Alcoholism, or alcohol dependence, is described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) as "A maladaptive pattern of alcohol use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress."
Psychiatrists generally believe that this is a maladaptive form of self-help or self-preservation and is done to achieve release from almost unbearable psychic tension and to give the individual a feeling of control.
Maladaptive behavior-Undesirable and socially unacceptable behavior that interferes with the acquisition of desired skills or knowledge and with the performance of everyday activities.
Maladaptive behavior interferes with child's achievement of independence because the child requires more supervision and assistance in order to learn how to behave appropriately.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, or CBT, helps someone identify the faulty patterns of thinking associated with their body and to confront their maladaptive behaviors.