The British Journal of Psychiatry
A follow-up study on alcoholics with and without co-existing affective disorder.
K O'Sullivan, C Rynne, J Miller, S O'Sullivan, V Fitzpatrick, M Hux, J Cooney, A Clare


Three-hundred male alcoholics were selected from consecutive admissions to hospital. They were divided into three diagnostic sub-groups: primary alcoholics; alcoholics with unipolar affective disorder; and alcoholics with bipolar affective disorder. After three follow-up interviews over a 2-year period after hospital discharge, the three sub-groups reported differences in frequency of mood change, amount of treatment received, and hospital attendance, although there were no clear-cut differences in items associated with their alcoholism. There were, however, some indications that bipolar patients functioned at a better level during the follow-up period, particularly those who were older, had a previous history of longer periods of abstinence, and maintained more frequent contact with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and their family doctor.