Betty Ford Case Study

1389 words - 6 pages

There are several reasons why and what substances like alcohol is used for. Some use it to commemorate a special occasion or a special moment. Some individuals may use it to relieve themselves when they are feeling weighed down. Individuals tend to use alcohol in different situations. They could drink while alone, around others, or in a social environment. When an individual faces everyday challenges in their daily life it could cause alcohol use to become a problem. A person will tend to become dependent on alcohol when having increasing issues with their emotional and physical health. Betty Ford is a case of substance abuse and alcoholism that became a famous case. Throughout this ...view middle of the document...

Her experiences at the night clubs made her realize how much she loved to dance and it lead her to pursue her ultimate dream of dancing. She followed her dream to study dance to a school in New York, however she did not have the success that she was hoping to find. The feeling of disappointment and failure led Betty to increase the amount of alcohol that she was consuming, and eventually led her to go back home to her family in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Betty married twice in her lifetime. Her first marriage ended after five years when it was discovered that socializing at night clubs was destroying their marriage. After her first divorce, she met and married Gerald (Jerry) Ford, who was an active, powerful, and dominating force in the political arena. During their marriage, Betty and Jerry also raised four children with whom the couple had a very loving relationship with. Although the marriage between the two was also strong and loving, Jerry continued to put his political career ahead of everything, including his own family, which often made Betty feel lonely and isolated. After Jerry was elected as President, Betty began to feel a sense of renewed hope. She had the ability to become involved in several different causes which made her feel happy and important. Although she enjoyed playing an active role at the White House, she also felt extremely pressured. She began experiencing a variety of physical and psychological health problems which also affected how she felt. Some of these health problems included reoccurring pain in her neck from a previously pinched nerve, emotional fatigue, and the diagnoses of breast cancer (of which she became a strong advocate). To ease the pain she was feeling, Betty would be prescribed a variety of medications of which she eventually grew a tolerance to. In addition to the medications, Betty would increase the amount of alcohol she was drinking in an attempt to comfort her pain. After their departure from the White House, Betty and Jerry moved to California where Betty began to feel more and more isolated and alone. At this point, Betty’s children were all grown up and living on their own and Jerry kept himself busy by continuing his engagements in political activities. Betty became more dependent on prescription medications and alcohol to relieve her pain and depression and also less involved in the social arena. After realizing the full extent of her illness and addictions, her family intervened, and eventually they were able to convince Betty to seek treatment.
Components of the Disorder
Betty Ford’s case is full of biological, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components that link her experiences to alcoholism. According to Nevid, Rathus, and Greene (2006), “alcoholism tends to run in families. The closer the genetic relationship, the greater the risk” (p. 310). Members in Betty’s immediate family which included her father and her brother were both alcoholics. Additionally, Betty used alcohol and...

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