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Mentally ill brother has a drinking problem?

My older brother has been drinking since he was 21. At that time, our dad was alive and used to go with him to the bar for a drink. That's when everyone believes it started.

I don't discredit that, however our dad has been dead for 8 years. His drinking has only got worse. My brother is a paranoid schizophrenic, and his nurse is always telling him not to drink so much, as it's clashing with his medication. There have been times where his medication didn't work, and they had to change it. I know a person can become immune over time, but is drinking speeding up the process?

He constantly lies, asks for money (he becomes moody if he doesn't get it, repeatedly asks, etc). He has said that drinking makes him feel good, and that he doesn't look good if he doesn't have a drink. He has said he wants a drink to settle his nerves. He has become tolerant to alcohol, as he no longer gets hangovers.

My mum and brother are now becoming secretive, she being secretive about giving him money, and him lying that she never gave him any. They do this because I'm the only one who believes that she shouldn't encourage this behaviour. He asked for money yesterday, bought six cans of beer at 10:30 AM. They were gone by lunch.

I've warned him today that I will call his nurse tomorrow, and tell him about the money, and also that I suspect a drinking problem. My brother turned around and said: "Don't tell him. Tell her not to mum! Don't tell him, I mean that."

So, I don't know what else to do. Risk calling his nurse, and having my brother get angry, or let him carry on this path.
Graylight · 51-55, F
Science is finding that most mental disorders are co-occurring, meaning that addiction typically comes with other mental illnesses and vice versa.

Schizophrenics, for some reason, are among the toughest clients to convince that a disciplined approach to medication is the best path. They are notoriously resistant, mostly because traditional drugs used to manage their disorder rendered them numb and sluggish. Such no longer has to be the case.

Add to that addiction to alcohol, which is a physical dependence and emotional defense system and you can be in real trouble. Each feeds off the other, meaning that drinking exacerbates a mental illness and a mental illness may help develop an addiction disorder.

Loved ones of those experiencing mental illness and addiction often try to allay the discomfort and unpleasantness by giving in to the loved one's demands, rendering them thoroughly co-dependent. What's difficult to accept is that relieving the situation temporarily will eventually hasten a very bad end.

The good news is, there's help. You mention a nurse, and for psychopharmalogical med management that's great, but I trust your brother is also seeing a qualified mental health professional, because meds are only part of the equation and regular physicians have no specialized training in the management of mental disorders and addiction.

If he presents a danger to himself - he cannot manage proper nutrition, he places himself in dangerous situations, he's in a medically precarious position, etc. - he can be committed to a mental health facility. While that may sound like punishment, it's likely the healthiest place for him. And - this is important - the traditional belief that an addict can only help himself if he truly wants the help turns out not to be true. Even committal against the client's wishes can lead to improvement in illnesses and increased sobriety.

Unfortunately, your brother has a dificult path to walk through life. Good luck to him; he [i]can[/i] become markedly improved. For your family's part, they may need to take a hard line. As heartbreaking as it is to let him continue his slide, aiding him in his illness and addiction will only make that slide longer and more painful. It's just as important you're all mentally balanced and practice self-care. I urge you and your family to investigate family or individual therapy to learn how to live with someone like your brother. You can always PM with questions or for source referrals. Good luck.
nedkelly · 61-69, M
So buying his Alcohol you are feeding his dependence on drinking - either stop helping or get ready to bury him in the near future
WishfulCreations · 22-25, F
@nedkelly

I'm not the one buying it for him, or giving him the money. My mum is. keep telling her not to, but all she says it's her problem whether she gives him money or not. Idk...it's causing trouble in the family.
SW-User
Wow he's proper alcoholic he needs help..
My mother was an alco, it killed her, she was drinking by breakfast also😢
WishfulCreations · 22-25, F
@SW-User I'm sorry about your mother :( I wish there was more that could be done in the world about alcohol. Sometimes I wish they would just stop selling it and only sell non-alcoholic drinks instead
Snuffy1957 · 61-69, M
@WishfulCreations they tried making alcohol illegal once before and it just caused more problems....
People have to WANT to stop drinking.. No one can make that decision for them !
SW-User
@WishfulCreations nobody is helping him, my mother stole my money and blamed my sister, she had excuses to get money from her own mother, excuses and lies, she forged documents and got allowances from benefits that she was not entitled to: this we only discovered when she died, she also pawned all of her jewellery and anything that had any value, she even sold or pawned an antique dolls pram that belonged to me that I got from Santa as a child... There was no room for sentiment when alcohol was needed.... My sister and I moved out to live with our Dad, after that she went to rehab a few times once she escaped and went to the pub immediately.. Every time she was released first thing she did was get alcohol... Her mind went, once I went to visit her, I brought a friend who she had never met before and she thought the friend was my sister (her child).. After that I realised it was only a matter of time that she'd be around
Snuffy1957 · 61-69, M
I wish there was a simple answer to your problem but the reality is the drinking and problems will just escalate :(

 
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