Abstract

Introduction: The co-occurence of substance abuse and mental illness is well known. Alcoholics are reported to be three times more likely to suffer from another psychiatric disorder. This study aims to observe the prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity in alcohol dependent patients in our setup. Methods: This was a hospital based cross-sectional observational study conducted over a period of three months. Consecutive patients presenting to the out-patient section of Psychiatric department who met the DSM-IV-TR criteria for alcohol dependence were included in the study. They were interviewed using Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR (SCID I&II) to assess for comorbidity. Data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS TM) software. Mann Whitney U test and Chi square or Fisher's Exact tests were used for statistical analysis. Results: Out of 31 patients enrolled, 14 (45.16%) had psychiatric comorbid conditions all of which were Axis I disorders. Anxiety disorder (35.71%) was the most frequent associated disorder followed by depressive disorder (28.57%). The alcohol dependent patients with comorbidity was significantly younger (mean age=35.71±13.60 years) in comparison to those without comorbidity (mean age=42.59±11.15 years). Other socio-demographic parameters were comparable between the two groups. Patients with history of past psychiatric illness and medication were less likely to have comorbidity, which was statistically significant. Conclusion: Psychiatric comorbidity is common in alcohol dependent people. Anxiety disorder and depression were more prevalent entities. Those with past illness and medications were less likely to have comorbidities.

Keywords: Alcohol Dependent, Comorbidity, Psychiatric