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Table of Contents
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-4

Levels of depression among wives of alcoholics and non- alcoholics- A comparative study


Vice Principal, CSI Kalyani College of Nursing, Mylapore, Chennai, India

Date of Web Publication10-Jul-2019

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2231-1505.262497

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  Abstract 


Introduction: Alcohol use affects each member of the family - from the unborn child to the alcoholic’s spouse. The spouse may have feelings of hatred, self-pity, avoidance of social contacts, may suffer exhaustion and become physically or mentally ill. Aim: Present study aimed to assess and compare the levels of depression among wives of alcoholics and non–alcoholics. Material and method: The sample comprised of 60 wives of alcoholics and 60 wives of non - alcoholics who were selected purposely. The tools used in study were structured interview schedule and 21 items Beck Depression Inventory. Results: The findings of the study revealed that exactly 50% of wives of alcohol dependents had severe level of depression and 35 % had moderate level of depression whereas 33.7% and 63.7% of wives of non-alcoholics had mild and minimal level of depression respectively. It also showed a significant association between the levels of depression and selected demographic variables such as duration of alcohol intake, reasons for alcohol intake and amount spent in buying alcohol at p<0.01. Conclusion: Study recommends the proper consultation and health services for wives of alcoholics.

Keywords: Depression, wife, alcoholics and non-alcoholics


How to cite this article:
Sumathi G S. Levels of depression among wives of alcoholics and non- alcoholics- A comparative study. Indian J Psy Nsg 2018;15:1-4

How to cite this URL:
Sumathi G S. Levels of depression among wives of alcoholics and non- alcoholics- A comparative study. Indian J Psy Nsg [serial online] 2018 [cited 2022 Oct 6];15:1-4. Available from: https://www.ijpn.in/text.asp?2018/15/1/1/262497




  Introduction: Top


Alcohol dependence is a substance related disorder in which an individual is addicted to alcohol either physically or mentally, and continues to use alcohol despite significant areas of dysfunction. Alcohol consumption and problems related to alcohol vary widely around the world, but the burden of disease and death due to alcohol abuse is rising exponentially. Alcohol dependency is seen as highly prevalent public health problem.

Alcohol affects each member of the family–from the unborn child to the alcoholic’s spouse. It is not only a primary health concern in itself, but is additionally of concern because alcoholism also has negative effects on the children and spouse of an alcoholic. The spouse may have feelings of hatred, self-pity, avoidance of social contacts, may suffer exhaustion and become physically or mentally ill (Berger, 1993). Very often the spouse has to perform the roles of both parents. Family responsibilities shift from two parents to one parent. As a result, the pain and agony experienced by the wives of alcoholics in managing their family, children and work are inexpressible. Present study aimed to assess and compare the levels of depression among wives of alcoholics and non-alcoholics in a selected setting at Chennai.


  Materials and methods Top


Quantitative, descriptive, cross-sectional survey design was used to assess and compare the levels of depression among wives of alcoholics and non -alcoholics. A total sample consisted of 120 wives. Sixty wives of alcoholics who were diagnosed as alcohol dependent by the Psychiatrists of Rajaji Center for Deaddiction, Voluntary Health Services, Hospital, Chennai were selected purposively. Remaining sixty wives were of those patients who were visiting the OPD for medicine/ surgery ailments (other than alcoholics). Two tools were used in the study:

Tool 1: Semi structured interview schedule:It is used to measure socio-demographic details of the wives of alcoholics. It included structured questions which were age, educational status, occupation, type of family, duration of family life, number of children, monthly family income and domicile. Questions related to alcohol use history were also included in interview schedule. Items were age at onset of alcohol, reasons for taking alcohol, duration of alcohol intake, behaviour during alcohol intoxication, history of alcoholism in husband’s family, amount spent in buying alcohol/ month and presence of any social issues. Administration time for this tool was 5 minutes. The reliability was established through test retest method ® =0.9).

Tool 2 : Beck Depression Inventory: The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a 21-item, self-rated scale that evaluates key symptoms of depression including mood, pessimism, sense of failure, self-dissatisfaction, guilt, punishment, self-dislike, self-accusation, suicidal ideas, crying, irritability, social withdrawal, indecisiveness, body image change, work difficulty, insomnia, fatigability, loss of appetite, weight loss, somatic preoccupation, and loss of libido (Beck & Steer, 1993; Beck, Steer & Garbing, 1988). Individual scale items are scored on a 4-point continuum (0=least, 3=most), with a total summed score range of 0–63. Higher scores indicate greater depressive severity. Mean internal-consistency estimates of the total scores are 0.86 for psychiatric patients, 10 minutes were required to complete the scale.

Both the tools were translated in to Tamil language and back translation is done to ensure the original meaning.

The administrative approval was taken from the concerned authorities after explaining in detail a written informed consent was obtained from all subjects. The study protocol was approved by ethical committee of the institutional review board of Institutional ethics committee. Data were collected in Tamil language based on the participant’s preference. SPSS (21) software was used and p value <0.05 was considered as level of significance.


  Results Top


As given in [Table 1.1] that majority of the respondents from both the groups were between the age group of 31-40 years of age. With regard to educational status, 45% of the wives of alcoholics have done secondary level schooling whereas 36.7% of the wives of non-alcoholics have done primary level of schooling. The distribution of occupation shows that majority (50% and 38.3%) of the wives in both the groups are unskilled workers and were living in a nuclear family. Regarding the duration of family life, most of the wives in both the groups (36.7% and 58.3%) have been married for 16-20 years. Analysis of their monthly income showed that 48.4% and 51.6% of the wives of alcoholics and non-alcoholics respectively were earning Rs. 6000 and above. More than half (55% and 65%) of wives of the study groups were living in the urban community.
Table 1:

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As depicted in [Table 1.2] that husbands’ alcohol profile: 45% of them stated that their husband’s age at onset of alcohol were between 10-20 and 21-30 years. Majority (36%) of them stated that their husbands take alcohol due to peer pressure. 21 (35%) of them were taking alcohol for the past 16-20 years whereas 18 (30%) of them were taking alcohol for more than 20 years. 48% of their husbands were aggressive and 15 (25%) stated that their husbands beat them and their children while intoxicated with alcohol. Analysis of history of alcoholism showed that 43 (71.7%) of them had family history and 34 (79.1%) of them were their fathers. About 22 (36.7%) of them spend Rs.2001 -3000 per month for buying alcohol whereas 22 (36.7%) of them spend above Rs.3000. Majority (70%) of them stated that their husbands absent themselves for work.

As given in [Table 2.1] that 30 (50%) wives of alcoholics had severe depression, 21 (35%) had moderate depression and 9 (15%) had mild depression whereas 20 (33.3%) wives of non-alcoholics had mild and 40 (66.7%) had minimal depression respectively. The levels depression among the wives of alcoholics and non-alcoholics is significant, since p value is less than < 0.01.
Table 2:

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As depicted in [Table 2.2] that 40% and 36.7% of wives of alcoholics who had severe depression stated that their husbands were drinking for more than 15-20 years and more than 20 years respectively. 66.7% and 47.6% of them who had mild depression stated the reason for taking alcohol by their husbands as peer pressure. 46.7% of them who had severe de ression stated that their husbands spend Rs.2001-3000/month for buying alcohol. There is significant association between the levels of depression and selected demographic variable s, since p value <0.01.


  Discussion: Top


Exactly 50% of wives of alcohol dependents had severe level of depression and 35 % had moderate level of depression whereas 33.7% and 63.7% of wives of non-alcoholics had mild and minimal level of depression respectively. The wives of alcohol dependents have experienced psychological problems such as crying, sadness, mood swings, anxiety, stress, irritability, feeling guilty, loss of interest in sex and sleeplessness. Apart from these, they are also at high risk of developing physical illness like loss of appetite, tiredness, weight loss, headache and hypertension. The intensity of depression is high among wives of alcoholics which may even influence their coping styles.

An explorative study to assess the psychosocial problems of wives of alcohol dependents in selected communities at Mangalore revealed that majority (53%) of wives of alcohol dependents had moderate psychosocial problems, only 37% had mild psychosocial problems and 10% had severe psychosocial problems.

A study by Peirce, Robert S. et.al., examined the longitudinal relations among social contact (contact with social network), perceived social support, depression and alcohol use. Data was collected from 1,192 adults. Results revealed that social contact was positively related to perceived social support; perceived social support, which was in turn, negatively related to depression; and depression was, in turn, positively related to alcohol use for 1 of 2 longitudinal lags.

In this study, the wives of spouses who were drinking for more than 15 years were highly distressed and showed severe depression. Most of the men absent themselves from work and few were not even working. Those who worked earned about Rs.4000-6000/month and spent about Rs.3000/ month in buying alcohol. The monthly income and amount spent in buying alcohol showed significant associations with levels of depression. Research says that 45% of household expenditure is spent on alcohol. Use of alcohol increases indebtedness and reduces the ability to pay for food and education. The unemployed wives of alcohol dependents are more depressed. They have to work and earn to meet the expenses of the family. The support groups should focus on their employment.[13]

The support system existing in the joint family system usually plays an important role in supporting (financial support as well) and counseling the other family members. But, most of the depressed wives of alcoholics were living in nuclear family.


  Conclusion Top


Living with an alcoholic husband is an emotional roller-coaster ride for their wives. Depression is more common among wives of alcoholics and even more when compared with the wives of spouse with a chronic disease. It diminishes the quality-of-life and strains the resources of the family unit. The role shift, violence and financial constraints experienced by wives of alcohol dependents proves they are overburdened due to their husbands’ alcoholism and lack coping strategies.

The need for sensitizing the family members on the issues of alcoholism and to adopt the coping strategies by them is highlighted in this study. It also stresses the need for specific spouse directed therapy to enable them to overcome depression and adopt good coping styles. Those wives who had depressive symptoms were send to psychiatrist and other health services for consultation and follow-up.



 
  References Top

1.
www.alcoholabuse.com  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
B. Shanthi1 and K. Veeramuthu,. A Study of Female Spouses of Male Alcohol Dependence Patients. Volume 16, Issue 3 Ver. I (March. 2017), PP 127-145. www.iosrjournals.org DOI: 10.9790/0853-160301127145  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Carroll JF, Malloy FE, Kenrick FM. Alcohol by drug-dependent persons: a literature review and evaluation.Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1977;4(3):293-315.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
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K D Wright and T B Scott.The relationship of wives’ treatment to the drinking status of alcoholics. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 39(9), (1978) 1577–1581.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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cdc.gov.alcoholfactmsheets.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, http://www.niaaa.nih.gov.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Berger, G. (1993), Alcoholism and the family. New York: Franklin Watts  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
Tempier R, Boyer R, Lambert J, Mosier K, Duncan CR. Psychological distress among female spouses of male at-risk drinkers. Alcohol. 2006 Aug;40 (1):41-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
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Kodandaram, P. Personality of Wives, Psychology of Addictive Behaviours.1997May; 23(1):2 1-23.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
John Jeena and J.Sivakumar.Psychosocial problems of wives of alcohol dependents in selected communities at Mangalore.The Journal of Nursing Trendz.2014;( 5)2:3-6.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Satyanarayana VA, et.al. Problem drinking among married men in India: comparison between husband’s and wife’s reports. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2010 Sep; 29(5):557-62.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Robert S. Peirce et.al.A Longitudinal Model of Social Contact, Social Support, Depression, and Alcohol Use.Health Psychology. 2000; 19 (1):28-38.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Revathy S. Psychosocial profile of the wives of alcoholics and non- alcoholics.Indian Journal of continuing education, 2009; 10(1):19-24.  Back to cited text no. 13
    



 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2]


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