Tony, 16, and two of his friends decided to go squirrel hunting one Saturday afternoon. Tony’s friend, Matt, was directly behind him when he saw a squirrel running up a tree. Matt took a quick shot at it and ended up shooting Tony in the right side of his skull and ear. Tony had massive bleeding from the ear and head. His friends rushed him to the hospital where he was immediately taken to surgery. Tony needed multiple skin grafts to reconstruct the ear and was in a lot of pain. He ended up with permanent hearing loss and a continued loud ringing in the affected ear.
most effective coping style is optimistic coping, which is:
Looking at the bright
– Tony realized he could have been killed or brain damaged if he had moved his
head or body to the right when his friend pulled the trigger.
Using a sense of
humor (not sarcasm)
– Although Tony was in a lot of pain, he joked about it. When asked by others
what had happened, he replied, “Oh, my friend thought we were ear hunting.”
Humor does help people feel better by causing endorphins to be released into
the bloodstream. These are the body’s natural painkillers, which are also
released during exercise.
positively(or being hopeful) – For example, although Tony didn’t like the
loud ringing in his ear, he was hopeful that he could find ways to adjust. For
instance, he discovered the ringing wasn’t as noticeable at bedtime when he had
the radio on. Another way to be positive is to have an attitude of gratitude.
Tony was actually thankful to be alive with no brain damage, which aided in his
least effective coping style is fatalistic coping, which is:
Pessimistic / negative
– For instance, Tony could be resentful about his hearing loss and constantly
complain about the loud ringing. He could also think that his life has been
ruined because of his impairment. Your body is negatively affected by each
negative thought you have. It is important to challenge negative thinking or
add supportive statements.
Thinking there’s no
way out, feeling hopeless – For example, Tony could have thought that he can’t
live the rest of his life with this hearing impairment and, as a result, end up
with suicidal behaviors. However, although you may not be able to get out,
around or over a situation, you can always get through it. Often this may be
with the help of other people.