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RUNNING HEAD: When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)
When a Man Loves a Woman (1994) 9
When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)
Alcoholism can easily affect individual’s and entire family’s happy moments. In most cases, alcoholic families and individual suffer from physical, psychological abandonment due to the challenges involved in dealing with addictive alcoholic behavior. A real time example of such family and individual is represented in the movie “When a Man Loves a Woman.” The movie revolves around two couples, Alice Green the primary alcoholic protagonist and her husband, Michael. Alice moves all the stages of alcoholism which includes the cause, the effects, actual recognition and finally rehabilitation. She effectively plays the role of a female alcoholic abuser throughout the movie (Garcia, Ryan & Tom, 1994). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V) classifies individual suffering from alcoholic dependence disorder and alcoholic disorder to be suffering from one single disorder referred to as the Alcohol Use Disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Therefore, this paper will diagnose and treat Alice Green with Alcohol Use Disorder based on her signs and symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms
The “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” 5th Edition DSM-5 states that any individual who takes alcohol more often in large amounts and over a longer period of time is more likely to be suffering from Alcohol use disorder. In our case, Alice has been drinking ever since her teenage years while in her father’s house. Secondly, her day to day job in raising the family Note: her husband is mostly on business trips and her career as a counselor is too stressing. This makes her depend on alcohol on most times (Garcia, Ryan & Tom, 1994). Therefore, by just depending on alcohol on a daily basis, Alice Green qualifies to be suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder AUD.
Reduced occupational, recreational and social activities are another major symptom of alcohol use disorder. Alice Green’s intoxication exhibit the above symptom. A good example is when Alice arrives home one afternoon. She finds her daughter Jess in their living room. She harshly commands her to finish up her homework declining and to ignore her request to see a photo she had drawn on her computer. She immediately moves upstairs and picks a bottle of liquor ready to quench her thirst (Garcia, Ryan & Tom, 1994). Additionally, we have a scene where Alice slaps her daughter on the face. Basically, the intoxication of alcohol segregates Alice from the expected nurturing and caring parent to an abusive and careless mother. For example, there is a scene where she attempts to take a shower, but the level of alcohol in her body cannot stand that, she falls down and faints. Following these characteristics and symptoms, it is certainly clear that Alice Green is suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder.
Finally, individuals suffering from Alcohol use disorder tend to live in a life full of denial. They deny the fact that alcohol is ruining their life and happiness of their loved one. In our movie, Alice Green completely denies that her alcoholism is affecting her professional career as well as a life of the family members. Her denial is well evident after she agrees to seek professional assistant rehabilitation (Garcia, Ryan & Tom, 1994). After entering the rehabilitation center, she also experiences significant withdrawal symptoms that are related to alcohol use disorder. These withdrawal symptoms include shaking, irritability, sweating, and uncontrollable crying. Following these characteristics showcased by Alice Green, Alcohol Use Disorder is the primary disorder which she is suffering from based on the guidelines given by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
Etiology/Origin of the Disorder
In reference to the case at hand, Alice Green’s alcohol use disorder may have originated from individual Psychological and environmental influences. Alice’s dependency on alcohol developed due to the changes that occurred in her brain following her prolonged use of liquor (Dawson, Pulay & Grant, 2010). There are higher chances that Alice was experiencing a change in her chemical makeup of the brain which means that she felt a pleasurable feeling anytime she took alcohol. Following this, she found herself taking more and more alcohol regardless of the harmful and adverse effects it hard to her as a person and to the family. Initially, the signs and symptoms had indicated that Alice Green was suffering from denial symptoms. An individual experiencing denial also suffers from increased consumption of alcohol as a way of fighting withdrawal symptoms (Tarter, Kirisci & Mezzich, 1997).
From a social and psychologically perceptive, alcohol use disorder in Alice’s life may be originating from her work environment as well as her family. Alice Green works as a high school counselor in a junior school in San Francisco. Her career involves interacting with an individual suffering from different mental and psychological disorders which may also stress her as a person. Furthermore, Michael is a pilot who has less or no time for family matters (Garcia, Ryan & Tom, 1994). Raising family alone may be stressful for Alice and eventually result to her intoxicating herself with alcohol.
A habit is a disease; there are high chances that Alice learned her drinking behavior from her parents. From her drinking spree, it is seen as if she was socialized by someone or her peers either in college or at their neighborhood before she got married to Michael. To conclude, Alice may be suffering from depression within her personal life which may be acting as a trigger to her drinking habits. In this case, her depression is not associated with her marriage because we have not experienced any disagreement or fight with her husband. Therefore, she may be suffering from an internal pressure that is pushing her to engage in alcoholism.
Effects of Alcohol Use Disorder
There are numerous effects associated with Alcohol Use Disorder and which are well evident in our protagonist Alice. One effect on Alcohol Use Disorder in Alice’s life is emotional changes. Alice is no longer connected to his family and Children. She does not have the emotional support that mothers should have on their kids. For example, there is a scene where Alice slaps her elder daughter Jess for inquiring about her health.
Also, individuals suffering from this disorder may experience memory lapses. For instance, there is a day when Alice goes out to drink with a close friend but forgets to go back home until midnight. These are accompanied by problems relating with other people in a natural and human way. Job performance both at home and at workplace lowers due to drowsiness and drunkenness (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
From a public health point of view, alcohol use disorder may eventually result in high blood pressure as a result of high consumption of alcohol. Additionally, over-dependence on alcohol may raise the risk liver damage, cancer Oral, Throat, and Stomach Cancer, reduced reproductive functions and depressed immune system resulting in attacking by numerous diseases (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
On the long term, over-consumption or over-dependence of alcohol can cause a death of human brain cells which can result in brains disorders Reduced mental and physical ability. (Dawson, Pulay & Grant, 2010). Moreover, Alice has a higher chance of acquiring liver cirrhosis a severe condition that may be costly to treat and maintain to the family. Another complication that may originate as a result of alcohol use disorder is pancreatitis, a fatal inflammation that affects the pancreas. If left unattended to, the disease may lead to nerve damage or even death.
Finally, people suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder experience lowered performance in their personal and occupational matters. For example, there is a time Alice tried to take a shower but ended up clashing in the bathroom. Lowered performance is also expected as a result of alcohol use disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). For Alice, she spends 70% of her time thinking about her next sip of liquor rather than developmental matters.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse with support from National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are two empirically validated treatments for Alcohol use disorder Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol dependence. These two treatments include; behavioral treatments Supportive-expressive psychotherapy, Contingency Management, and Motivational Enhancement and Pharmacological treatments Use of medication such as naltrexone and methadone to fight alcohol addiction.
In our case, Alice should be subjected to pharmacological and behavioral treatments to help remove the alcohol addiction and dependence as well as work on her social relation and integration. Therefore, Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram are the three medications that Alice should be given. Disulfiram is a very important drug in fighting alcohol use disorder because it causes both physical and emotional distress headaches, Nausea, and Vomiting any time the patient drinks alcohol (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). On the other hand, Naltrexone would work best in detoxifying Alice from the alcohol she has been drinking over time. It works by blocking all brain receptors that are linked to alcohol “high.” Psychotherapists in her rehabilitation center would have combined this medication and the counseling therapy in order to successful reduces the craving Alice has for alcohol. In the signs and symptoms, we highlighted that Alice is faced with memory lapse as a result of alcohol overdependence. Therefore, doctors in the rehabilitation center would combine the oral therapy with Acamprosate a drug that helps in re-establishing the normal brain chemical state before alcohol use and abuse. Medication may be supplemented by behavioral therapies to help the affected individual and their families discuss their personal experiences (Dawson, Pulay & Grant, 2010). In our case, Supportive-expressive psychotherapy would work best in re-establishing the original state of interpersonal relationship that Alice had with family and workmates before she indulged into alcoholism.
From the exploration, “When a Man Loves a Woman” movie understands that alcohol use disorder is a disease that revolves around denial. It follows a simple step by step format of the cause, effect, and treatment of the disease in order to return Alice’s life back to normal. It is also crucial noting that Alcohol Use Disorder is made up of two disorders which include Alcohol Abuse Disorder and Alcohol Dependence disorder which are affecting our Protagonist (Garcia, Ryan & Tom, 1994). Having understood the primary problem Alcohol use Disorder affecting our character, it is important following empirically validated techniques to treat the disorder. Behavioral therapy and medication are two core treatment approaches approved by National Institute of Drug Abuse and suggested by Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-V) (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Therefore, proper implementation of these recommended treatments would help Alice recover from the disease.
Dawson, D. A., Pulay, A. J., & Grant, B. F. (January 01, 2010). A comparison of two single-item screeners for hazardous drinking and alcohol use disorder. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 34, 2, 364-74
Tarter, R. E., Kirisci, L., & Mezzich, A. (January 01, 1997). Multivariate typology of adolescents with alcohol use disorder. The American Journal on Addictions / American Academy of Psychiatrists in Alcoholism and Addictions, 6, 2, 150-8
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.
Garcia, A., Ryan, M., & Tom, L. (1994). When a man loves a woman. Burbank, CA: Touchstone Home Video.
“When a Man Loves a Woman” Is a Drama Directed by Luis Mandoki. (2022, Feb 26). Retrieved from https://essaylab.com/essays/when-a-man-loves-a-woman-is-a-drama-directed-by-luis-mandoki
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