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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5470
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I am struggling with a husband with PTSD who is an alcoholic.

Resolved Question:

I am struggling with a husband with PTSD who is an alcoholic. I recently had him to emergency because I thought he was seriously ill. Complained of diahrea and blood in his stool. At 10:30am after Thanksgiving he was slurring his words, stumbling, out of his mind with babble. I was very worried...only to find out he was 4 times the legal limit. If I give him money he spends it on alcohol. He takes trazadone, and anti depressents and drowns himself with alcohol. Now he is demanding I leave his house and give him all his money. I said not until you stop drinking or go to rehab. I am at a loss...this is destroying my marriage and respect for myself and him. I need guidance
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

From what you said, your husband has been diagnosed with PTSD so he has gone through trauma of some sort. It was not clear from what you said whether or not the trauma was the trigger for his drinking, but that is commonly a cause. And now his drinking has come to the point that it is affecting his health, his job and most importantly, his relationship with you.

 

The fact that your husband is combining his alcohol use with the prescription drugs he is taking is very dangerous. If you have not already talked with his doctor about this problem, I would do so immediately. The doctor may be able to provide a way to deal with this issue. Also explore involuntary admission with your husband's doctor. Because of the danger to your husband's health, the doctor may be able to admit him.

 

Dealing with a family member who is using drugs, including alcohol, is a major stressor on families. Being that your husband does not appear to be willing to seek out help on his own makes the burden on you even greater. And unless he is willing to help himself, you cannot force him to. That is one of the hardest things to deal with when it comes to a family member who is drinking. As a result, spouses of alcohol users/abusers often deal with feeling depressed, lonely, may suffer from exhaustion and become physically ill. With the pressure from your husband to move out and and threats about your financial situation, the stress becomes very high.

 

If you have not already explored counseling for yourself, I highly recommend it. You need support right now. Al-Anon is another wonderful resource to help you cope. It was started just to help families of alcohol users/abusers deal with the overwhelming stress of the situation. If you attend church, your pastor may also be able to provide support as well as resources to help you.

 

Some books that may help you are:

Marriage On The Rocks: Learning to Live with Yourself and an Alcoholic by Janet Geringer Woititz

Freeing someone you love from alcohol and other drugs by XXXXX XXXXX

You can find them at Amazon.com or your local library may also be able to get them for you.

 

Try taking time for yourself. Gain as much support for yourself as possible through family, friends, community and mental health centers. It is hard to help your husband if you are not coping yourself.

 

My best to you,

Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5470
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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