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Question
Posted by: Brendan | 2012/03/12

Help with alcoholic sister

My sister has an anger problem which gets worse when she drinks which is very regularly. When she is drunk she can go on for hours (literally) repeating herself bringing up all the " bad"  things people have done to her and are doing to her. She acknowlages that she has a drinking problem but refuses to do anything about it. It is my opinion that even before she can get help with what I think are delusions, she should stop drinking. She does suffer from depression. I know from personal experience how alcohol abuse can keep one in perpetual depression and since I have stopped drinking I have managed to, well, manage my life. How can I help her? She is so over sensitive, any suggestions are misconstrued and she accuses everybody who has her best interests at heart of saying she is " mad" . Then the drama begins again and she gets quite violent. We just wait for her to cool down on her own, but we cannot allow this to continue.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Drinking lowers the inhibitions we generally use to modify our anger or other bad behaviours, so that makes sense. If she does sincerely acknowledge that she has a drinking problem ( a major difficulty is that most alcoholics refuse to acknowledge this ) then one must wonder why she refuses to seek treatment and help. If you're convinced there's nothing wrong with you, of course you wouldnt see sense in seeking treatmnent. But if there is something wrong, and its damaging you and others, what reason can one have to refuse treatment ?
So I wonder if she truly believes there's something wrong. Some people dig themselves into alcoholism as a form of self-treatment of a depression, but of course that only adds to their problems, as alcohol WORSSENS depression, and interferes with its treatment.
As you may well know from your own experience, treatment of alcoholism only works when the person akjnowledges both that their drinking is causing significant problems, and that they need expert kelp with it.
Often they have to sink to a level of problem that they can't any longer deny, and they may need tough love from the family - one could say to her in a more sober moment, that this pattern of violence is unacceptable, and if she wishes to drink and be violent, she will need to find somewhere else to stay and do this. And to emphasize that as soon as she stops making excuses to avoid the treatment she needs, you will all be very glad to help her find treatmwent, and work through it to become the loved person she always was

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Brendan | 2012/03/13

The alcohol from my perspective is only making what I see a deeper problem worse. She invents problems. She has conversations with people who are not in the room even when sober. She twists any situation to seem as if people are conspiring against her. According to her just about everybody " has no respect for her, abuses her emotionally, takes advantage of her, etc."  She was seeing a psychiatrist, a family aquaintence, and he told me just the other day that he cannot help her because she does not want to help herself. Im sure there is something that can be done. What is it?

Reply to Brendan
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/03/12

Drinking lowers the inhibitions we generally use to modify our anger or other bad behaviours, so that makes sense. If she does sincerely acknowledge that she has a drinking problem ( a major difficulty is that most alcoholics refuse to acknowledge this ) then one must wonder why she refuses to seek treatment and help. If you're convinced there's nothing wrong with you, of course you wouldnt see sense in seeking treatmnent. But if there is something wrong, and its damaging you and others, what reason can one have to refuse treatment ?
So I wonder if she truly believes there's something wrong. Some people dig themselves into alcoholism as a form of self-treatment of a depression, but of course that only adds to their problems, as alcohol WORSSENS depression, and interferes with its treatment.
As you may well know from your own experience, treatment of alcoholism only works when the person akjnowledges both that their drinking is causing significant problems, and that they need expert kelp with it.
Often they have to sink to a level of problem that they can't any longer deny, and they may need tough love from the family - one could say to her in a more sober moment, that this pattern of violence is unacceptable, and if she wishes to drink and be violent, she will need to find somewhere else to stay and do this. And to emphasize that as soon as she stops making excuses to avoid the treatment she needs, you will all be very glad to help her find treatmwent, and work through it to become the loved person she always was

Reply to cybershrink

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