Medicine: Alcoholics' Ego

The patient, a middle-aged businessman, faced the sanatorium psychiatrist defiantly. His wife was leaving him and his business partner was quitting. In the last, taut stage of a prodigious binge, the patient announced importantly that he had come to "dry out" again.

The psychiatrist said quietly: "Not this time. You will sign yourself in for 30 days or go somewhere else."

The patient glared and clapped his hat on his head. Then defiance oozed out of him. He picked up a pen and signed himself in.

To the psychiatrist, Dr. Harry M, Tiebout, that surrender was as dramatic as a profession of religious faith....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!