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Assignment Two Peer Commentary

The Importance to have a Strong Support Group


Christina C Cao
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The Importance to have a Strong Support Group


Introduction
Cold. Agony. Hurt. Pain. Disbelief. These are some of the words to describe Elena
Gilberts emotions in the moment when she realized her brother was dead. In the episode of her
brothers death, Elena went through denial and finally a mental break down. During her mental
break down she started panicking and pacing around the living room in despair asking why her

Comment [1]: I love the way go about this


introduction. These word really reflect
everything the paper will be about and is about.
It is a great hook and i like the quote you used
in the intro to show emotion within the
paper.Jeremy
Comment [2]: I think you have created a great
'hook' to help build tension here. The reader
instantly wants to know why her brother died.
Perhaps you could expand your introduction to
describe what your paper is actually about
shortly after. I was not really sure who Elena
Gilbert is when I first started reading. Luke
Langley

brother had to die and how she was in denial of his death. In that moment she could not take the
pain, she broke out into tears on her knees shaking her head saying, no, no, no! I cant take it
anymore. It hurts, it hurts., as her friends watched in shock and sadness (Cao, 2015). Her friends
were hurt and heartbroken seeing their closest friend in such pain. They knew as their jobs as her

Comment [3]: Your introduction is really


gripping. The reader feels the emotions that you
have displayed. Good citation as well.
Ryann Tate

friends they needed to help her cope and move on from her brothers death.
Throughout Elena Gilberts journey in the TV series The Vampire Dairies, she
experiences some very traumatizing events such as her parents tragic death to the death of her
brother and the transition of becoming a supernatural creature as a vampire later in the TV show;
she always had the support of her friends and family by her side no matter what. They were there

Comment [4]: I think its good how you


included the details of Elena's journey. You tell
us about the traumatizing events. This helps
understand the story better as well. Difficult
times play major roles in all TV series and
explaining these explanations help the reader
get into and understand what is going on
throughout the paper.
Comment [5]: _Marked as resolved_
Comment [6]: _Re-opened_

to help her cope with her loses and heartbreak. Her friends and family are her strong support

group who make sure she is stable and does not feel alone when going through difficult times. In
the end they wanted to just look out for Elena and make sure she is happy and well.
Friends and family play such an important role in Elenas life. As a fan of the show, I
have seen how much Elena has grown because the love and support of her friends and family,
she would not be who she is without them. Her friends and family have been there from the start
to finish and they have never given up on her even when it seems impossible to get through to
her. There were times when Elena almost killed herself because she felt like she was no longer
needed or gave up on humanity when she turned into a vampire and her friends were there to
help her through the journey. I realized how imperative it is to have a strong support
group/system to get through life toughest obstacles. This paper explains why it is important to
have a strong support group consisting of friends and family to have a healthy physical and
mental state.
Literature Review
Carlson, Perrewe, Cobb, Lyons, Perrotta and Hancher-Kvam all agree that support
groups are used as a coping mechanism to adapt to change, or stressful life events. A support
group is like buffer for stressors and reduces the negative effects created from stressors. It has
been said that social support for an individual effects the stress process, such as if an individual
has conflict with a family or friend, but gets support, the strain may not be as much of a conflict
as from the beginning. Also, social supports are shown to improve the successful recovery rate
for patients with a variation of medical conditions. Social support is a key factor in the
therapeutic process for a patient with an illness to show improvement in the recovery process.
With the lack of social support can cause people to develop harmful diseases, evidenced

Comment [7]: I think that it is beneficial that


you have pointed out that you are a fan of the
show because it helps to inform the reader
about bias you have which is required in order
to meet the assignment two guidelines. Maybe it
would be a thoughtful idea to expand this
statement and write about how your bias may
affect your work for example, you could say
something such as 'Due to the fact I am a
significant fan of the show, there may be some
parts of the paper where I come across as bias
however, I have limited this as much as
possible'. Luke Langley

reviewed by Chen and Cobb has shown that tuberculosis is a disease of social isolation or low
social support (Carlson, Perrewe, Cobb, Lyons, Perrotta, and Hancher-Kvam).
Being that, social support play a role in the aftermath of psychological and behavioral
interventions and research has shown that a close connection with family has lowered thoughts
of suicide, increase in physical activity, better psychological health, reduces the chances of
developing social breakdown syndrome and alcoholism, and lower the engagement in health
compromising behaviors such as smoking, alcohol, drug use, early sexual activities and
unhealthy dieting (Carter, McGee, Taylor, and Williams, 2005). In a nine year observation of
residents in Alameda County has found that individuals with fewer relationships have a higher
rate in engaging in smoking, drinking, decrease in exercise and increase chance of obesity.
Social support looks to be a vital moderator of life stress in areas ranging from job loss,
pregnancy, death, and in emotional and physical stress. Study has shown those who share their
feelings and thoughts to family and friends have better mental health compared to those who do
not (Hersey, Klibanoff, Lam, and Taylor). Findings have shown that elderly men are vulnerable
to psychological distress when losing or lacking friend support. Friendships have less mechanical
and normative constraints than other social connections, which allow friends to become flexible
and adjustable sources of support compared to family connections. The elderly often turn to
friends when worried or lonely because they provide emotional understanding and
companionship which in return make them feel competent, useful, liked, and needed; this helps
with their mental state and health. Interactions between the elderly with friends and family boost
positive effects on their health and wellness (Matt, Dean).
In Walen and Lachamans (2000) study, people who are most likely to be healthy and
happy have elicited positive relations and social networks which lead to positive outcomes when

Comment [8]: I appreciate the addition of this


finding. It is an interesting fact and it teaches
the reader something new. This adds a bit of an
emotional connection to the paper. Jeremy

dealing with stress related activities. Social support is important because it influences the
outcomes across a lifespan and social support groups are beneficial for various age groups, but
social support groups have been found to decline as individual ages, even though social support
becomes more essential as you age. Social exchanges help to regulate and control emotions and
adults mostly confide to friend or peer support rather family because they view family support to
be obligated.

Entering the Conversation


As a viewer and fan of the show, I have observed over the past seasons how Elenas
group of friends and family have become vital to her life struggles she has faced throughout the
show. The reasons for why Elenas friends and family were always there for her and never gave
up on her showed me how their reasons wanting to help is just as important to actually helping
Elena. Many people often talk about how support groups are beneficial but not often talk about
why the support groups want to help the individual.
Two of the characters that have been with Elena as best friends since she was a child to present
time is Caroline Forbes and Bonnie Bennett. Caroline and Bonnies motives to help Elena and be
there for her are that they all three have shared a close bond and friendship for many years. They
have built up and developed a bond made up with memories, experiences, hardships, and dark
times. In the show Bonnies makes a lot of sacrifices to save Elenas life and make her happy
because she feels as her best friend she should protect her and knowing Elena has been through
so much, she feels Elena does not deserve to experience another bad memory in her life. Caroline
also feels the same way, in a way Caroline is like a caretaker in the friendship between her and
Elena. She makes sure Elena is well and taken care of, for example when Elena gets hurt she
makes sure she is taken care of until she has fully recover or when Elena goes through a tragic

Comment [9]: I like this introduction to the


Entering the Conversation. I like how you
mentioned you were personally attached to the
show. You also showed the attachment of Elena
and her friends and family. Maybe you could be
a little more specific in explaining here which
seasons you observed this in. Jeremy
Comment [10]: Try to make your sentences
more concise. This will provide clarity. The
reader won't be confused about what you're
saying.
Ryann Tate

death or experience, she makes sure to handle everything else to make it easier for Elena to cope.
Caroline feels she needs to be the caretaker to help her best friend cope better and make sure she
is physically and mentally well. Both Bonnie and Caroline have always helped and been there for
Elena because Elena has done the same for them even when she is going through tough times.

Comment [11]: Using an example made it


much easier to be able to understand your work
and improve my understanding of how Elena is
well taken care of. To improve perhaps you
could cite in in which season and episode this
happened as well as how far into the episode.
This would allow the reader to be able to watch
this episode at their leisure and improve their
understanding even more. Luke Langley

Elena put aside her problems for them and Caroline and Bonnie thanks her for that by being her
support group.
Another key character that has been there for Elena is Stefan Salvatore. His drives to be
there for Elena as a boyfriend and a best friend are to be her protector, number one supporter,
and (need another word for helper or a person that guides her in the right direction). In my
observations I made, Stefan quoted I remember when I was at my worst. Elena didnt give up
on me. So we cant give up on her., this was when Elena was going through a really hard time
coping with her only brothers death and she decided to turn off her humanity and emotions (Cao
2015, p. 10). Elena started to act differently in a negative way; her friends were there for her
trying to get her back on track to be herself again. At times, her friends felt like giving up, but
Stefan enforced others not to give up on her no matter what because she never gave up on
anyone, even when it felt impossible. Stefan felt like it was his duty as a friend and boyfriend to
make sure she was well again and that was his motive to keep on going and being there for her at
all cost.
Also, her brother Jeremy played a big role in being her supporter since day one. Before
he died, he made sure to protect his only sister even though they were not siblings by blood. He
knew since he was her only family left he needed to be there for her and each other. They were
all they had after their parents death. When Elena went through dangerous situations in the show
causing her to almost die like being a human sacrifice or a walking blood bag for the vampires

Comment [12]: I like the structure of this


paragraph and the examples used but i think
you should include how Elena started acting
different. That way you know more specifically
what her friends are trying to resolve in her life.
Jeremy

before she transitioned into one, Jeremy was always the first to volunteer and help save her life.
Even after the traumatizing situations when she was safe and sound, he would make sure she was
mentally stable. He did not want his sister feeling unsafe and paranoid. He wanted to keep her
safe because Elena as the big sister would sacrifice herself for her brother to stay alive and well.

Comment [13]: I like that you give examples


of how all the characters have helped Elena.
These examples help in your argument about
the importance of support group. Whomever
reads this will be persuaded further in your
argument.
Ryann Tate

Likewise, everyone has reasons to why they want to be the support group for an
individual. The reasons keep them going and motivate them to help and without reason they
would not have the motive and energy to help. Having a support group is imperative, but how is
it worth having if they do not have reason to why they want to help. That is why the reasons
wanting to help is just as important as playing the role as a support system.
Conclusion
In conclusion, support groups are an important asset to everyones lifestyle to achieve a
healthy mental and physical state. People use support groups in their daily lives and routine to
get through tough situations as way to cope and seek help and they are very beneficial as well.
Most support groups consist of people who are close to the individual, but that may not always
be the case. There should a study done on if support groups made up of strangers can be just as
effective as a support group made of close friends and family. The groups of strangers can all

Comment [14]: You have brought a very


important point. Maybe you should delve into a
little more in your entering the conversation or
introduction.
Ryann
Comment [15]: This is a great conclusion to
your paper. I think it would add to it if you
included a reference back to the paper to
correlate with your conclusion. Maybe by adding
something like how Jeremy is always the first to
Volunteer in the sentence explaining how
people use support groups in their daily lives.
Jeremy
Comment [16]: I like how you are making
your assignment relevant to the real world due
to the fact it proves your work is valid. On the
other hand you have not actually given any
evidence to support what you have said.
Perhaps you could find an article about support
groups and then cite it here in order to provide
evidence and make your work even better. Luke
Langley

have same the common struggle as the individual to be able to understand and know what
methods works best for the person to cope better. This study could better enhance the importance
and how effective support groups are.

Comment [17]: Overall, you have written a


very informative paper. Be careful with your
sentences because at times they can get
confusing. This will help you get your point
across more affectively.
Ryann Tate
Comment [18]: In your conclusion you have
done a great job of summarising your paper in a
clear easy to understand manor. To make your
conclusion even better I would suggest
proposing questions for where further research
could be done into your field for example
proposing questions about further research into
support groups. It would be wise to do this is
Ashlyn recommended so in the example
document. Luke Langley

References
Cao, C, Personal Communication, September 17-22, 2015.
Carlson, D., & Perrewe, P. The Role of Social Support in the Stressor-Strain Relationship: An
Examination of Work-Family Conflict. Journal of Management, 25, 513-540.
Carter, M., McGee, R., Taylor, B., & Williams, S. (2005). Health outcomes in adolescence:
Associations with family, friends and school engagement. Journal of Adolescence, 51-62.
doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2005.04.002
Cobb, S. Social Support as a Moderator of Life Stress. 38(5), 300-314. Retrieved October 19,
2015, from Fsu.edu.
Hersey, J., Klibanoff, L., Lam, D., & Taylor, R. Promoting Social Support: The Impact of
Californias "Friends Can be Good Medicine" Campaign. 11, 293-311.
doi:10.1177/109019818401100306
Lyons, J., Perrotta, P., & Hancher-Kvam, S. Perceived Social Support From Family and Friends:
Measurement Across Disparate Samples. 52(1), 42-47. Retrieved October 18, 2015, from
Atkins Library.
Matt, G., & Dean, A. Social Support from Friends and Psychological Distress Among Elderly
Persons: Moderator Effects of Age. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 34(3), 187200. Retrieved October 18, 2015, from Atkins Library.
Walen, H., & Lachman, M. (2000). Social support and strain from partner, family, and friends:
Costs and benefits for men and woman in adulthood. 17, 5-30. Retrieved October 18,
2015, from Atkins Library.