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Gina P
Gina P, LCSW
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 175
Experience:  MSW, LCSW, PIP
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Can you tell me what kind of help my mam needs. She is 55

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Hi. Can you tell me what kind of help my mam needs. She is 55 and is still working. In the evening time around nine o'clock she usually takes a drink of alcohol as she says that there is such a weight of pressure in her head and that she feels the need to take a drink to just wipe out the tension and the pressure she is having.However after 3 drinks she has become very agressive and snappy and would say the most hurtful things to you and maybe would even try and hit you.She gives out and cries but the next morning she doesn't remember a thing and wonders why we are in a bad mood with her. As i had enough of it the other day i confronted her and told her how shes behaved and she could not beileve that she was that person and is sincerely ***** ***** what she has done.She also broke down and cried that she been abused sexually as a child by her uncle who was a priest but doesn't want to talk about it much.shes willing to get help but i dont know what kind of help she needs.can you help.??
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Gina P replied 8 years ago.
HiCustomer I can see you are very concerned about your mother and are excellent in your confrontation of her, which will help her to realize there is a problem.

It sounds as if your Mom is using alcohol to deal with problems she has not resolved. Many, many people who have sexual abuse history turn to alcohol or drugs, some studies say as high as 80%. So, your Mom is not alone.

What you are describing as memory loss sounds like a blackout, which occurs through the progression of alcohol dependence. Most blackouts are indicative that there is a drinkning problem. People with alcohol problems drink to change the way they feel. If her feelings are sad and depressed, thus the crying, she is drinkning to change them. What most don't understand is this creates even more negative feelings and becomes a cycle. You don't like the way you feel so you drink, then the drinkning makes you feel bad, creating more negative feelings, and you drink again to change these. Unfortunately the cycle continues until the drinknig stops and the feelings are resolved. It is difficult for most people to manage these feelings without using a mood altering substance because they don't know how.

It is a bit like the chicken and the egg for most. The feelings are negative such as with sexual abuse and the drinking temporarily changes them. Drinkning only postpones the feelings. And it is difficult to see which came first.

Someone using alcohol will need to stop drinkning before handling the feelings. If she attempts to resolve issues while still drinkning it will not work.

Karely, Your Mom could go to some Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and listen. It may help her to realize she is not alone, and does need help with her drinking. Here is the wesite: They will have schedules for meetings. You can go with her as long as there it is an open meeting.

She also needs to work on resolving the core issue of shame, the sexual abuse. If not, she may drink again, or will never reap the full benefits from being clean and sober.

Help her find a counselor who specializes in sexual abuse. Therapist who does more than just talk about the issue but assists her in working through the issues. With this problem, a multitude exists in many areas of life, but all can be resolved. Encourage her to continue counseling even when it gets tough, and it will. It does get better on the other side. Secrets keep us sick so encourage her to talk when she wants, and provide a nonjudgemental ear.
Customer you are a very good daughter. Encoiurage your mother to seek help. She has many good years of life ahead if she will resolve these issues. Hope this helps. Gina
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
My mam can give the drink up as she has done for lent many times and never broke it. She is very strong willed and is the best mam ever during the day.. And she says she will quit the drink as she said she had no idea what she was like when she took a drink. So im wondering do you think she needs a psychiatrists help rather than going to alcohol meetings?? or is the alchohol a big problem now? She said she will seek help even from next week but i dont want to be wasting time on getting the wrong sort of help. she has admitted that she can feel down and the pressure in her head is so severe that she needs release from it and so takes a drink.She hasn't drank since i confronted her but i still feel she needs help. what do you think? thanks
Expert:  Gina P replied 8 years ago.
Hi Karely,
If she can give up the alcohol on her own, that is great! Alcohol addiction does progress, and even though she may have given it up before, she may not be able to this time. She can determine this by her attempts to stop.

If she finds it difficult to stop, she can try the AA meetings. AA also promotes a way of life which encourages spiritual concepts, which may provide some comfort to your Mom, if she is a devote Catholic.

There is also a way of life known as "dry drunk syndrome" and this is where people stop drinkning but don't work to change what the real issue is, and don't learn to handle their emotions. These people again are depressed and angry. Alcohol use as an addiction effects physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the human being, and each should be addressed. So be sure she knows the importance of the counseling aspect.

Sometimes, you may see her attempting to cut back on drinking or sneaking a drink. These are both signs she will need more help with the alcohol.

Schedule her an appointment with the psychiatrist and counselor, and alow them to help her see if she needs more assistance with the alcohol use.
They can help her make a plan on the way to get healthier and resolve the issues she is experiencing.
Customer Please let me know if you need further assistance. Gina
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