The Many Influences of Bipolar and Alcoholism

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Methods were used to assess 50 clients who had recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The results found that alcohol abuse last longer if the patients had longer depression durations. Although this group studied was only preliminary and would need to be larger for a more accurate outcome we still get a sense of how these two illness might interact long term.

Frye (2006) conducted research on different medications used to treat those with a co-occurring disorder. Along with research he also provides many statistics that help us better understand the illness at hand. We learn in this article that men with bipolar I or II have a higher lifetime prevalence rate of alcohol use. Men’s use being at 49% and women displaying a prevalence of 29%. The addition of alcohol can cause serious implications on the course of illness, “Bipolar patients with co-occurring alcohol use disorders in comparison with bipolar patients without co-occurring alcohol use disorders have higher rates of mixed or dysphoric mania, rapid cycling, increased manic and depressed symptom severity, and higher levels of novelty seeking, suicidality, aggres- sivity, and impulsivity” (Frye, 2006, p.678). Alcohol may add complications to an already complicated mental illness, which is why finding an appropriate treatment is important. From the research in this study divalproex and carbanazephine seem to be useful medications that with more research may be useful options in the treatment of bipolar and alcoholism.

The next article written by Azorin et al, (2010) is a review of the literature that plunges into the past four years of medication studies to see what information is useful regarding bipolar and alcoholism. These researchers found this review to be extr...

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Strakowski, S. M., DelBello, M. P., Fleck, D. E., Arndt, S., (2000) The impact of substance abuse on the course of bipolar disorder. Biological Psychiatry, 48(6). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3223(00)00900-8

Tolliver, B. K., DeSantis, S. M., Brown, D. G., Prisciandaro, J. J., Brandy, K. T. (2012). A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial of acamprosate in alcohol-dependent individuals with bipolar disorder: a preliminary report. Bipolar Disorders, 14(1). DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-5618.2011.00973.x

Winokur, G., Coryell, W., Akiskai, H. S., Maser, J. D., Keller, M. B., Endicott, J., Mueller, T. (1995). Alcoholism in manic-depressive (bipolar) illness: familial illness, course of illness, and the primary-secondary distinction. The American Journal of Psychyatry,152(3). http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleID=170880

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