The influence of alcoholism on the course of depression
The clinical course of 289 patients with primary non-bipolar major depression without concurrent alcoholism was compared with that of 79 patients with non-bipolar major depression with concurrent alcoholism. Neither patient group suffered from dysthymia or current drug abuse. Contrary to expectations, the two groups did not differ on time to recovery from the major depression, time to relapse into a subsequent major depression, or various cross-sectional clinical ratings at 2 years. The two groups did differ on psychosocial status. Although they were equally impaired at index, the alcoholism group maintained significantly lower levels of psychosocial functioning throughout the 2-year follow-up period. Interpersonal relation with spouse was particularly worse among the alcoholic group.