Middle age and elderly persons with long-term drinking problems and their understandings of their drinking
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
The focus is on how women and men between 56 – 69 years of age with ongoing long-term drinking problems make sense of their drinking. The interviewee´s understandings can be seen as their personal lay theory of problematic drinking.
The paper is based on interviews with a narrative approach with 19 women and men. The interviewees were clients at the Social Services, the drinking fulfilled the ICD 10 criteria´s for alcohol dependence syndrome and the alcohol problems had lasted between 20 – 40 years. The analysis have been inspired by thematical narrative methods.
The results are divided into three themes. The first theme is the meaning of drinking where the interviewees describe drinking as a conscious act for handling themselves and their everyday life. In the second theme drinking is explained as a result of circumstances beyond personal control. The third theme is called the incomprehensible drinking there drinking is portrayed as unpredictable with no connections to meaning, motives or circumstances.
The interviewee’s life courses are of great importance for how they experience present life. Ageing with long-term alcohol problems means that the interviewees deal with probed bodies, feelings of meaningless, severe withdrawal symptoms, strained economy and lack of supportive social networks. These aspects of everyday life are together with the identity of an “alcoholic” and learned “expert knowledge” about powerlessness over alcohol presented as explanations indicating what needs to be supported to encourage reduced drinking or abstinence.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
long-term drinking problems, meaning, life course
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-133564OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-133564DiVA: diva2:1088100
KBS 2016 - 42nd Annual Alcohol Epidemiology Symposium of the Kettil Bruun Society in Stockholm May 30- June 3, 2016.