Monday, 3 November 2008
Photo by HJRook
More alcoholism chat - Alcoholics lack self self discipline and self esteem. They also lack rational and logical thought sometimes. Sounds harsh. It is harsh but I think it is true. And the marshmallow test supports this.
Some time ago a scientist/psychologist devised a test in which he placed a marshmallow in front of a child and said that if he/she didn't eat it while he was out of the room for a while he would let the child have a second one. He left the room.
A percentage ate it immediately. A percentage waited and ate it before he came back. Some left it and got a second one. When they grew up who do you think had a higher likelihood of becoming alcoholic? Yes the first group. The third group, the ones who abstained are the people more likely to succeed in our society. They are more rational and think long term and about the consequences of their actions. They are less impulsive. Impulsive behavior leads to problems in this world although it can help in creativity I believe.
For example if an alcoholic to be (i.e. on the road to "crossing the wire" and becoming addicted) could think through the consequences more rationally even on a simplistic level such as this is going to cause a hangover which means pain. I don't want that so I'll stop. It would put the brakes on. It takes a long time to learn to be alcoholic. There is plenty of time for rational thought and adjustment if you are the type in the first group.
We know that are characters are formed through genetic inheritance and nurture (how we are brought up). And I am convinced that the very early years of development plus genetic predispositions followed up by circumstance are the factors in making a person alcoholic. Nothing new in that though.
Bearing in mind the marshmallow test perhaps it might be possible in the future to isolate those people who are at risk of drifting into alcoholism and take proactive steps to prevent it. Alcoholism seems to gradually get into your bones so there is time to prevent it, to arrest the slide to addiction. Why aren't we using that time frame to put the brakes on?
Jane is working OK. She is staying sober at the moment. She has the occasional little drink I think (but am I paranoiac - she never ever drinks in front of me so I have to guess). She is working OK and all is stable on that front. Only it won't last. Experience not pessimism tells me that.
Photo: published under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs creative commons License