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Traumatic neurosis in the etiology of alcoholism: Viet Nam combat and other trauma
Am J Psychiatry 1980;137:966-968.
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Abstract

Traumatic neurosis from Viet Nam combat or other sources includes many symptoms that can be effectively self-medicated with alcohol, at least initially. These symptoms include chronic anxiety and restlessness, insomnia, and recurrent frightening dreams. Repeated self-medication with alcohol results in tolerance and a need to increase the amount consumed. Attempts to decrease consumption or to abstain can lead to alcohol withdrawal symptoms similar to and exacerbating the initial symptoms of traumatic neurosis. Continuing alcohol use, with the establishment of a vicious circle, can follow. The authors present three case examples. They note that treatment of alcoholism under the conditions described requires specific attention to the underlying traumatic neurosis.

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