Gabriel Byrd & Ashley Sok wrote this report from the point of view of a public health psychologist. You will find evidence from a variety of sources to assess the current health of the American Dream. Imagine that the United States of America is a person. How healthy is this person, physically, mentally, and emotionally?
Client Name: Mr. American Dream
Description of client: Mr. American Dream was born on May 7, 1980, in Oakland Ca. He lives in an apartment with his wife who is diagnosed with cancer. He is 36 years old and dresses casual, but has an ugly attitude. He has anger issues and doesn’t admit to his problems but instead ignores them. He’s African American mixed with Mexican and White from his mom. Mr. American Dream is a father to his daughter and a grandpa to his mixed grandchild.
Presenting problem: During his young adult life, he got caught selling and using drugs and went to jail. His friends set him up to get caught, since then he’s had trust issues towards everyone. Now that his record shows that he’s been involved with drugs it makes it hard for him to get a decent job. His dad was shot and killed when he was 18 during a drug deal. Mr. American dream has also been in a car crash, trying to take his daughter to the hospital while his wife was in labor. He soon found out that the baby was okay, but if the car crash was any worse the baby would have died with its mother. After that day every time he touches a steering wheel he gets horrible flashbacks, and it causes him to panic during any sticky situations. His wife has encouraged him to receive therapy due to these traumatic situations.
In an advertisement for Donald Trump, it shows an image of a happy family, two parents, two children, one male and one female. They’re leaning on a white fence in front of their big white house on their big front yard. The family is dressed formal with blond hair, and there’s a logo that says “TRUMP, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN”.
This evidence supports Mr. American diagnosis because it’s showing how he’s not living the American dream by not having a good job and a perfect family. It also makes him realize that his life isn’t that great because the expectation of the American dream is having no issues and being perfect all the time. His life is the opposite of the expectations.
History: Mr. American Dream’s childhood was rough, he didn’t have a good education and eventually dropped out of high school because no one would help him. Dropping out led him to develop depression since he had no support. During his childhood, he was exposed to many inappropriate situations and was exposed to negative influences from his peers. Mr. American Dream developed a good sense of humor which helped him progress through his day to day life. Throughout his teenage years, his level of stress became overwhelming which is why he struggles with depression today.
In the short story about privilege, it shows how some people can have a good life based on who and what their parents can do for them throughout their childhood. It causes them to be stressed and depressed because they’re doing everything by themselves while others are opened up to many opportunities because of the wealth their parents had, and who they knew.
This evidence shows how Mr. American Dream didn’t have open opportunities like others did. He also had other priorities besides school, and he came home to an abusive father which triggered more anxiety for him as a kid. The older he got the worse his situations got. It shows how much wealth can benefit your life and how not having wealth makes one’s life more challenging.
Personality features: Mr. American Dream knows his real personal situations regarding money, friends, work etc. but doesn’t like to admit them. His horrible attitude gives people an idea of the true things he’s mad, sad, and traumatized about. His wife also tries from time to time to get him to admit that he needs help but as stubborn as he is he never admits it. He’s also in a really bad debt to the government, and people that were involved in his early life. His debt and personal situations all lead to him being depressed. His day to day interactions are really short and awkward because he can’t hold a regular conversation with people. Most of his friends are tied up with family and full-time jobs with little to no time for time spending, the people he speaks to the most are his daughter and his wife.
A story by Debbie Elliott, Mississippi Couple Lament Loss Of The American Dream, tells about a couple’s life plan how they would be settled and comfortable at the middle age, paying off their bills and putting away something for the future. This turned out to be a complete failure because when the husband joined the Army he had an injury that cost him many surgeries. It says, “His retirement benefits amount to less than half of what his active duty salary was.“
This evidence supports Mr. American dream’s diagnosis because people are relying on money to support and make them happy. It just shows how the government isn’t helping the people by taking away more money. It also shows how unfair the government is by expecting someone to pay off their debt while having other issues to worry about. Mr. American Dream is struggling as it is and with more debt and stress-triggering situations the government isn’t helping one bit.
Diagnosis: panic disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, stress disorder
Personal strengths: Although he struggles with depression and communication, Mr. American dream does have a strong relationship with his daughter; if it wasn’t for her, then he may have lost it a long time ago. The bond between the two of them is unbreakable and pure. He hides all the bad vibes and negativity when around her, he makes it seem like everything is perfect when at times it’s really bad. Also, since his daughter had a mixed child, he’s accepting the fact that the population is becoming more diverse/multicultural.
On PewResearchCenter.org is says “ Between 2000 and 2010, the number of white and black biracial American more than doubled, while the population of adults with a white and Asian background increased by 87%”.
This evidence supports my diagnosis by showing how biracial people are half of the population in the U.S, and how it’s growing. It showing how having more biracial people can affect the social standards of the American dream. It makes others change their minds about the thought of one race, and to accept how the social standards are changing.
Treatment plan: To heal, Mr. American Dream is going to take nightly boxing classes and yoga three times a week to clear his mind, his close cousin will support the monthly payments for these classes. He also is going to try and get in touch with a childhood friend who is also down on his luck, they plan on healing and growing together. The boxing will tire him physically and the yoga will purify and restore him mentally creating a sense of comfort making him more able to the next day and days to come.
On a website titled, The Benefits of Yoga, it says yoga serves a purpose to benefit a healthy lifestyle. The practice of yoga allows students/adults to find stillness in a world consumed with chaos. Yoga helps relieve stress and declutter the mind, helping you to become more attentive.
The evidence supports my diagnosis because it shows that doing yoga can relieve the stress from Mr. American Dream. Through the practice of yoga, our client will eventually better himself and recover from his illness at his own pace.
Progress milestones: My client will work on his level of impatience while studying the art of yoga and gain more discipline while boxing with his trainers. In the long run, my client will soon practice yoga and maybe take the time to teach his daughter in his spare time. In the end, he will be stress-free and live happier. Mr. America will become more focused on the positive things. He’ll start to learn how to plan his day, and keep track of his daily schedule
Prognosis: Through all the struggles Mr. American Dream will soon recover slowly but surely from his illness. The rehabilitation from his level of depression is possible through the physical and mental exercises he practices daily. eventually becoming purified and healthy at a normal status.
Gabriel Byrd & Ashley Sok
Guest contributor. Gaima Life. The Benefits of Yoga, 2016
“Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project” (“ Multiracial in America”)
“Make America Great Again”. Nov. 15, 2016
Toby Morris. “On a plate” The pencil sword, 2015
Debbie Elliot ”Mississippi couple Lament loss of The American Dream”
NPR Nov. 1, 2011
Panic, Depression, Anxiety, and Stress: Assessment Report on Mr. American Dream by <a href="https://www.youthvoices.live/byline/ashley/" rel="tag">Ashley</a>, <a href="https://www.youthvoices.live/byline/gabe/" rel="tag">Gabriel</a> is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.