ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Alcoholism And Psychosomatic Disorders: Psychiatric Significance, Etiology, Clinical Presentations And Treatment

Updated on February 21, 2014

Course Of Alcoholism



Alcoholism is the condition resulting from the intake of alcohol in quantities great enough to damage the physical health or the personal or social functioning of an individual or when it has become a pre-requisite for normal functioning. Alcoholism is regarded as a disease.

Etiology: Both psychological and environmental factors contribute to the development of alcoholism. Social and family maladjustment and a vulnerable personality predispose to the condition. Neurotics and depressives find solace in alcohol to get over their problems. Psychopathic personalities find pleasure in alcohol especially during period of crisis.

Clinical features:

Alcohol is a cerebral disinhibitant. Intoxication causes euphoria or elation, slurred speech, incoordination and gait disturbances. During periods of excitement, irrelevant talk, aggressive and violent activity, illusions and persecutory delusions may be seen.

In cases of chronic alcoholism, many other neuropsychiatric complications may be noted. Auditory hallucinations may be continuously felt (alcohol- hallucinosis). A delirious state with coarse tremors (delirium tremens) may be produced on withdrawal of alcohol. A paranoid state (alcoholic paranoia- jealous husband syndrome) may develop. A psychotic state with loss of recent memory (Korsakoff’s psychosis) may develop. In longstanding alcoholism, dementia (alcoholic dementia) may supervene. Suicidal tendencies may occur. Physical effects of alcohol lead to organ damage, resulting in cirrhosis of liver, chronic gastritis, myopathy, avitaminosis, cardiomyopathy and cerebellar and cerebral degeneration.

Course: Alcoholism runs steadily progressive downhill course. Death may result from physical complication or suicide. Personality deterioration is common.

Treatment: The treatment of alcoholism includes: the treatment of the dependence, the psychiatric complications, and the physical complications. Finally, psychotherapeutic measures are tried to improve the personality and environment. Aversion therapy is found to be useful in some cases.

Drug Therapy: Tetraethylthiuram (antabuse, disulfuram) is successfully used to treat the dependence. Initially, 0.5 to 1 g is given orally followed by a maintenance dose of 0.25 g daily for a long period. The neuropsychiatric complications can be well controlled with neuroleptic drugs such as phenothiazine derivatives or haloperidol in appropriate doses. The physical complications are managed medically.

Alcoholism is a social problem. The help of social organizations is important in the control of dependence. Alcoholics anonymous (AA) is a voluntary organization formed by alcoholics to help others recover from alcoholism.

Clinical Presentations Of Psychosomatic Disorders


Psychosomatic Disorders

These are a group of diseases which are either produced or aggravated by emotional stress. The stress produces anxiety which is manifested as physical responses. If the emotional stress continues for long periods, it leads to functional disturbances and ultimately structural damage. The well- recognized psychosomatic disorders may involve all organ systems in the body.

  1. Respiratory disorders: Bronchial asthma, hay fever, vasomotor rhinitis
  2. Gastrointestinal disorders: peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and anorexia nervosa
  3. Cardiovascular disorders: hypertension, paroxysmal tachycardia, coronary artery disease
  4. Nervous system: migraine
  5. Endocrine and metabolic disorders: hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, menstrual disturbances, obesity.
  6. Skin disorders: eczema, psoriasis, neurodermatitis
  7. Bones and joints: rheumatoid arthritis

The psychic and physical factors have to be given attention. In addition to the treatment of the physical disorder, the underlying psychic factor has to be identified and manage.

© 2014 Funom Theophilus Makama


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)