Mental Health and Alcohol dependancy

Hi i I am new here and not sure what i am hoping to achieve but I have joined this site as myself and my family are at our wits end as we are seriously concerned about my brother in law. He goes through periods of highs and lows and sadly when he is very low he seeks comfort in drinking and has recently not worked for 2 weeks. We found him at his flat with something like 30 empty bottles of wine, 10 empty bottles of vodka and endless empty cans of beer/cider. Although he obviously has an issue with alcohol we feel it is much more as certain things trigger his behaviour. We are increasingly worried about his safety and he will not seek help and we worry what may happen...he doesnt listen to anyone and says he will get help but then just goes back into a depression like state fueled with alcohol. What can we do? Will someone in the medical profession help us? Thanks

11 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Hi this is very difficult isn't it. Why not visit his (or your) doctor explain the situation and ask for his/her advice. Obviously they can't give you confidential information if it is his doctor but they should know what services are available to help him.

    At the end of the day though it is his choice whether or not to seek help and you can't make him. If you consider he is a danger to himself or to others then it may be possible to get him sectioned, but that would only be in extreme cases. It must be very hard to watch him destroying himself like this but there isn't a whole lot you can do I'm afraid.

    I hope you find some answers. x

  • Thanks for taking the time to reply. We are going to contact his doctor to see what if anything can be done however I do tend to agree that if he does not want to help himself that we are fighting a losing battle.

  • Thank you x

  • You are more than welcome. I wish you luck. x

  • Hello Welcome Lancaster

    It is a difficult situation, you can only discuss His concerns with His GP with permission however can your Partner not talk to His Brother and see if He can sort out the problem. He could actually take attend the GP with Him and act as support.

    Your Brother in Law needs to contact something like AA, also His Doctor may arrange CBT to discuss the reasons for His Drink Problem.

    He needs support, you can give that although He needs more inclusive support

    BOB

  • He has a mental illness anyway? Have his meds been checked recently? I agree with other posters. Also consider a group for relatives of alcoholics ALAnon?

  • I am going to reply as a former alcohol dependant who still suffers from anxiety and depression but I am not in the big black hole anymore. I knew that I had a problem with drinking, and would drink all day and night to make the symptoms less, and trust me it does work because you either dont care or are passed out. I ignored it, my family ignored it, so to have you all there and being aware of your brother in laws problems is paramount. I hope this can help even if you just show him my reply because this is what happened to me .... i functioned quite normally for around two years just drinking after work, all the time to stop the thoughts and the feelings, it escalated to just having a quick sip in a morning to just a bit more then a lot, passing out, being quite normal at tea time and starting again early evening. I got myself into such an agitated state one day I asked my family to take me to hospital. I could not speak I could not walk, i felt that my body was shutting down and i was very very scared. I was very lucky everybody in that a and e looked after me, from the triage nurse, the cleaner and a doctor, i was hoping to be kept in so they could give me something to make it all stop!!! I was shaking and stumbling around, my son was petrified ... a nurse who worked for the crisis team eventually after a long wait spoke to me at length, while i was nodding and shaking and she wrote things down and then it was this that made the difference ...sweetheart she said and took my hand look at me, the drinking is making your symptoms so much worse than they would be without it, we can treat you and it will be really hard but you can get better with the correct medication and talking therapies ( CBT) please trust me. It was like a light had come on, and thought i have to do this, this cant carry on. I was drinking so much that I had to stop slowly as it could have been dangerous for me to just stop, but I did it and am now alcohol free and smoke free because that also makes the symptoms worse. Believe me its hard because all the time your symptoms that made you start to drink in the first place are still there, but a little at a time they subside and I now know that i will make it to a full recovery. My family offered me little support and have since used my illness and the drinking against me, your brother in law is lucky ... hope this helps sometimes a little bit of sharing is a good thing

  • Vinnie what an amazing reply. You've shown real courage dealing with your addictions and posting about it. I'm sure many many people will feel encouraged by your words. Thank you.

  • All I can recommend is talking to him and listening without judgement. He needs to accept he has a problem before he can get help.

    Very simply if someone can go sit with him and just say how worried they are about him. Often lecturing about drinking etc won't help. He isn't being honest about it as he knows it's wrong. If you can sit and say that you're not there to tell him to stop drinking but simply to talk it might start a meaningful conversation. Asking him about how he is feeling and simply accepting what he says can begin a talk in which he begins to open up. If you can suggest that his drinking is a symptom of how he is struggling with emotional pain, it shows him that you understand and don't blame him for his drinking.

    He will need professional help to detox - he can't just stop drinking as it may be physically dangerous for him. If he is detoxes in hospital it may allow investigation into any underlying mental health issue to be done.

    I'm not sure if this will help but he may need to hit bottom before he can ask for help. As long as he has you guys checking on him hopefully he will get through it.

  • Thank you both VinnieJ & DMM218 for your replies it really means a lot that you have taken this time. Believe me my partner & I have tried to speak to him many many times but he does then take it as a lecture which it really isnt & he also starts taking nonsense. I definitely do not think he realises he has a problem which is half the problem & he recently started a relationship but sadly his drinking etc has ruined that although she is still concerned & also came to see him with us. He is very fragile & definitely has insecurities & anxiety. We are trying to be there for him but it is very difficult & he has attacked his 83 year old father although not seriously. I do feel that maybe he needs to hit rock bottom before he really will accept he has issues. We have persuaded him to go to the doctor in the past & he has been then never goes back. It's been really helpful getting this off my chest & we will stick by him. Thank you so much x

  • He should be very grateful to have people around him that cares and wants to help him, he may not see it now but don't give up on him, I wish I had that support.

You may also like...