Psychosocial Assessment of an Adult Client: the Case of Mr. Rodriguez

Table of Contents

Client identifying data

Client assignation: Mr. Rodriguez.

Age: 37 years old.

Current residence: Hartford, CT.

Race: Hispanic (Puerto-Rican).

Sex: Male.

Religious affiliation: Catholic.

Marital status: Divorced.

Data collection method

Interview

Overview of the case in question

The person, whom I interviewed and whose case I will assess, is a 37-year-old male Ramon Rodriguez (due to the considerations of privacy, his real name will not be disclosed). Mr. Rodriguez lives in Hartford, CT, while working as a manual laborer for one of the moving companies. He and his wife recently divorced on the account of both spouses having realized that they are psychologically incompatible. There were no children in the family. As of today, Mr. Rodriguez resides with his elderly mother in a two-bedroom apartment. Both of them are extremely attached to each other, in the emotional sense of this word. Mr. Rodriguez’s alcoholic father died a few years ago.

The initial reason why Mr. Rodriguez was admitted to the hospital, in the first place, is that he made an unsuccessful suicide attempt (by the mean of swallowing 10 sleeping pills). While in the hospital, Mr. Rodriguez continually complained about having to suffer from periodic outbursts of headache and nauseousness and from the constantly felt pain in his stomach. He also never ceased exhibiting the signs of an acute social withdrawal, while remaining utterly apathetic to the staff’s attempts to revive his interest in life.

Environment assessment

After having questioned the client, I realized that Mr. Rodriguez’s living conditions are far from being considered thoroughly adequate. The apartment where he resided, prior to having been admitted to the hospital, is located in the city’s poorest part (the so-called ‘projects), which in turn implies that, while there, Mr. Rodriguez was affiliated with the realities of a ‘ghetto-living’, commonly associated with people indulging in alcohol and drug abuse (Kornblum, 1991). As it appeared, during the course of the interview, while being paid a minimum wage, Mr. Rodriguez used to experience an acute shortage of money, which prevented him from being able to afford to buy even such basic household commodities, as the bottles of drinking water. This was the reason why, as the interviewed client admitted, he was often forced to drink tap water. It is needless to mention, of course, that this could have well contributed to the worsening of the client’s overall physical condition. Mr. Rodriguez also mentioned the fact that the municipal area in question features much lowered sanitary conditions, as compared to what happened to be the case with Harford’s more prestigious neighborhoods. For example, the client pointed out the inadequacies of how the residential garbage-pickup system functions. According to him, the scenes of garbage containers remaining overfilled for the duration of more than 3-4 days are not utterly uncommon. This once again suggests that the specifics of the environmental situation in Mr. Rodriguez’s residential area are at least partially responsible for the earlier mentioned health complaints, on the client’s part.

Cultural assessment

While interviewed, Mr. Rodriguez positioned himself, as someone who strongly adheres to the Puerto-Rican cultural traditions. Even though there can be nothing wrong with this tendency, on the part of the client, as a ‘thing in itself, there are nevertheless certain concerns about whether the sheer strength of the client’s commitment to pursuing a clearly ethnic-centered lifestyle can be considered thoroughly beneficial, from the health-perspective. This is because, as the relevant statistical data indicates, the level of a health-awareness among ethnically proud Hispanics is much lower; as compared to what is being the case among ethnically disfranchised Whites, for example (Polednak, 1997). In its turn, this partially explains why many Hispanics are generally open to the idea of consuming cheap but rather unhealthy food (hamburgers, French fries). Another explanation to the earlier mentioned phenomena is that, as opposed to Whites, Hispanics tend to think of their health-concerns ‘holistically’ – that is, they believe that the physiological aspects of their bodies’ functioning are ‘spiritually reflective’ (Adams, Horn & Bader, 2007). This explains why there are no objective preconditions for Hispanics to be utterly meticulous about their dietary habits. For example, while interviewed, Mr. Rodriguez continued to stress out that he could not care less about his dietary options – especially given the fact that, due to his socio-financial situation, these options are predetermined to remain limited. At the same time, however, I could not help noticing that despite the client’s clearly defined contempt towards the notion of a ‘healthy living, there is no reason to think that Mr. Rodriguez had ever suffered from being overweight. What it means is that, for as long as nurses adopt a ‘holistic’ approach towards ensuring the betterment of Mr. Rodriguez’s health condition, consistent with the ethnocultural specifics of how Hispanics tend to perceive the surrounding reality, the chances are they should be able to succeed in it.

Family assessment

During the course of my conversation with Mr. Rodriguez, the latter exhibited a variety of different anxieties, concerned with the fact that he failed at establishing himself as a ‘family man’. This, however, did not affect his longing towards pursuing a socially integrated lifestyle. Apparently, Mr. Rodriguez never ceased experiencing an unconscious desire to enjoy the sensation of an emotional closeness towards people that happened to be related to him. However, the fact that, as of today, Mr. Rodriguez considers himself a ‘looser’ effectively prevented him from trying to find another woman to marry. As a result, the client could not help growing increasingly attached to his elderly mother – a rather counter-beneficiary process, as it is the client’s realization of his mother’s eventual mortality, which appeared to have fueled his thoughts of suicide. According to Mr. Rodriguez, he did not want to wait to happen for something that was bound to happen anyway. In this respect, Mr. Rodriguez could have well benefited from being exposed to the so-called ‘family psychotherapy’, which would require him and his mother to rationalize their ongoing relationship (Mills & Sprenkle, 1995). This is because, as a result of it, both individuals would be more likely to recognize the fallaciousness of the idea that their lives are interconnected to an extent of being ‘one’, which in turn should encourage Mr. Rodriguez to refrain from focusing on negativity – hence, contributing to his mental well-being.

Sexuality assessment

While interviewing Mr. Rodriguez, I realized that he is a strongly defined heterosexual and that he is thoroughly comfortable expressing his thoughts, in regards to sexuality-related subjects. At the same time, however, I also sensed that the client remains emotionally insecure while socializing with women. In all probability, this is because, when in the process of socialization, he strives to represent himself as a male, fully confident in his sexual ‘charms’ – contrary to the client’s innate feeling of existential inadequateness. The earlier mentioned tendency, on the part of Mr. Rodriguez, appears discursively consistent with this person’s learning to express his strongly negative attitude towards homosexuals, whenever the opportunity presents itself (Dickey, 2013). In fact, there are good reasons to think that Mr. Rodriguez would be willing to attack gays physically if he was sure that he would be able to get away with it. The specifics of the client’s sexuality-related attitudes suggest that he would be able to become much more mentally stable, while in a relationship (preferably marital) with a woman. In particular, Mr. Rodriguez would be able to reduce the acuteness of its deep-seated unconscious anxieties, sublimated in the person’s tendency to act violently/irrationally.

Potential diagnoses

The above-conducted psychosocial assessment of Mr. Rodriguez allows me to consider that the client is being potentially affected by the following:

Manic depression. It is not only that Mr. Rodriguez appears to constantly remain in the state of depression, but it also becomes increasingly harder for him to address the situation – hence, the thoughts of suicide, on his part (Raab, 2007).

Migraine. Due to the sheer severity and long-lastingness of the client’s headaches, it would be thoroughly appropriate to suspect that he suffers from some form of migraine (Merikangas, 2013).

Water poisoning. Because Mr. Rodriguez mentioned the fact that he often drinks tap water and because he complained about having constant pains in his stomach, it would be reasonable to consider the possibility for the client to have been poisoned.

References

Adams, C., Horn, K. & Bader, J. (2007). Hispanics’ experiences in the health system prior to hospice admission. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 14 (4), 155-163.

Dickey, G. (2013). Survey of homophobia: Views on sexual orientation from certified nurse assistants who work in long-term care. Research on Aging, 35 (5), 563-570.

Kornblum, W. (1991). Drug legalization and the minority poor. The Milbank Quarterly, 69 (3), 415-435.

Merikangas, K. (2013). Contributions of epidemiology to our understanding of migraine. Headache: The Journal of Head & Face Pain, 53 (2), 230-246.

Mills, S. & Sprenkle, D. (1995). Family therapy in the Postmodern era. Family Relations, 44 (4), 368-376.

Polednak, A. (1997). Use of selected high-fat foods by Hispanic adults in the northeastern US. Ethnicity & Health, 2 (1/2), 71-76.

Raab, K. (2007). Manic depression and religious experience: The use of religion in therapy. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 10 (5), 473-487.

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