In writing a post about Ms. Lohan's recent drug relapse, I reviewed the literature on the classic maladaptive behaviors of the alcoholic and drug addict.
Profound narcissism. They are self-centered and selfish.
Extreme grandiosity. Addicts "front" strength but are actually weak.
Manipulation and lying. Con games, stealing, cheating -- the whole gamut.
Impulsiveness. Like lighting they move from impulse to action, bypassing the weighing of possible consequences to self or others.
Extreme risk taking. Crime, overdose, HIV infection, etc.
Externalizing of blame. It's always someone else's fault, never theirs.
Isolation. They retreat into a secretive world filled with secrets, shame and guilt.
Passivity. At times, they collapse into inaction, awaiting rescue by others.
Black and White Thinking. There is no room for nuances. It's all or nothing.
Then one of my commentors, AsaNisMasa, noted that many of the above behaviors related to George Bush. He's absolutely right!
We have been paying way too much attention to Lindsay, Paris and Britney. Dubya is the one we need to get into long term rehab.
Bush, as we all remember, was a classic alcoholic for over 22 years until the age of 40 when, after a binge, he had an epiphany and gave up drinking cold. Anyone who can give up drinking, by himself, after such a long history, is to be applauded.
Most treatment specialists see alcoholism as a symptom of larger problems and drinking as a form of self-medication. It is naïve to think that merely stopping drinking will solve the underlying problems.
In AA treatment circles, such a person is known as a "dry drunk" -- simply put, someone who is sober, but has all the characteristics and thoughts of a drinking alcoholic. Stinkin thinking is what recovering alcoholics call such thoughts.
These thoughts include megalomania, polarized thinking, a rigid judgmental outlook, irrational behavior, irresponsible behavior, and irrational rationalization. When confronted or overwhelmed by the consequences of their actions, they resort to blame, rage and impulsive, sometimes destructive actions.
The parallels are uncanny.
George Bush has all of these characteristics, as well as a number of serious, but potentially treatable psychological disorders, among them: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), an omnipotence complex, paranoia, an unresolved Oedipal Complex, sadism, and a mild form of Tourettes Syndrome.
Recent scientific discoveries have documented the significant changes that occur in the brain as a result of long term heavy alcohol and drug use. Some of these brain changes can be permanent and may be the cause of Bush's psychological impairments. If Bush gets worse, it might then be reasonable to invoke the 25th amendment, which allows the Cabinet to remove the President in the case of physical or mental disability.
With all the stress he is under from the public, the Senate, the House, and members of his own party turning against him, things are getting particularly dicey for George Bush, which leads to greater and greater rigidity and "black and white" thinking on his part.
Since he stopped drinking, Bush manages his anxiety by maintaining a strong connection to God and an inflexible lifestyle and policies. Bush divides the world into good and evil. He uses terms such as "infinite justice," "crusade," "evil doers," and "axis of evil." Another classic way Bush handles stress is to be cruel to others, often by making them anxious. In prep school style, he uses taunting nicknames.
Ultimately "white knuckle" alcoholics respond to overwhelming anxiety with denial. They become detached, refuse to take responsibility for their actions, and blame others.
Bush lives in a cocoon, afraid of confrontations or even talking to anyone who might disagree with him. Bush is frightened of being humiliated and being compared to his father. When he holds Town Meetings, he has the audience screened and purged of anyone who may disagree with him. He doesn't talk to people who might disagree with or confront him, as shown by his blow up with Senator Jim Webb. See: Bush's Diminishing Ability to Manage Anxiety: A Danger to Us All.
With this fragile psychological background and his world falling apart around him, Bush is likely to suffer a severe and accelerating deterioration when his grandiose plans to solve the problems of the Middle East come crushingly, and humiliatingly, apart.
Bullies are basically frightened people; the more frightened they become the more they need to reassert their power. The danger is that Bush becomes ever more megalomaniacal, grandiose and desperate with his sinking poll numbers.
Of course, the destruction that this sick man has already done is enormous: the death of 600,000 people from a war that didn't have to be fought, the collapse of the American economy, and the squandering of America's reputation as "the last, best hope of earth" (Lincoln).
Most alcoholics need enablers and Congress has been doing a splendid job by giving him monies to fund his grandiose fantasies. It is time that the Democrats, Republicans, the media and the public stop enabling the president's "stinkin thinking" that is tearing apart the American dream.
Republics and Democrats and the American people must join together in a therapeutic intervention so that Bush can get the long term treatment that he so clearly needs and did not get when this "dry drunk" gave up alcohol 21 years ago - but kept going with his "stinkin' thinking."
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