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I don’t have a strong opinion on it. Though I never was teetotal, I was never part of a drink or binge culture even when I was at college in Ireland for 6 years.

Alcoholism is merely a symptom of deeper psychological problems.

Society prefers to comment on these surface effects rather than deeper psychological or relationship issues that are leading to maladaptive behaviours.

A while back, I read a book by Richard Jenson on the actor and Hollywood screen legend, John Wayne, published in 2012 called “When the Legend Became Fact — The True Life of John Wayne”. It was one of the first biographies of John Wayne that wasn’t a hagiography. That’s because would-be authors were afraid if they were critical they would face a lawsuit for defamation from his son, Michael Wayne, who controlled the John Wayne Foundation after John Wayne’s death in 1979. After Michael Wayne died in 2003, the way was clear for people to give a more realistic portrayal of the man.

It’s not pretty. Alcoholism was just one of his problems. He allegedly beat all 3 of his wives. He beat his children. His mother abused him as a kid. Like many actors, he reinvented himself as time went on. He was a pathological narcissist. He was unhappy all his life.

It has only been recently that discussion of these severe personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder, have entered the public discourse.

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