Presenting Information: Lalitha is a 29-year-old female who is divorced with 2 children, a 4- year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son. She is currently married to Wijaya and they have been together for about a year. Lalitha presents to counseling with multiple concerns. She reports feeling the following: tired and lethargic most of the time and does not sleep well, decreased motivation in general, discontent in her life, feeling like a dark cloud follows her around, and she does not enjoy her life as she once did.
She states “I feel like every day is just a struggle and I don’t know where to turn.” She also reports having a lot of relationship problems and challenges with her son. In her relationship with Wijaya, she feels that he ignores her and puts everything else first, that he just stays with her because he has nowhere else to go, and that he doesn’t even want to talk to her about how she is feeling in her life. She said that she loves him but is not sure she wants to stay in the relationship.
She states that she cannot trust Wijaya even though she has no reason not to trust him. She also states that her son is getting in trouble in school and she is at a loss for what to do. He has been sent home a few times in the past three months for fighting physically and verbally, and she feels like she is a bad mother because she does not know what to do to help him.
Social History: Lalitha was married at age 19 when she and her boyfriend found out she was pregnant. She was married to Nuwan for 6 years and got divorced just after having their daughter. She states her ex-husband was controlling and said “He kept me on a tight leash and never gave me any slack.” She reported that he had bouts of using drugs and had an affair early in their marriage.
She said she tried to get over the affair but just couldn’t. She said, “I could never get the image of catching them together in our bed out of my head.” She states the divorce was mutual but that he made it very difficult as he helped minimally with the kids. He is now seeing the kids twice a month and pays child support.
Mental Health: She reports that she felt she was depressed while in her marriage but never sought counseling or treatment because her husband would have not let her.
Family History: Lalitha states that her mother and father were separated when she was 14 and she feels like she never got over that. She says “I can just remember how they fought and yelled like I wasn’t even there. I hated that time in my life and I hated my parents.” She states her relationship with her mother is supportive now but she has little contact with her father.
Lalitha later found out that her father was having affairs while he was married to her mom and Lalitha states that she just cannot forgive him for putting them through that. Although Lalitha’s mother is supportive, she lives about an hour away and Lalitha states “I don’t want to burden my mother with my problems or my kids.” Lalitha is an only child.
Occupational/Educational History: Lalitha was studying for her A/L but dropped out when she got pregnant and married. After following a nursing course now, she works full-time at a hospital and receives a monthly salary. She is worried about her job, saying, “I just can’t get the motivation to do a good job…and sometimes I can’t even get out of bed to go in.” She is also ambivalent about being a nurse.
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