Jahlon Andrades and Vien Khong wrote this report from the point of view of a public health psychologist. You will find evidence from a variety of sources to assess the current health of the American Dream.  Imagine that the United States of America is a person. How healthy is this person, physically, mentally, and emotionally? 

Client Name: Mr. American Dream

Description of client: Mr. American Dream was born in America in 1931. He is now 85 years old but despite his age, he’s still able to dress fancily. No matter where he goes, he always has a tux with a fedora and dress shoes to match. Mr. American Dream also has a cocky and greedy disposition in which he blames every little thing he does wrong on someone he thinks would be inferior to him.

Presenting problem: My client has come to see me because he is feeling lonely and depressed due to drug use after his wife and 2 kids were killed in the 9/11 terrorist attack. He constantly blames his drug problem on his loved ones and they have become tired of his drama. Family and friends no longer want to be associated with him because of the unnecessary blame, saying they can’t help someone who can’t help himself. No longer having people to depend on, Mr. Dream has fallen into a deep depression. Constant sadness and loneliness are hard to overcome for him because he still tends to blame his drug problems on others instead of finding the problem within himself.It has been clear to me as his therapist that he has lost his immediate family in 9/11 event when Bush was elected president during the years of 2000-2008. When he lost his family he lost all of his happiness, because he worked hard to get where he was and it was all lost in one day. No longer having the white picket fence family like in the Trump campaign photo stressed him out and lead to his drug use and depression. He couldn’t stand falling short of the dream he was promised if he’d worked hard. Losing loved ones cannot only make someone depressed but it can also change their entire way of life. After the tragic event of 9/11, Mr. American Dream began using drugs to keep him from being depressed but on the contrary, it only made him more depressed as he drove away even more loved ones as he got further into a drug addiction.

History: In my client’s childhood, he grew up easefully. He was the oldest son of a doctor and a stay at home mom. At 5 years old he became a big brother to a baby boy. His dad took the family on many outings to parks and baseball games. His parents were happily married and they owned a house. In his teen years, he was star football player and the jock all the girls wanted. Going into his adult years he became the Ceo of a major sports company until this day. He met his wife Mary at work as she had become his new assistant and they had their first child together 3 years later,a girl named Autumn May.And a year later his son Michael after he  purchased his first mansion and Bentley. It wasn’t until 9/11 that his life was turned upside down due to terrorist attacks that killed his family. Even though he was rich no amount of money,or vacations could take him out of depression. His only escape was the crackling of a pipe.“There are many wealthy people who do not have a full-time job or may have unwarranted financial freedom or unlimited spending. For many, this can be a source of spontaneity, fun, and luxury, but for others, it can lead to a downward spiral with no financial limit…… With a lot of money, the drugs can become endless, while the true root of the problem remains unchanged” (“Drug addiction among the wealthy”).Here you can see that even though he was rich it couldn’t contribute to his happiness because he has always been rich there is nothing fun and new in it. Him being rich actually helped his drug addiction,it gave him endless amounts to deal with.

Personality features: Mr. American Dream has never been able to keep enough money in his pockets to do what he wants. When he just wants to lie in bed and do nothing for the day, his body acts on its own like he’s another person entirely. Going through relationships faster than the amount of money he earns has led him to a state of nothingness. There was a never point in his life he cried so much until now, Mr. American Dream hasn’t looked me in the eyes once when he walked in. Mr. American Dream has been antsy staring around the room avoiding my gaze entirely. “When morphine and heroin is more your budget/ I said I’d never use a needle, but sure, fuck it/ I’m caught up, I’m on one, I’m nauseous/ No options exhausted/This is not what I started/ Walkin’ carcass, I lost everything I wanted/

“My blinds were drawn, too gone to leave this apartment.”(Macklemore). Mr. American Dream doesn’t have enough money to support himself, therefore, he relies on drugs available to him to get him through his hardships. His antsiness comes from the addiction of drugs which he doesn’t have at the moment. His body can no longer handle it but he’s not in full control of himself at all.

Diagnosis: Mr. American Dream suffers from severe depression along with drug abuse.

Personal strengths: Although he is depressed he has the will to stop using drugs and overcome depression. He just needs help and an extra push. Also to find the problem within himself instead of dropping it on others. With that, he can become the man he once was, a powerful CEO with awesome leadership skills.For many people struggling with addiction, the toughest step toward recovery is the very first one: deciding to make a change. It’s normal to feel uncertain about whether you’re ready to make a change, or if you have what it takes to quit. It’s okay if you’re torn. Committing to sobriety involves changing many things, including:

  • the way you deal with stress
  • who you allow in your life
  • what you do in your free time
  • how you think about yourself

(“Overcoming drug addiction”)

Here you can see it will take time for him to recover but that is normal the first step is realizing you need to fix the problem.He has enough strength to do that

Treatment plan: I believe that my client shall retire his position at the sports company because he has reached that age. He should then enroll himself into a rehabilitation center to get off the drugs and deal with the depression. He needs to begin facing the truth and moving on with his grief from the death of his family. Mr. American Dream also has the option to go outside and exercise, or even go to the gym with a personal trainer or therapist. Exercising would be the best way to get his mind off the drugs that damaged his life.“Many recovery techniques work to restore the brain’s balance of “happiness-inducing” chemicals like dopamine — a balance that drug and alcohol abuse disrupts. Physical activity boosts the presence of these chemicals, too. Exercising douses the brain with dopamine, so we exercise more often to release more of it. Our fitness rises, and our mood rises, too. But in recovering addicts, there’s an added benefit.The act of practicing an exercise routine — and committing to completing some physical activity every week — also keeps the mind from using drugs. If you think these benefits sound similar to those of more traditional treatment methods, you aren’t the only one. Drug rehab centers across the country understand how physical exercise can help addicts recover. Many treatment programs include exercise in their recovery plans for this reason”Mr. American Dream is depressed and on substance abuse when the only thing he needs is to get it off his mind. Not only that therapists recommend exercising to patients and the chronically ill but exercising also releases dopamine into the brain which is also the same chemical released from drugs. Not only does Mr. American Dream keep his mind off drugs but he is happier from exercising.

Progress milestones: Through progress, my patient should begin to show happiness in his life. I should begin to see him being accepting to his addiction so that he can get over it. He will realize that ignoring the depression and addiction is doing him no justice. He will realize the addiction/depression so he can move forward in life. He will become more social inside his family and he will branch out into his retirement life.

Prognosis: A good therapist lets their patient know that a person who is unaware of a situation can never overcome it because they don’t know what situation is at hand. Mr. American Dream is in a crisis that he has to come to terms with. Though with the new knowledge of his situation he will begin to overcome his trials.

Respectfully, Jahlon Andrades and Vien Khong


Works Cited

@AddictionCentr. “Sweating It Out: Exercise and Addiction Recovery – Addiction Center.” Addiction Center. N.p., 24 July 2015. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.

“Drug Addiction Among The Wealthy” Rehab center Rankings 11-11


Macklemore. “Drug Dealer.” Genius. N.p., 11 Oct. 2016. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.

Melinda Smith, M.A., Rachael Blackwood, and Jeanne Sega: Overcoming Drug Addiction 11/16

CC BY-SA 4.0 Lonliness, Depression, Drug Abuse: Assessment Report On The American Dream by Vien is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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