (Macionis, 2013, p127). He demonstrates that there are four stages for this cognitive development that need to be addressed through childhood.

We feel that the stages that happen in later childhood are the most important in this nurturing process, since younger children are so resilient to trauma. Piaget’s Concrete Operational and Formal Operational stages are the most evident proof of our thoughts on the subject. Concrete Operational stage suggests that a child begins to understand casual connections in their surroundings, acknowledging the relationship between an item to a subject. Next, comes the Formal Operational stage that states, individuals think more abstractly and critically; recognizing multiple items to a subject or multiple subjects.

These stages are important to build able-bodied minds for concentration and focus because disruptions can manifest into social problems; such as, GAD and PTSD in a traumatic event. Foster care of the child or adolescent, transpire during these primary function stages; neglect or abuse in these phases of mental progression results in stunting this growth that nurtures concentrating and focus. Social isolation could perhaps play a big part in introversion, or even GAD and PTSD. All evidence points to the crucial role of social experience in forming personality. Macionis, 2013, p125)

Most people can sometimes recover from abuse and short-term isolation, however there is a point. Introversion isn’t exactly their disability making them, it’s more of their choice. Why most people see introversion as a shy trait, they are two different things. Shyness, is more out of fear, while the other one like stated before is by choice and more of a comfort mechanism. While being shy is more for younger kids, this can develop into something more serious as they progress into adolescence.

Teenagers are filled with hormones, and are practically emotional time bombs, which can leave those who are deemed social outcasts to go from shy to introvert really quick. Although introversion varies, one key factor into anyone’s personal introvert is that they require alone time. Erikson’s Eight Stages of Development theory has critical stages in the prevention of PTSD and GAD; the stage of adolescence can create a strong social identity if nurtured within proper socialization (Macionis, 2013, p130).

Interruption of this stage can lead to vulnerabilities to symptoms, such as a panic attack in GAD; while, neglect may also cause PTSD. Not having a nurturing environment with family or caretakers creates developmental issues that may further their chances of invoking symptoms or even the mental illness itself. Combat operations while in military institutions and other extreme changes in environment often result in GAD and PTSD, again interrupting the nurturing socialization in any of the stages in Erikson’s Eight Stages of Development.

For some, criminalization is an issue that may come with their mental disorders. Focusing on those with GAD and PTSD, these Disorders, in order to cope with the pain, often times result in substance abuse or divergent behavior. Substance abuse in general, for all that suffer, is usually a victimless crime in itself, but has become a crime none of the less. Outside of alcohol and properly prescribed medications, most drugs are considered illegal in the United States of America.

Making one of the few coping mechcanisms that these people have without the proper education, a stepping stone into a criminal career in and out of jails and prisons; furthermore, the crimes become more violent as they try to survive, many falling to the streets as their homes. And for those with PTSD affected to the extreme, the mind can barely function; flashing between reality, and previous traumatic events, along with extreme irritability; therefore, violence may occur for those not being able to comprehend life situations for what they are.

Our authoritative forces are not trained properly to recognize or de-escalate the given situation often exacerbating it into a criminal affair. Again, landing some of those suffering from these mental health issues into jails and prisons and again, onto the streets. CONCLUSION During transitional stages in life; such as, the introduction into our foster care system, our high school students transitioning into college, and to those that have served in our military are suffering, sometimes with traumatizing outcomes.

Marginal treatment and the lack of knowledge has contributed to those who are in pain from their disorders. While reviewing our research and survey results, we gathered information and statistics regarding GAD and PTSD resulting from lifestyle changes in these institutions. Finding that there are multiple ways of treatment; such as: individual therapy, group therapy, psychiatry, and spirituality. What is missing is the preventative care that could minimize effects of such life changing events.

Preparation and education for the expected side effects and new roles that those with potential GAD and PTSD will have to adapt to, give a sense of power over the extreme changes they are facing. Also, the public stigmata must be removed from these disorders to help create a more nurturing and understanding environment for healing. Criminalization for some of these individuals acting out subsequent pain needs to be better recognized and addressed accordingly, sending them to the proper facilities to get the help deserved. Overall, these disorders can no longer be kept in the dark out of shame and fear.