The relationship between alcohol and bipolar disorder is an important dual diagnosis. In fact, a substance abuse disorder is seen in nearly 60% of individuals with bipolar disorder.
Consider the possibility of other drug abuse, both prescription drugs and street drugs. Depression, anxiety, and antisocial personality all are more common in persons with alcoholism than in the general population (20.5% vs 7.2%, 23.5% vs 11.1%, and 18.3% vs 3.6%, respectively).
The co-occurring disorders of PTSD and alcohol abuse are expressed differently between the genders. Men are much more likely to experience irritability as they drink excessively. Women with PTSD also abuse alcohol but are more likely to suffer from vague physical complaints and depression.
For more on the differential diagnosis of alcoholism, read here.
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Cite this: Stephen Soreff. Fast Five Quiz: How Much Do You Know About Alcoholism? - Medscape - Jan 26, 2017.