Understanding Anthony's Anxiety


Understanding Anthony's Anxiety

It is commonly understood in the world of substance abuse treatment that one of the ways to determine whether someone is dependent upon alcohol is to take it away.  It is also commonly understood that struggles with alcohol tend to run in the family.  Furthermore, it is commonly understood that, for most, the first year of sobriety is fraught with incredible anxiety, impulsiveness and high drama.  Another common understanding in the field of psychology is that one way of understanding substance abuse is that it is an attempt to self-medicate and numb depression, pain and/or anxiety. 

Considering the congressman's brutal honesty and Abedin's willingness to be equally open and forthcoming, it is worth considering that by eliminating alcohol, Anthony Weiner may have lost his long-standing coping mechanism for alleviating his anxious urges for approval and affection.  His confessions about his past offer insightful explanations for why he may have sought approval both through politics and through such inappropriate places as cyberspace, but they do not fully explain the dramatic, impulsive and reckless nature of his pursuits.


It is quite possible that Weiner, in fact, did not stop drinking; it is equally possible that he did, and that the cessation of alcohol use was not a relevant factor in his twitter implosion.  However, if he struggled with any of this brother's tendencies, and he did, indeed, stop drinking altogether as a part of his commitment to Abedin, alcohol dependency could be a relevant factor worth taking into account.

This couple obviously has great charisma, intelligence, a lot to say and potentially a lot to give.  I hope that their son Jordan will someday learn of a meaningful legacy beyond Weinergate.

Elisabeth J. LaMotte is founder of the DC Counseling and Psychotherapy Center and author of Overcoming Your Parents' Divorce.


This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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Elisabeth LaMotte


Social worker, psychotherapist, blogger and author of "Overcoming Your Parents' Divorce"

Location: Washington, DC
Credentials: LICSW, MFT, MSW
Specialties: Communication Problems, Dating/Being Single Support, Divorce/Divorce Prevention
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