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The plot of the movie Final Analysis revolves around a murder committed by a person diagnosed with Pathological Intoxication.

The following study confirms the:

probable existence of a discrete syndrome of pathological reaction to alcohol without reference to the amount of alcohol consumed.

The Diagnosis of Pathological Intoxication
Barry M. Maletzky
Volume 37, 1976 > Issue 09: September 1976
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

However there are doubts as raised by the following article.

The existence of pathological intoxication as an entity must remain in doubt unless the disorder can be reproduced under controlled conditions.

Pathological intoxication--is there such an entity?
Hollender MH.
J Clin Psychiatry. 1979 Oct;40(10):424-6.

I can see other conflicting articles; What is the latest position on Pathological Intoxication?

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1 Answer 1

Pathological Intoxication was removed as a diagnosis from the DSM-IV (the psychiatric diagnostic manual used by American psychiatrists) when it was published in 1994, but was left in the ICD-10 (the diagnostic manual published by the World Health Organization) which was published in 1992. The decision to remove the disorder from the DSM-IV was based on literature reviews indicating there was no evidence for a separate syndrome of pathological intoxication (Salloum & Mezzich, Psychiatric Diagnosis: Challenges and Prospects, 2009, John Wiley & Sons, pg. 123). The disorder is not included in the DSM-5, which was published in 2013. The ICD-11 draft redirects searches of "pathological intoxication" to the "alcohol intoxication" entry; pathological intoxication is listed as a narrower term, but no additional information is provided (http://apps.who.int/classifications/icd11/browse/f/en#/http%3a%2f%2fid.who.int%2ficd%2fentity%2f1339202943).

A 2012 review (Fuelner, T., The minotaur defense: The myth of the pathological intoxication defense, American Criminal Law Review, 49(i4), pp.1969-1999; https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=264897) provides an overview of the historical and current medical and legal definitions of the condition. The author concludes that the concept has largely been discredited in psychiatry, but has some continued support in legal circles. However, the author argues the use of the condition in criminal defense should be eliminated.

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