Alcohol Use Disorder and Major Depressive Disorders

New Study out of Michigan State University Focuses on Helping in Treatment and Prevention of those Suffering with Comorbidity

Research shows that there is a high percentage of people that suffer from multiple disorders.  One of the most common is the combination of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) and Major Depressive Disorder.  According to an article discussing a new study out of Michigan State University (MSU), “people with alcohol use dependence are almost four times more likely to also have a major depressive disorder.”

The study focused on uncovering “key predictors” of comorbidity (“the presence of two or more disorders in a single patient”) that may help with prevention and treatment.  Determining who is most at risk for multiple disorders could help determine the best way to treat and ultimately prevent comorbidity.

The MSU study, published in the International Journal of Mental Health, found two key predictors in determining the presence of Alcohol Use Disorder and Major Depressive Disorders.

  • Distress Tolerance – the study looked at “how well people tolerate stressful situations.” Ultimately, they found that people were more likely to have both AUD and a major depressive disorder if they had a “low ability to tolerate stress” and a high rate of delay discounting.
  • Delay Discounting – the study showed that those with high rates of delay discounting, described as a “type of impulsivity that causes people to choose immediate rewards over delayed, but more valuable rewards,” in combination with a low ability to tolerate stress were more likely to experience both disorders.

Read the original paper Delay Discounting Interacts with Distress Tolerance to Predict Depression and Alcohol Use Disorders among Individuals Receiving Inpatient Substance Use Services.