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Worried about DHs secret drinking (a bit long)

(5 Posts)
SueMunch Mon 18-Aug-08 16:33:15

My DH has recently been going through a bad patch and I was seriously worried that he had developed depression. He has lost a few friends recently which really affected him and is not particularly enjoying his job. He is naturally sensitive and I think he doesn't deal with loss very well.

Thankfully he arranged to see our GP and told him of his state of mind.
He was quite adamant that he wouldn't take any medication but wanted help, perhaps in the form of counselling.

He has since seen a pschiatric nurse who feels that my DH is suffering from anxiety rather than depression. He has been offered counselling but there is a waiting list.

At the same time I have notice a real increase in his drinking, mainly late at night and at weekends. He sometimes stops up late and listens to music alone and will drink at least a bottle and a half of wine to himself.

We have tried to address this by sitting down and sharing a bottle but I suspect he is stopping on the way home from work for a drink. I've also found empty bottles of wine on top of the kitchen.

I also think that he has a drink whenever the opportunity arises.

He is never abusive or violent and is wonderful with our kids, but I am very worried about him. He tells me that he drinks to slow his thoughts down (he is intelligent and well educated) and allthough I have sympathy with him, I feel he is going to damage his health in the long term.

I also think this drinking will not help his depression. I want to be supportive but have run out of ideas about how to talk to him.

Advice needed!

HappyWoman Mon 18-Aug-08 19:08:04

its a tough one - as you could sound as if you are nagging.

Has he always liked a drink? and has he ever done this before?

I think you can tell him you will support him and help him but he needs to ask for it.

The only other thing is to try and make him see the down side of his drinking - leaving articles about, generally using scare tactics.

Good luck

olympicsnotfederer Mon 18-Aug-08 19:12:25

ahhhh I feel bad for him, and for you

he is lucky to have you, you sound lovely and supportive without being judgemental

don't let the drinking be "the elephant in the room"

bring it out into the open. Make sure he knows that you know.

after that, I think you will just have to take a slight back seat (whilst continu-ing to talk etc). Make sure when he attends counselling (and he must) that he talks about the drinking so he can get the help he deserves

good luck to you both

SueMunch Tue 19-Aug-08 15:46:27

Happywoman - yes. DH has always liked a drink and although he doesn't drink anything stronger than wine or lager, he does have phases when he drinks more than usual.

He looks after himself in other ways - running and other sports but seems to be unable to relax, perhaps due to the anxiety he feels.

Maybe if we talk more it will help?

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 19-Aug-08 18:07:26

Do not share a bottle with him; this enables him further. You enabling him in any way will not help him, he has to see the consequences of his actions.

Has he expressed any worries/concerns to you re his drinking levels?.

Have you yourself talked to the GP about your husband's problems?. You need support of your own; I would also consider talking to Al-anon as they can help family members of problem drinkers. You cannot make him seek help for his drinking if he does not want it or thinks that he needs help in this area.

It may well help if you talk further but he may well accuse you of "nagging" him.

Would he be willing to talk to CRUSE; they are a bereavement counselling service. BACP also have a list of counsellors which he could access sooner, he could be a long time languishing on a GP list.

Infact you both need support asap otherwise like a ripple effect his underlying anxiety and drinking will go on to affect you all badly as a family unit if it is not already. The cracks are there and they will start showing even more over time. Your children will pick up on all this too.

Alcohol as well acts as a depressant so it could make his depressive anxious state worse.

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