Alcoholism Is a Chronic and Progressive Disorder Essay

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Alcoholism is a disease that not only affects the user’s behavior, but strains financial standing and social interaction (“Alcohol Problems vs. Alcohol Dependency”). Jeanette’s father in The Glass Castle, an undiagnosed alcoholic, would be the poster child for alcoholism in America with his many blatantly obvious symptoms. His relationships with the people around him, his finances, and his control over his actions and emotions deteriorate as the memoir develops. With this, Walls paints a very accurate account of alcoholism and its effect in America. Alcoholism is a chronic and progressive disorder (“Alcoholism”) affecting more than twenty-two million Americans in the United States today (Wholey 18). Alcoholics are prone to dramatic and…show more content…
Alcoholism, while possibly set off by mental illness, as aforementioned, may also be initially set off by a traumatic experience (or a mental debility resulting from one). A fine example of such is when Jeannette’s mother describes the sudden and devastating crib death of her would-be second child, Mary Charlene and how, “[Rex] was never the same after Mary Charlene died. He started having dark moods, staying out late and coming home drunk…” (Walls 28). The unexpected and shocking passing of the daughter with his image, black hair and brown eyes, as well as the fact that he is the one to discover the body is likely the root of Rex’s alcoholism, as this is the oldest example of any incident that would lead to his heavy drinking described in the book. From the initial coming home drunk, other limits and problems attached to alcoholism most likely appeared soon after and progressed to the extremes seen toward Rex’s demise. Of the many complications that are associated with alcoholism, one of the most clear-cut and easily-trackable issues is how heavy drinking affects finances. Economic consequences of heavy drinking can snowball fast and become extreme, particularly for families and individuals below the poverty line, where consumption of alcohol irresponsibly is quite common (“Alcohol” What Social
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