: Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Discuss the twin challenges of mental health and substance use

4 replies

Help for my Brother

Hi everyone, my brother is 22 and is addicted to alcohol and has been for 6 years now. We've tried everything we can think of to help him and nothing seems to work. He's on antidepressants (Citalopram), has tried talking therapy and has been to an NHS alcohol addiction rehab facility. However, he still goes off, gets drunk, lies to us (his family) and gets violent towards us when he's had a drink. I've had my head smashed into walls and been choked by him, then he turns around and tells us that he doesn't feel loved, even though we love him more than anything and keep looking after him and coming back to him. He has attempted suicide whilst under the influence, and we are just going round in circles.

I'm constantly worried about him and just don't know what to do. It's starting to have an affect on my own mental health because I feel so hopeless and just can't see anything changing for the better. It kills me inside to know that he feels like this, but also that he can turn into such a violent person when he's drunk and assault us - physically and verbally. Does anyone have any experience with this or any suggestions? I really am losing all hope now and it's a scary, dark place to be in. None of my friends seem to understand and I feel quite alone in it all. Any advice would be much appreciated.

1 reply

replying to sisterindistress

Hiya, I’m really sorry to hear about your brother. I’m in a really similar position with my sister and it’s so hard. Although I’m looking for advice too so not much in the business of giving it, we just have to keep trying. It’s so hard not to get angry at them and at the world but we have to do our best. It has an effect on my mental health too, so I try to dedicate time to things I really enjoy, even just once a week. For me, it’s a podcast and a walk. I really hope things get better, sorry I can’t give advice and sending love x

replying to Sisterof

Hiya! Thank you so much for your message, and please don't apologise for not being able to give advice as such - this message has helped me no end, just in knowing that you understand and that, sadly, I'm not alone. I'm so sorry to hear about your sister, I hope she finds the help and support she needs and that you continue to look after yourself too. I hope we both find some answers soon. Sending a hug to you and your family x

1 reply

replying to sisterindistress

Hi sisterindistress,

Welcome to the forum, everyone here has a loved one who has addictions and also some people in recovery offering support and advice.

Thank you for sharing your story. I know this must be very hard for you. I know adfam homepage offer advice and counselling also Drugfam is available for support. Maybe they could assist you?

Living with a person who has an addiction is a nightmare. We went through the same with my son since he was 14. He had alcohol and cocaine addictions. I know about the aggressive and selfish behaviour, waiting for the next bad thing to happen.

Until he realises he has a problem and seeks help, it's a very tricky situation to make them do something they don't want to do. It's also difficult to reason with someone who has an addiction or mental health issues.

In the meantime, seek help for yourself, look after your own health and well-being.

My son is currently 7 months clean, with help from AA and CA groups and meetings.

Take care ❤


1 reply

replying to sisterindistress

Going through something similar. Early stages. My brother is 22 and for the past 3 year he has slowly become more dependent on alcohol and that has now moved to drug abuse and unsustained work. He has sought support through AA, and will say he is aware he is addicted to alcohol and drugs but will constantly keep taking them after short hourly bursts of what feels like some soberness. My parents are distraut and feel helpless calling NHS and trying to find a solution to help support him. Meanwhile he has now kept us all awake at crazy hours for the last three weeks. I am exhausted and also feeling a little helpless.

I am getting married this year and feel super selfish about not wanting him at the wedding, but I just want my brother back.

Could also do with some support, so love the advice to keep at it and do things for taking care of me. One of those being moving to my fiancée's family home for a bit whilst my parents and brother sort a few bits out, I just don't know how long that will have to be.

replying to Lindyloo

Hi L,

Thank you so much for your message and support, it means a lot ❤ I'm so sorry to hear about your son, I'm struggling to process this as a sibling, and I do worry about the impact that it must also be having on my parents. You're right in that it's so difficult to process, I just never feel like I know where I stand and the hope starts to fade after a while. I've reached out to adfam counselling so am hoping I can get some support for me in the meantime - thank you for the suggestion.

All the best x

replying to Lovingsupporter

Hi there, I'm so sorry you're going through this too. It's so sad that they're so young, but hopefully that also means that if they can get the help they need as soon as they can, they will have the rest of their lives ahead of them to look forward to and enjoy. I know exactly what you mean about being kept awake, the constant worry and exhaustion, and panic everytime the phone rings. It definitely feels like an endless cycle of hopelessness, but we just have to stick at it and look after ourselves.

Sounds like moving to your fiancee's family home is a really good move for you at the moment. I hope the move went/goes well ❤ all the best x

replying to sisterindistress

Hi unfortunately I'm afraid to give you advice as over the last4yrs I feel I've been to hell n bk n still there...yet I can't get it right for him. He doesn't live with me as he's put my youngest son under a safeguarding issue n I admire you for being able to have a relationship with your brother .I really wish I could help you but by all the resources out there I don't seem to be able to get it right but I hope one day they both admit to themselves honestly (it's the deceit I think that's worse than the addiction) that they have to change noone can do it for them unfortunately. Again apologies I don't have any real advice .

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