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Big Problem with alcoholic dad who is very depressed.

(4 Posts)
Portofino Sat 02-Aug-08 22:43:38

My dad has had a drinking problem for a number of years. He split up with my step mother and married a much younger woman who probably only wanted him to get a british passport. He used to have lots of friends and a social life but since the new marriage this seems to have gradually disappeared. So now he just sits in and drinks wine by the box.

Over the last couple of years he has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, OCPD and type 2 diabetes. He is obviously not in a good way. His personal hygiene has gone to pot and maybe unsurprisingly his employer of 40 years had recently made him "redundant". He is still a few years short of retirement age. So now has money worries on top of everything else.

Young wife appears to just get on with her own life. My sister and I live other end of country/different country and can't get to visit that often. This week I was visiting my sister and plan was that he would join us. On the day he was meant to travel he phoned my sister in tears saying that he was not able to leave the house and actually had not been able to for some time. My sister told him he needed to see GP for some help but he refused.

So we discussed and sister decided to phone his GP and explain situation. They were really understanding and said they would phone to organise a visit. They did suggest that we phoned him back to tell him what we had done though. Sister (braver than me) did so and Dad went mad! He was very drunk (at lunchtime) and said he would not see the GP under any circumstances. Sister told him she had made the call because something had to be done and she didn't care if he didn't speak to her ever again.

So now, sister thinks it is my turn to call - to see what the outcome is! It's been a couple of days but I must admit i am a bit scared to make the call! DH reckons we should leave him to "think" about stuff for a bit (and DH has a psychology dgree) but obviously I am worried.

Not sure what is the best thing to do - especially as I am so far away. Dad seems to be completely resistant to any form of help. Should I ring him? Should I take DH's advice and leave him to it - as in only he can make the decision to get his life in order.....What can I do practically when I'm hundred of miles away. I am honestly worried that he is close to ending it all - intentionally or unintentionally through drink. He now has no friends, no job, no money and all family are a long way away.

Portofino Sat 02-Aug-08 23:31:09


ilovemydog Sat 02-Aug-08 23:48:51

These things are just so difficult long distance!

Is there any chance that either you or your sister could visit your dad, even for a few days?

My grandmother was quite ill a few months ago, and it was a matter of going to see her to assess the situation (my uncle lives with her, but is such a sponge that I wouldn't trust what he says).

Of course only your dad can get him out of the situation he's in, however it sounds like he could do with some support.

cherrylips Sun 03-Aug-08 19:48:47

Really feel for you. Drinking so much alcohol will be making him depressed. I hope the GP contacted him and went to see him.

Its such a difficult situation, glad you and your sister can support each other.

Is there any way you could take the time to both visit him, for a few days. Stay in B and B near him if necessary. Then you can assess the situation over a period of time. Could also take him to GP to get his physical health reviewed in view of his chronic drinking and chronic ill health.

You can ask GP if there are any alcohol or substance misuse services that your dad could be referred to.

They can assess just how much your dads drinking, therefore helping him become more aware of the problem. They can also educate your dad as to the risks to his physical and mental health. They would be able to offer support to help him reduce alcohol intake and maybe abstain.

Any such service and the GP will be able to tell you and your dad about support groups in his area.

In the end, it is up to your dad, with available support to control his drinking. This would help him physically and mentally. And then he can tackle the other issues.

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