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Psychological assessment of alcoholism in males

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Author(s): Chaudhury Suprakash | Das S | Ukil B

Journal: Indian Journal of Psychiatry
ISSN 0019-5545

Volume: 48;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 114;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Alcohol dependence | alexithymia | self-esteem | anxiety | depression | life events

ABSTRACT
Background: Little work has been done in India on the personality factors of alcoholics. These personality factors have a significant effect on treatment outcome. Aim: To study the personality characteristics, stressful life events and diagnostic utility of the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST) and CAGE (Cutting down, Annoyance by criticism, Guilty feeling, and Eye-opener) Questionnaire in service personnel with alcohol dependence. Methods : Psychological assessment of 100 consecutive male inpatients meeting the DSM-IV criteria for alcohol dependence, and an equal number of controls matched for age, sex, occupation and regional background was carried out utilizing the MAST, CAGE Questionnaire, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, Multiphasic Personality Questionnaire, Maudsley Personality Inventory, Toronto Alexithymia Scale, Self-esteem Inventory and Presumptive Stressful Life Events scale. Results: The MAST and CAGE were of limited value in the diagnosis of alcohol dependence. Alcoholics obtained significantly higher scores on state and trait anxiety, depression, mania scale, paranoia scale, schizophrenia scale, psychopathic deviance, neuroticism, extroversion, and the Presumptive Stressful Life Events scale. Alcohol-dependent individuals had significantly lower self-esteem compared with control subjects, and significantly more alcoholics were identified as alexithymic. Conclusion: Alcohol-dependent individuals show significantly high neuroticism, extroversion, anxiety, depression, psychopathic deviation, stressful life events and significantly low self-esteem as compared with normal control subjects. Significantly more alcoholics were found to be alexithymic compared with normal controls.
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