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May 13, 1950


Author Affiliations


Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Buffalo School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1950;143(2):165-169. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02910370015005

ALCOHOLISM AS A DISEASE  A lawyer and his wife were watching the sun set across the Gulf of Mexico. He had had a busy practice that had gradually declined as his alcoholism had become more severe. During this interlude when he was abstaining from alcohol, his wife was feeling a sense of relief. As she watched the rich warm colors of the sunset, she said, "Doesn't it give you peaceful thoughts?" Almost angrily he turned on her: "I haven't had a peaceful thought in years!"Those who enjoy good health often admire the patience with which chronic invalids bear, day in and day out, handicaps and suffering which well persons have been spared. It is difficult to imagine what life must be like to them, and often this leads to a superficiality in dealing with invalids which embitters them more than their direct distress. It is significant with respect to

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