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Tamara, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1073
Experience:  20+ yrs Private Practice; Cert. Master Therapist; National Board Certified; APA Board Certified
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my brother in law is an alcoholic and under depression. every

Customer Question

my brother in law is an alcoholic and under depression. every day he gets home from work and gets drunk. when my sister comes from work there is arguments and he gets abusive and violent(does not hit) and breaks things. they have 2 daughters aged over 18. the girls and my sister are fed up. they have tried everything possible for him to get sister has taken him to his GP and to the hospital and also alcohol anonymous and then he will not return. the hospital said he needs to see a psychiatrist. my brother in law refuses to see one. personally i think he should be sectioned. can u help please?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Tamara replied 7 years ago.
Hi joshi. I'm sorry to hear about the situation with your sister and your nieces. Alcoholism can certainly be a very destructive thing. Unfortunately, if your brother-in-law doesn't want to get help, there is no way to make him do so. One can't be committed to treatment for being an alcoholic. Involuntary commitment can only occur in the case of severe mental illness, or if the person is a danger to themselves or others. I don't think either of those apply in this case.

I would suggest your sister and nieces look into going to al-anon to help them learn how to deal with this problems. It is up to them at this point to determine how they want to interact with him, and what they will and won't put up with. The only thing your sister has control over is how she responds to him and whether she wants to stay married to him. The energy needs to go into how they will cope with this, not trying to get him to realize he has a problem and get treatment.

Best wishes, and please let me know if I can answer any further questions. Tamara

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