Wittchen, born 1951 in Bad Salzuflen (Germany), was trained in Medicine and Psychology at the University of Vienna (Austria) where he completed his PhD dissertation in 1975. He began his career at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Addiction Research (Vienna: 1974-1976). His career continued at the Central Institute of Mental Health (Mannheim: 1976) and then at the Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry (Muenchen) where he held positions as project-director for the research program "Psychotherapy in Germany" (1977 - 1980), head of the Department "Evaluation- and Clinical Epidemiology" at the Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry and director of the Munich Follow-up Study (MFS) (1980-1989).
Dr. Wittchen obtained his habilitation at the LMU (München: 1984) and was appointed as Professor (C-3, tenure) of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the University of Mannheim. 1989 he worked as visiting professor in Geneva (ICD-10, diagnostic instruments).