Friday, August 26, 2005

The untreated alcoholic

Here is a brief article by Justin Frank entitled, "Pedaling as fast as he can: George W. Bush's tenuous grasp of reality". If I'm not mistaken, Justin Frank is the psychiatrist who wrote Bush on the Couch. Here is an excerpt from the article:

George W. Bush remains an untreated alcoholic. The untreated alcoholic who has simply stopped drinking treats anxiety as an enemy. Bush's current enemy, the primary cause of his anxiety, is Cindy Sheehan.

Nobody talks about it - the press is afraid of it -- but we are all enabling a man whose grasp of reality is tenuous at best.Anxiety is always challenging; but when an untreated alcoholic's behavior is challenged, his anxiety increases dramatically - and with it, the need to numb its sting.

Anxiety is then a threat to his abstinence. Instead of learning new means to manage feelings, he has to spend energy fighting his fears. In Bush's case, he fiercely rides his mountain bike.

Managing his anxiety is one reason presidential briefings have been so simple. USA Today reports on August 25 that Bush's foreign policy briefings were, until very recently, presented to him with "snappy headlines" and simplistic perspectives leaving "little room for doubt or nuance." No wonder it was so simple to invade Iraq.

I recommend reading the rest of the article. It will only take a minute. Addiction treatment is, indeed, about learning how to manage one's feelings and how to accept "life on life's terms". Both alien concept to our president.

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