Select a significant event (either positive or negative) that occurred before you reached
adulthood and that has had a life-shaping effect on your life.
Drawing on your personal experience, as well as library research, write a two to three (2-3)
page paper in which you:
Briefly describe your significant event (one to two (1-2) sentences).
Discuss why the memory of the event you described may or may not be completely
Determine the effect the event has had on your subjective well-being.
Discuss the role the event may have played in the continued development of your
Determine the positive or negative impacts of the event on your overall health (including
your reaction to stressors and your ability to cope).
Support your paper with information drawn from at least two quality resources. One of
these resources may be your textbook. Articles from professional journals are certainly a
high quality resource. Magazine and newspaper articles are also accepted for this
assignment. Articles published on the Internet may also be suitable, if they originate with
credible persons or organizations. Please note that articles from Wikipedia, ask.com, and
the like are not suitable.
A Life Changing Event
An event that truly changed my life was the death of my grandfather who was very close to me
and our family for the period leading up to his demise. The fact that his health complications
began increasing in frequently forced us to move him to our home from the country side so that
he can be monitored and also given appropriate medical attention from establishments in the city.
This memory is relatively accurate because I was around 9 years of age when it all happened.
The interactions we had with him plus recollections of other members of the family affirm the
memory that I have of this event. Furthermore, it affected me personally as a result of the
tremendous sense of loss I felt owing to his untimely demise. Family photographs in the photo
album also help in the retention of this memory.
This incident has had a profound impact on my personality in that I strive to make the most of
the time I have with people who are near and dear to me. When my grandfather passed on, I had
just started getting to know him and he could often tell me stories about how life was when he
was a young man and allow me to give my contribution on whether I could have survived his
world. These moments defined how we bonded and his death came before we knew each other
well. As a result of this, I always put a lot of effort into bonding with those who are close to me
even if it entails the sacrifice of time or money as none can measure up to the joy I derive from
such interactions. This originates from the immense sadness I felt upon realizing that he was
gone forever. The implanting of this thought in my mind made me increasingly fearful of losing
another member of the family in a similar way. As an adult I concede to the fact that this feeling
only serves to complicate my life.
This has however had a negative impact on my health as I tend to get insecure when I am
separated from loved ones for long periods of time. This leads me to be stressed and then my
immunity goes down. When this happens, it is easier for me to contract illnesses such as
influenza or bacterial infections. I have noted that my illnesses often have a higher frequency
when I spend long periods of time away from home and when I stay there with everyone it will
be highly unlikely for me to be taken ill,.
According to Segerstrom and Miller (2004), Chronic stressors have the effect of suppressing an
individual’s cellular and humoral immunity. The effect of this is an increase in the weak points
in a person’s body to be exploited by disease causing microorganisms. Different traumatic events
in an individual’s life will lead to different stress reactions and the severity is often highly
subjective depending on the person and how sensitive they are about the matters at that stress
them. The article however points out that stress in itself cannot be solely blamed for a reduction
in a person’s immunity as other parameters such as age, gender and general demography. In my
case however, I strongly believe that it is this incident is the mains stressor that affects my person
as well as my health.
Segerstrom, S. C., & Miller, G. E. (2004). Psychological stress and the human immune system: a
meta-analytic study of 30 years of inquiry. Psychological bulletin, 130(4), 601.