Alcoholic jealousy: an old and current dilemma.
The relation between alcohol and jealousy is a deeply rooted belief within the general population as well as in the medical, and particularly psychiatric, environment.
Furthermore, in recent years there has been a growing interest on the forensic aspects of pathological jealousy, since they are a frequent cause of severe violence, homicide and suicide.
Some authors have described a high prevalence of pathological jealousy in alcoholic patients, even awarding it a specific value in alcoholism.
Nevertheless, recent studies do not completely support this relation, and draw attention to other factors.
Results from the various studies contain several definitions and classifications of pathological jealousy, and although most of them highlight the prevalence of jealousy in alcoholic patients, they question its specific quality.
Also, the presence of pathological jealousy in subjects with psychiatric disorders other than alcoholism is suggested, indicating the existence of predisposing and triggering factors which could explain the development of pathological jealousy.
Yet, the important methodological difficulties in the published articles and the shortage of studies do not allow the confirmation of the alcoholic etiology in pathological jealousy; this is the reason why considering alcoholic jealousy as a separate entity is debatable.
In this sense, the best diagnosis in these patients would be paranoid disorder combined with alcoholic dependence, hence, a dual diagnosis.
Research; JimÃ©nez-Arriero MA, HernÃ¡ndez B, Mearin Manrique I, RodrÃguez-JimÃ©nez R, JimÃ©nez GimÃ©nez M, Ponce Alfaro G. Alcoholic jealousy: an old and current dilemma. Adicciones 2007; 19(3): 267-72