Objective: Alcohol-dependent men and women are at high risk for two types of major depressive episodes and for suicide attempts. The aim of this study is to compare the characteristics of two groups: (I) alcohol-dependent subjects with histories of suicide attempts and independent mood disorders and (2) a similar population of alcoholics with histories of self harm but who have only experienced alcohol-induced depressions. Method: As part of the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA), semistructured detailed interviews were administered to 371 alcohol-dependent individuals (62% women) with histories of suicide attempts and major mood disorders. Of the total, 145 (39.1%) had ever had an independent depressive episode and 226 (60.9%) had experienced only alcohol-induced depressions. Information was obtained about socioeconomic characteristics, suicidal behavior, independent and induced psychiatric conditions, and aspects of alcohol dependence. Results: Univariate and multivariate comparisons revealed that alcohol-dependent individuals with a history of suicide attempts and independent depression had a higher number of suicide attempts, were less likely to have been drinking during their most severe attempt, and were more likely to have an independent panic disorder. Univariate analyses indicated that these subjects reported a less severe history of alcohol dependence. Conclusions: The results indicate that a distinction between independent and alcohol-induced mood disorders in alcoholics with a history of suicide attempts may be useful.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)