Mental Health

Have Mental Health Questions? Ask a Psychiatrist Online

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Mental Health

I live with a husband who is a alcoholic and it's becoming

Customer Question
more and more draining on...
I live with a husband who is a alcoholic and it's becoming more and more draining on me. I never know what each day will hold. I know that it's taking a toll on my health. I always worry, have trouble sleeping and don't feel very happy. I just don't know what to do.
Submitted: 7 years ago.Category: Mental Health
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Mental Health Question
Answered in 4 hours by:
5/2/2010
Mental Health Professional: Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA replied 7 years ago
Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2,568
Experience: ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
Verified

Hello, and thanks for visiting JA. I´m really sorry to hear about what you have been going through.

I think you need to give yourself breathing space, and talk to a counselor about this problem, so that you can clarify your options.

Basically, how do you feel about living with this for the rest of your life?
What are the prospects of him changing?

The sad fact is that until he accepts that he has a problem, and will accept help for it, there is nothing you can do directly in that area.

However, you need some support yourself, and to find a way to make your life easier.

I have several suggestions for you.

First off, your husband needs to be confronted with your feelings about his behavior, and made to understand that, while you care for him his behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated, at least by you

He also needs to understand that that any continuation of this drinking behavior will have consequences. They need to be spelled out to him very clearly, with clear emphasis on the fact that they will apply immediately.

We humans only indulge in behaviour that brings reward of some kind. Only when that reward (whatever it might be) disappears, or the consequences of our behaviour promise to be unpleasant do we consider changing what we do.



Here is the clue to sorting things out. When you are faced with non-co-operation – give him choices, and make sure they understand the consequences of his choice – and always follow through. If you don’t he will continue to take treat you the way he is doing just now.



Ask him too, what he is prepared to do to change his behaviour in future – tell him to research what might help him, what professional help he might get, and even consider a ‘contract’ between you. In other words, involve him in his own change, with a prospect of a small reward for success and dire consequences for failure.



However, don’t get angry, stay cool and in control, matter of fact and stick to the facts. Avoid drama.

I’m going to suggest that you would benefit greatly from a course of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is a form of therapy that addresses problems in a direct and targeted way and is brief compared with most other therapies.

CBT is based on the fact that what we think in any given situation generates beliefs about, and reactions to that situation, and also cause the behaviour and feelings which flow from those beliefs and reactions.

These ‘automatic thoughts’ are so fast that generally, we are unaware that we have even had them. We call them ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) for short.

If the pattern of thinking we use, or our beliefs about our situation are even slightly distorted,

the resulting emotions and actions that flow from them can be extremely negative and unhelpful. The object of CBT is to identify these ‘automatic thoughts’ then to re-adjust our thoughts and beliefs so that they are entirely realistic and correspond to the realities of our lives, and that therefore, the resulting emotions, feelings and actions we have will be more useful and helpful.

Cognitive therapists do not usually interpret or seek for unconscious motivations but bring cognitions and beliefs into the current focus of attention and through guided discovery encourage clients to gently re-evaluate their thinking.

Therapy is not seen as something “done to” the client. CBT is not about trying to prove a client wrong and the therapist right, or getting into unhelpful debates. Through collaboration, questioning and re-evaluating their views, clients come to see for themselves that there are alternatives and that they can change.

Clients try things out in between therapy sessions, putting what has been learned into practice, learning how therapy translates into real life improvement.

Please visit this website for much more detailed information on CBT:

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mentalhealthinfoforall/treatments/cbt.aspx

One final word – you have not failed him. He is an adult and is responsible for himself. Please, therefore, do NOT be hard on yourself.



Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2,568
Experience: ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
Verified
Norman M. and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Norman M. Your Own Question
Norman M.
Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2,568
2,568 Satisfied Customers
Experience: ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.

Norman M. is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much

Corrie MollPretoria, South Africa

I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well!

ClaudiaAlbuquerque, NM

Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion.

KevinBeaverton, OR

Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
I feel better already! Thank you.

ElanorTracy, CA

Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem.

JulieLockesburg, AR

You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions.

John and StefanieTucson, AZ

I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!!

Janet VPhoenix, AZ

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Dr. Keane

Dr. Keane

Therapist

1,379 satisfied customers

Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.

TherapistMarryAnn

TherapistMarryAnn

Therapist

4,021 satisfied customers

Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.

Dr. Olsen

Dr. Olsen

Psychologist

2,336 satisfied customers

PsyD Psychologist

Norman M.

Norman M.

Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA

2,568 satisfied customers

ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.

Dr. Michael

Dr. Michael

Psychologist

2,177 satisfied customers

Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.

Steven Olsen

Steven Olsen

Therapist

1,728 satisfied customers

More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education

Anna

Anna

Mental Health Professional

1,656 satisfied customers

Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 29 years in addictions and mental health.

< Previous | Next >

Related Mental Health Questions
I'm depressed just finished my divorce yesterday feel so sad
Hello, I'm depressed just finished my divorce yesterday feel so sad how to get over it faster no energy my eyes tell on me. My X is who wanted it he has abusive and acts like the victim and blames me … read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
794 satisfied customers
If I'm having trouble sleeping at night and unable to
If I'm having trouble sleeping at night and unable to concentrate not to mention feeling constantly sad and unable to eat, what could I be suffering from?… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
170 satisfied customers
Have been on duluxetine and still have trouble sleeping.
have been on duluxetine and still have trouble sleeping. Ordered Klova patch that has minimum 5-htp and hope that will be safe so I can sleep at night. … read more
Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik
PSYCHIATRIST ( MD Psychiatry)
Doctoral Degree
204 satisfied customers
Taking lorazepam as a sleep aid....have been very anxious
taking lorazepam as a sleep aid....have been very anxious for several weeks. Doctor unavailable this week. Can I take it during the day for relief from anxiety? … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
768 satisfied customers
Im struggling alot about handling. Strws. Sad and i dont
Ever since i was little i always struggled with waking up sad and then bursting into tears for no reason… read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
794 satisfied customers
I feel this feeling of guilt and sadness and I'm not sure
I feel this feeling of guilt and sadness and I'm not sure why Would you happen to have an explanation for that … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
768 satisfied customers
I feel sad so much I need help dealing with how I feel
I feel sad so much I need help dealing with how I feel because it's affecting with my relationship with my boyfriend and my happiness in general… read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
170 satisfied customers
Ocd self doubts. I take sleeping tablets to help me sleep.
Hi Pearl, I take sleeping tablets to help me sleep. My mood is a bit depressed and I started taking medication as prescribed by my GP yesterday thanks. … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
768 satisfied customers
Sleeping all day, at one moment can feel on top of the
Sleeping all day, at one moment can feel on top of the world, and another time feel super sad… read more
Therapist Leslie
Therapist Leslie
Masters, Professional Psychology
5 satisfied customers
Vns-swallowing horsemeat 5 yer. It had stopped sleeping.
vns-swallowing horsemeat 5 yer JA: How is your mood? Are you experiencing regular sleep disturbances (e.g. trouble falling asleep, waking up early)? Customer: Yes it had stopped sleeping JA: Anything … read more
Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD
Internal Medicine Physician
Doctoral Degree
2,678 satisfied customers
I am on escitalopram 10mg....I can't sleep at night....what
Hi ...I am on escitalopram 10mg....I can't sleep at night....what is a good drug to use? … read more
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm
Clinical Social Worker
Master\u0027s Degree
768 satisfied customers
Second opinion] OKMH98-130 I've been very sad and in a bad
second opinion] OKMH98-130 I've been very sad and in a bad state of mind ever since my mother figure passed away last year. I suffer from insomnia ever since. Loss of interest in daily activities. I p… read more
Juliet Cooper
Juliet Cooper
Doctorate of Psychology
29 satisfied customers
I have a question regarding anti-anxiety and sleeping
I have a question regarding anti-anxiety and sleeping tablets. Can you help me with this? … read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
794 satisfied customers
OKMH98-130 I've been very sad and in a bad state of mind
OKMH98-130 I've been very sad and in a bad state of mind ever since my mother figure passed away last year. I suffer from insomnia ever since. I've been sad often. I noticed my mood is better when I'm… read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
794 satisfied customers
OKMH824211 I sometimes have difficulty sleeping. It's not a
OKMH824211 I sometimes have difficulty sleeping. It's not a chronic problem, but it happens often enough that I'd like to find techniques/methods that can help me when I experience the problem. I don'… read more
Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD
Internal Medicine Physician
Doctoral Degree
2,678 satisfied customers
I quit Klonopin 3.5 months ago, but still only sleeping 2
I quit Klonopin 3.5 months ago, but still only sleeping 2 days a week. I am completely sleep deprived and feel like I am going mad. I have tried almost every other medication for sleep to no avail. Am… read more
Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD
Internal Medicine Physician
Doctoral Degree
2,678 satisfied customers
I am 54 and sad and lonely, just like the lady I am reading
I am 54 and sad and lonely, just like the lady I am reading about right now. … read more
Linda D.
Linda D.
Master\u0027s Degree
794 satisfied customers
I am so sad and exhausted. My baby brother dies April 2015,
I am so sad and exhausted. My baby brother dies April 2015, 18 months later i list my Mom. I had been her caterer … read more
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
JohnMichaels,MS,LPC
Counselor
Master\u0027s Degree
170 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x