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The alcoholic’s body, a blind task for him and his medical team Volume 85, issue 1, Janvier 2009

Author
Psychiatre des hôpitaux honoraire, ancien chef de service et de secteur au centre Henri-Rousselle, centre hospitalier Sainte-Anne, Paris

The alcoholic is unaware of the most serious somatic risks to which he is exposed, just as he is unaware of his own body, believing himself to be invulnerable if not immortal. As a rule, the doctors he comes into contact with are also unaware regardless of the damage already done. It is within the context of apsychognosia, brilliantly described by Fouquet, that asomato gnosia and anosognosia are included (not to be confused with the homonymous neurological syndromes).We shall first present a brief summary of the most often ignored semiology of the alcoholic in relation to his body, as revealed by the analysis of revealing interviews, followed by a proposal of psychopathological hypotheses.