Objective: Data from epidemiological research reveal that most alcohol dependent individuals recover without professional treatment. Little is known, however, about individuals remitting from alcohol dependence without formal help, and almost no data are available with respect to gender differences in natural recovery. Method: Women (n = 38) and men (n = 106) who remitted from alcohol dependence according to DSM-IV without utilization of formal help (treatment or self-help groups) are compared. A standardized interview assessed reasons for not seeking help, and triggering mechanisms and maintenance factors of remission. Results: Compared with male subjects, female subjects, prior to remission, experienced lower extents of social pressure to change drinking behavior, drove less often under the influence of alcohol, revealed less satisfaction with different life domains and reported a higher impact of health problems on the remission process. Female subjects also informed fewer individuals about their former drinking problems. Conclusions: Female and male natural remitters differ in factors that trigger the process as well as the maintenance of natural remission.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)