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May 1938

Alcohol—One Man's Meat.

Arch NeurPsych. 1938;39(5):1125. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1938.02270050251021

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This book presents a splendid discussion of the alcoholic neurosis from the standpoint both of its psychologic background and of its rational treatment. It emphasizes a fact which needs constant reiteration if the alcohol addict is to be given the same chance for treatment as other neurotic persons, namely, that the fundamental neurosis is a desire to escape from reality and its consequences. While this appears to be obvious, it is too frequently lost sight of, with the result that the alcohol addict is regarded as hopelessly beyond any but custodial treatment. The authors point out that 90 per cent of alcoholic persons are introverts who drink to become more socialized and, hence, more extroverted. Often the reason for drinking lies in a profound sense of inferiority, which can be overcome only by recourse to alcohol, an act which is the beginning of a vicious cycle: drinking to escape and

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