In DSM-II, this disorder is called Pathological intoxication

This is an acute brain syndrome manifested by psychosis after minimal alcohol intake.


Diagnostic Criteria

A. Marked behavioral change, e.g., aggressive or assaultive behavior that is due to the recent ingestion of an amount of alcohol insufficient to induce intoxication in most people.

B. The behavior is atypical of the person when not drinking.

C. Not due to any other physical or mental disorder.

Differential Diagnosis

Other substances

Other exogenous agents, especially barbiturates and similarly acting substances, may occasionally cause abrupt changes in behavior.


Temporal lobe epilepsy, during the interictal period, may be associated with fits of destructive rage.


In Malingering, the individual may with to avoid responsibility for aggressive behavior, claiming that it occurred while he or she was intoxicated from a small amount of alcohol.


As of DSM-IV, this disorder is no longer part of the DSM.

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