Week 6: Coping With Stress and Anxiety

Week 6: Coping With Stress and Anxiety

When you’re dealing with stress, the problem may not be the stressful situation, as much as the effort to avoid that situation and the feelings it arouses.
—Ted A. Grossbart, clinical psychologist

For many military families, stress and anxiety are commonplace. This week, you explore how some military families cope with stress and anxiety related to military life.
Learning Objectives
Students will:

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Identify approaches to military spouses dealing with stress and anxiety
Analyze stress and anxiety related to military life
Analyze impacts of stress and anxiety on well-being
Evaluate coping strategies to address stress and anxiety

Learning Resources
Required Readings

DeCarvalho, L. T., & Whealin, J. A. (2012). Healing stress in military families: Eight steps to wellness. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Step 2, “Explain” (pp. 17–29)
Step 3, “Discover” (pp. 31–46)

Strong, J., & Lee, J. J. (2017). Exploring the deployment and reintegration experiences of active duty military families with young children. Journal Of Human Behavior In The Social Environment, 27(8), 817-834.

National Military Family Association. (2010). Military kids toolkit. Retrieved from http://www.militaryfamily.org/publications/kids-toolkit/
National Military Family Association (2010). National Military Family Association: Military Kids Toolkit. Retrieved from http://www.militaryfamily.org/publications/kids-toolkit/

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2014e). Coping with stress and anxiety [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 4 minutes.

Professor Child (Producer). (2014). Children of military families [Video file]. Retrieved from http://professorchild.com/products-page/videos/children-military-families/
Professor Child (Producer) (2014). Children of Military Families [Motion picture]. USA: Professor Child.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 46 minutes.

Real Warriors Campaign. (2013, April 10). Kids serve too: Helping children cope [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.realwarriors.net/podcasts/episode033
The Real Warriors Campaign (2013, April 10). Kids Serve Too: Helping Children Cope [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.realwarriors.net/podcasts/episode033

Discussion 1: Stress and Anxiety in Military Spouses

Consider the following scenarios:

Scenario 1:

I’m nervous for him to come home. I’ve been calm for the last eight months. I’ve had the house in order. When he comes home, it’s like he disrupts it. He leaves his clothes everywhere and expects me to wait on him. He’s coming home soon and I feel mixed up. I love him and want him home, but I cringe at the thought of how our life is going to change. To make matters worse, my neighbor whose wife deployed has been making passes at me. I’ve ignored him but our kids play together and are in the same class and Bible class. It’s hard to create the distance.

Scenario 2

I’ve never been a stay-at-home anything. But I got used to it. She’s been in the desert for two years now. I also manage the household—I cook, clean, and take care of our three kids. I learned how to braid my daughter’s hair, which was a feat. Taking care of three children is not easy. I can never watch football and I’m burning cookies and cakes I have to make for birthday parties. And I’m going crazy without sex. There are days I just want to lock myself in the bathroom.

For this Discussion, select one of the two scenarios. While they may seem simplistic, they are very accurate and can produce a great deal of anxiety and stress on a daily basis. Keep in mind, not everyone is able to manage the military life effectively. As a helping professional, consider how you might assist these spouses in dealing with their stress and anxiety specific to military life.
By Day 3

Post an identification of the scenario you selected. As a helping professional, explain how you might first approach this individual who is coming to you for support. Describe one coping strategy you might recommend to assist this individual in addressing stress and anxiety. Use a scholarly resource to support your recommendation.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ posts.
By Day 5

Respond to two or more colleagues by suggesting alternative strategies to enhance coping skills.

Return to this Discussion to read the responses to your initial post. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

To complete your Discussion, click on Discussions on the course navigation menu, and select “Week 6 Forum” to begin.
Submission and Grading Information
Grading Criteria

To access your rubric:
Week 6 Discussion Rubric

Post by Day 3 and Respond by Day 5

To participate in this Discussion:
Week 6 Discussion

Discussion 2: Stress and Anxiety in Military Children

Children experience stress and anxiety in many ways related to military life. Think about the types of stress and anxiety that a child could experience at different stages of his or her life.

Note: Do not include the loss of a parent, as this is discussed in another week.

By Day 4

Post a description of stress or anxiety a military child could experience. Explain whether you consider this stress normative or nonnormative. Explain two impacts of this stress on the well-being of the child. Finally, describe one coping strategy you might recommend for the child and explain why you think this might be effective. Use a scholarly resource to support your recommendation.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ posts.
By Day 6

Respond to two or more colleagues by suggesting alternative strategies to enhance coping skills.