The presence of depressive symptomatology in alcoholics has frequently been encountered in clinical practice, but the relationship running between the two pathologies remains a subject for discussion. The methodological difficulty of this evaluation is seen in a major discordance of reported data. Against this background, a group of subjects hospitalized in a neuropsychiatric environment has been assessed for incidence of alcoholic and depressive pathologies and their possible correlations. Of 428 hospitalizations for alcoholism, 350 (82%) presented a depressive pathology. These patients were distinguished by DSM III into three groups [a) adaptation disturbance with depressed mood; b) dysthymic disturbance; c) atypical depression]. Within these groups, the incidence of prior stress-inducing psychosocial events was assessed according to the criterion of growing seriousness of DSM III. The results after statistical processing are discussed and compared with reported data.
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