Maladaptive Schemas in Alcohol Dependent Patients
N. Pfaffenberger1, A. Kaufmann1, C. Hörtnagl1, F. Biedermann1, G. Kemmler1, A. Hofer1, V.Günther1
1Medical University Innsbruck, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Innsbruck, Austria
Background: Personality disorders (PD’s) have been suggested to contribute to pathogenesis of alcohol dependence. The aim of the study was the investigation of maladaptive schemas assuming them to be of more relevance in addiction than axis II diagnosis. Methods: Clinical interviews (SCID I and II) were carried out to assess any psychiatric disorder that is prevalent in 60 patients. In 60 controls, Brief Symptom Inventory and SCID II were used. Maladaptive schemas were evaluated by Young Schema Questionnaire. Results: Schema analyses yielded significant higher scores in patients than in controls indicating that addicted persons are much more driven by dysfunctional core beliefs. Differences were less marked, however, when comparing patients with and without PD’s. In the whole patient group four schemas predominated: self sacrifice, insufficient self control, approval seeking, and unrelenting standards. Conclusions: Our findings point to the significance of maladaptive schemas as vulnerability markers for alcohol dependence whereas comorbid PD’s appeared to be of minor relevance. Thus, in the treatment of alcohol dependence early maladaptive schemas should be especially addressed.