Pretty much a consensus. If one is looking at typology and how a mental disorder is defined and classified (DSM 5) then the answer to the question would be negative. One could make the case though, that the existence of a psychological “entity” should not be predicated solely on its inclusion in a book that changes considerable content and character roughly every decade. If a personality disorder falls in the woods and no one defines it, does it exist? Is alcoholism a disorder.
Jerome Levin in “Treatment of Alcoholism and Other Addictions: A Self-Psychology Approach” touches briefly on the characterological nature of late stage alcoholism and postulates that there is a case to be made that the personality structure one often sees in advanced alcoholics has the same characteristics found in Cluster B personality disorders.
For example personality disorders are characterized by their ego-syntonic mind set and self-concept system. If I feel psychic pain someone (other than myself) has caused it. A fairly common and entrenched belief system in alcoholics is that the reason they drink is due to external forces- people, places and things that make it necessary for them to use alcohol as a coping mechanism.
Likewise, the use of the most primitive defense mechanisms (thinking of minimization, denial and blame) seems to be the modus operandi in both alcoholism and personality disorders.
This isn’t arguing for the overly general and vacuous concept of “addictive personality”. Alcoholism and the addictions are complex, multi-faceted disorders that are not reducible to simple, one theory fits all explanations.
Is alcoholism a psychological disorder
I believe the point Levin is trying to make is that, while there may not exist an alcoholic personality disorder, there is a strong characterological element in alcoholism and the addictions. It might help in understanding the irrational intractability of an addiction and the difficulty in obtaining satisfactory treatment outcomes.
I am not the DSM first came out the manual was 130 pages long and listed 106 mental new edition of the bible of psychiatry has 947 pages.
see DSM-5 Finally Unveiled its a comprehensive document with the pluses and minuses of such a large number of disorders.
I believe that drinking is more environmental issue, if you would, a learned behavior.
Try and get a copy of this book Willoughby, Alan. The Alcohol Troubled Person: known and unknown / Alan Willoughby. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, c1979.
I worked with Al for 5 years. He looked at a stimulus response-reward psychological theorem. Example Stimulus[shy] Response[have a drink] the hyphen represents the bond and the reward is[increased ease socially] The more you use the response to mitigate the Stimulus the stronger the Reward is. Its like you put your hand on a hot stove[stimulus] you pull it back quickly[response]-active burning ceases, pain lessens.
Usually one learns not to do that again, the reward is painful, however when drinking alcohol is the response and the reward is good, the stronger the bond grows between the response and the reward. The hyphen gets bigger and as it grows, one might be on the path to severe and chronic trouble with alcohol or any other drug.
There might be a genetic link. It may be a learned behavior. All I know is, whatever it is, i had it.
Is alcoholism a metabolic disorder
Personality disorders are complicated. I am sure that if some one commits chronic acts of domestic violence on any level, the is probably a DSM 5 code/ codes for it. Personally, I just think you are an asshole if you do that.