Ask a Psychiatrist and Get Answers to Mental Health Questions ASAP
Hi Mark, I'd like to help you with your question.
Your wife has been through a lot. She was emotionally abused, at the very least. She was also neglected. Her mother was probably emotional unavailable, given that she began using alcohol while your wife was suffering from abandonment.
Your wife was also abandoned several times by her father, her mother's boyfriends and finally by her mother. It sounds like she had no one to turn to for support.
This kind of background can cause a variety of issues. She could have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, anxiety, depression or a personality disorder. Here are some resources you and your wife can use to help you determine what her symptoms might be:
Adult Children of Abusive Parents: A Healing Program for Those Who Have Been Physically, Sexually, or Emotionally Abused by Steven Farmer
Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet G. Woititz
You can find these books on Amazon.com or your local library may have them for you.
The most important step right now is finding help for your wife. She needs an evaluation to determine what is wrong so she can get the right treatment. Once you know what she has, she can target the problem and find solutions.
She can start by talking with her doctor about a referral to a therapist. Or she can search on line at http://www.bacp.co.uk/ or http://www.cpdirectory.com/cgi-bin/index.pl.
When the evaluation is done, the therapist can provide a diagnosis and the recommended treatment. Most likely your wife will need outpatient treatment. Medications may be recommended to help her control some of her symptoms until therapy begins to work. She can see a psychiatrist or her regular physician for any medications she may need.
Support groups are another option. Depending on what she is diagnosed with, the therapist can provide a list of on line or in person support groups. This will help your wife feel less alone and also give her links to resources and treatment options that others have tried.
Once your wife knows her diagnosis, I would be happy to help provide resources that would help as well.
I hope this has helped. If you have more questions, please let me know.