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Do People with an Alcohol Problem often have Psychological/Psychiatric Problems?

Written by: Wendy Moelker, Psychologist in charge, tutor, Emergis center for mental health care, Goes, the Netherlands.

First version: 22 Jul 2008. Latest revision: 11 Mar 2010.

Question:

 Do people with an alcohol problem often have psychological/psychiatric problems?

Answer:

A large-scale American and Dutch investigation (sources) shows that people with alcohol problems have psychiatric disorders almost twice as much as people without alcohol problems. People with an alcohol problem clearly turn out to have a so-called schizophrenic, affective or anxiety disorder. More than 40% of investigated alcoholics turned out to have one or more personality disorders (04-03-19 17.43 physical sources). The other way around, it turns out that of the group of people with a psychiatric disorder, 28% suffer from alcohol dependence. So the question often asked is what came first, the psychological problem or the alcohol problem. There are different opinions and explanations for this.

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