How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5823
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Can you please help? I’m writing with regards to my wife and

This answer was rated:

Can you please help? I’m writing with regards ***** ***** wife and will give a brief outline of some of the things she has experienced in her life to date.
Moved to a different country from uk at the age of 6. Mother and father split up and divorced.
Mother had a relationship with another chap all going well, my wife loved this chap and he was going to adopt her as her father was seldom around. The night before the adoption my wife found him hanging in the garage, I think she was about 12. Although I may be wrong.
Father stopped seeing her altogether shortly after this. Mother began drinking heavily.
Mother had a relationship with another chap whom my wife thinks the world of. This relationship failed and her mother returned to the uk leaving her there. Aged about 18.
Wife developed an addiction to cocaine and had a couple of sometimes violent relationships.
Returned to uk in an attempt to get clean and has been clean since then, about 8 years ago which is roughly when we got together. We married 2 years ago.
Mother is an alcoholic and refuses help.
There have been bouts of depression, self harm and violent outbursts during the time I have known her. This said she is a kind, warm and very loving person the majority of the time.
After a particularly violent outburst last night, we have had a chat today and she has agreed to seek help and has said she blames herself for everything that has gone wrong in her life. I have tried to reassure her that this is not the case and that I love her and will support her through whatever help she may need or receive.
I know this is very brief but can you please advise me where to go or who I need to contact to get help for her.
Thank you
From Sunderland.

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 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 or

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.


TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you