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Alcohol MD

Comorbidity

With the onset of alcoholism, there are not only risks for the development of other substance abuses, but also the development of psychological problems. Some alcoholics develop depression because the consumption of alcohol can cause negative social and emotional problems. There is, however, the possibilty of the exact reverse, where alcoholism develops as a result of other problems.

For instance, alcoholism could develop as a result of depression. Even though it is a depressant, alcohol can have the effect of making people feel good. Those suffering from Anxiety Disorders may also develop alcoholism because of the stress and anxiety relief associated with alcohol consumption. Individual cases should be analyzed independently, but alcoholism could lead to other problems and vice versa.

In the event that heavy alcohol consumption or alcoholism is seen, this factor must be incorporated in diagnosing individuals. The following are often associated with alcohol as described by the DSM-IV:

Substance-Induced Mood Disorder:

A. Prominent mood disturbances predominates

B. Evidence of (A) developing within a month of intoxication or withdrawal or substance use directly related to (A)

C. Disturbances is not better accounted for by a mood disorder not caused by substance use.

D. The disturbance is not taking place during a delirium.

E. Clinically significant distress or impairment is present.

Substance-Induced Anxiety Disorder:

A. Prominent anxiety, panic, or obsessions/compulsions predominate.

B. Evidence exists of (A) developing within a month of intoxication or withdrawal or substance use directly related to (A).

C. The disturbance is not better accounted for by an anxiety disorder not caused by substance use.

D. The disturbance is not taking place during a delirium.

E. Clinically significant distress or impairment is present.