LeRoy Karas seemed to be a young man who had a future in sports stemming from his athletic abilities and physical build which lead to a scholarship in football. His outgoing personality and good looks made him popular with the ladies and on the party scene. He was also favored by his parents over his year younger brother Elroy. After entering college on a scholarship, LeRoy spent more time parting than studying and he became more dependent on alcohol and lost his scholarship. Soon after he dropped out of college he met his first wife, she became pregnant, they married and after 2 more children they divorced after 7 years of a bad abusive marriage due to LeRoys drinking. His self destructive behavior lead to another illegitimate child and another broken marriage after 6 years which yielded 2 more children.
LeRoy’s alcohol dependency lead to low paying, blue collar positions of which at first he found camaraderie amongst his fellow workers. His increased alcohol consumption lead to weight gain and the beginning of health issues which caused him to loose a job in the construction field. Legal issues ensued about the same time with regards to child support, and he sn was resolved to drinking alone for even his drinking buddies were tired of his behavior. At age 61 it was discovered that LeRoy had cirrhosis of the liver and a form of emphysema, yet he continued to drink and smoke. His drinking eventually lead to a fall at age 64 which caused a skull fracture resulting in a 3 1/2 month hospital stay where he berated the staff, fell into a depression and had suicidal idealizations.
Based on my Ecomap of LeRoy’s life the strongest influences on him were alcohol which short circuited his positive energy flow from athletics. Although early on his sports and social life were driving influences in his life, his drive to drink superseded any and all aspects of him. He lacked social and personal responsibilities which were a direct reflection of his alcoholism and his strongest influences for the unexceptionable behavior driven by his disease outweighed the the positive influences.
LeRoy is now at 64 is in middle adulthood but is transitioning into his late adulthood where his biological capabilities would have been reduced on their own but now exacerbated by his chronic alcoholism. At this age his social responsibilities would be increasing yet his social skills and circles of friends and families are non existent. According to Levinson’s life structure, LeRoy will be forced in this transition period of his life to face review of the relationships and structures that have been built or destroyed and will face the need to explore his options or either to move forward and try to repair the damage he has caused or find an escape route through suicide. According to Eric Erikson’s theory of psychological development LeRoy suffered from identity confusion in adolescence expressing itself in continued adolescent behavior, poorly thought out actions in his lifestyle with child like behaviors that lead him to evade acting as a responsible adult. According to Erickson LeRoy in entering into stage 8 which is integrity versus despair, where he will be reflecting on his life and accepting the choices he has made. LeRoy is currently lacking generativity and has become self-absorbed in himself and his needs with disregard for others. He has no drive is not a productive member of society.
If I would be working with LeRoy I would have the prejudice of the alcoholism that he suffers from for I to am an alcoholic. I have been in recovery for three years, but I would be able to relate to some of the pain and anguish he might be feeling. I am biased toward sports as well for I was indeed athletic and a professional at such, although my alcoholism did not effect that part of my life. I would tell him from my own experiences that it is never too late to change, but to accept the things you cannot, and that it takes much courage to try to change the things that you are able to. I would encourage him to try the path of recovery, spiritually now and with support groups, since the physical addiction has wavered for the fact that he had been in the hospital and without alcohol presumably for 3 1/2 months. I would also encourage a reconnection with his brother who has a stable life and still keeps in contact with if only through birthday cards, but that’s a start.
In terms of my own behavior I would learn that having a great support system surrounding me was the key to my sobriety. Without support from friends, family, medical and social organizations such as A.A. And rehabilitation systems a person cannot fight an addiction alone. I would need to review the ethics developed by the NOHS fr the personal indications with sharing the same addiction, would although offer incite to the issues with the client, I would need to be careful about crossing the line and sharing too much personal information as it applies. A third person dialect would need to be established, taking out the me and I, and phrasing my assistance on what can help him from what I have learned. I am naturally intrinsically motivated so I feel extremely grateful when I am able to offer assistance to anyone, especially with a life and death situation. I have learned a lot from other people in personal experiences that I have assisted from various things, and I have learned that I am not the only one with issues and problems, and allowing other to help when they can should be welcomed and not viewed as a form of charity or a burden.
National Organization for Human Service, retrieved from:
Zastrow, Charles H. and Kirst-Ashman, Karen K. (2010). Understanding human behavior and the social environment, 8th edition, (pp. 584-587). Cengage Learning.