Auntie seems to be drinking too much I think - advice needed!

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Hello my auntie is 60 years old and has recently split with her husband! she has always been a big social drinker and always drinks too much for her age in my opinion. over the past few months she has started going out mid week then thurs-sun most weekend and is drunk, to the point where she is shaking the next morning due to been so hungover! She drinks wine and I would say is getting through 8-10 bottles a week at least as well as other drinks like beer etc. I am not out with her so I cant fully say how much but I know she can drink a bottle of wine like pop and I know she says I had 3 bottles last night etc!

She is 60, extermely overweight and now her moods seems to be changing, she is moody, snappy, falling out with poeple, seems jealous of everyone and looks awful!! she looks like a drunk TBH and she keeps getting really blood shot eyes after a heavy session but not just red BRIGHT RED!! and they also look a bit yellow to me! I am really worried she is drinking herself to an early grave!!

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  • Posted

    Hi there. First question. Have you talked to your aunt about your concerns? Also, is anyone else in the family concerned enough to possibly do an intervention? I really wish my family has done that for me. There are also groups out there called ALNON for family members dealing with a loved one who has an addiction. Its tough to sit back and watch and wonder if you're gonna watch them die from drinking. Keep taking the steps to get better informed. You're on the right path. Best of luck.
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  • Posted

    Okay, psychology first, medical diagnosis afterwards.

    It sounds like you have a good handle on what your aunt is doing and some idea of her drinking, but not the real amount. You don't actually say what or how you are trying to achieve, other than I guess get her to cut down. Alcoholics are notoriously resistant to people trying to take them away from their beloved alcohol, it is not an easy task and when it comes down to you or alcohol, you know which is going to win.

    There are two issues here. One she has split from the only person that she had as company, even if they didn't really get on, it was still another person in the house. She doesn' t sound like she works, so probably her only company is the people she sees when drinking. Somehow, you're going to have to break this cycle, the cycle that drinking with friends (or so called friends) in the evening is associated with happy times. Drinking during the day numbs the mind and the bordem and gives you that buzz that you crave.

    So to the medical side, People who get addicted to alcohol have a double whammy, not only are they poisoning themselves, they don't eat properly, depriving themselves of nutrients that the body vitally needs when under pressure.

    If she is shaking in the morning, she will be drinking during the day and most likely that includes the morning, believe me. She will be jealous of people, because deep down she will not be happy and she knows what she is doing is wrong, but when alcohol gets a hold of you, common sense goes out of the window.

    Yellow eyes is a very bad sign, it is jaundice, it is caused by high levels of bilirubin and it is indicative of serious liver disease - cirrhosis - it is a later stage symptom. I think you have underestimated her drinking, alcoholics are very good at covering the amount they consume.

    She is your aunt, so either your mum's or dad's sister or sister in law. Are they in anyway close to her and could try and talk some sense into her? because she needs to get down the doctors and have an LFT. That might shock her into doing something.

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    • Posted

      She is on my husbands side, she is close to her daughter but she is also a big social drinker so they go out together and honestly don't think they realise the damage they are doing! her daughter treats her life a friend but she is 30 years older at the end of the day and can't do the same things anymore!

      She does work and seems to be able to hold her job down but I do know sometimes she doesn't get home till 3am and then gets up for work at 6am and copes OK! I am almost 40 years younger than her and I couldn't do that! The family (on her side) just see it as its funny and a bit of a joke, they don't seem to realise how bad it is!! I am not sure who I can speak to about it really without causing offence, I just wanted to come on something like this to see if what i was thinking was right!

      The last time I was on a pub with her she drank 2 bottles of wine to the one I shared with my husband, we then left and she stayed out with friends for about 8 hours so I can't imagine how much she drank - like I said she will do thet kind of drinking at least 3-4 times a week!

      I need to try and speak to her daughter in the best way possible I think!

      She is also falling out with family memebers and being really nasty to people she used to really like! not sure if that is a sign of depression or damage or what but from reading up on it today it all points towards the drinking!

      thanks so much for your advice! x

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    • Posted

      'She is also falling out with family memebers and being really nasty to people she used to really like! not sure if that is a sign of depression or damage'

      Alcohol can cause many things to the brain. Mood swings, because of the chemical imbalance, depression and this is never really explained properly by the medical profession. Because people will say, I'm not depressed when I'm drinking, I'm happy.

      It is when you are sober you get depressed because the alcohol is no longer there to produce the required effect to get the dopamine acting, which gives the nice buzz when you drink. It also affects the central nervous system which is why you get the shakes when you come off alcohol.

      You can certainly do damage to the brain, and I don't just mean being a bit spaced out, you can literally go mad (I have seen a case whilst I was in hospital) from alcohol, especially if you don't eat properly and and get the butrients that you need, Which is why the first thing they do in hospital is start pumping you full of vitamins.

      The two main ones are:

      wernicke's encephalopathy

      korsakoff syndrome

      But right now, I would be checking th eye and skin colour and if it is indeed yellow, she needs an LFT test from her GP.

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  • Posted

    Very sweet of you to reach out for help for your auntie...I like Kellys idea of an Intervention...getting some concerned family members together..popping over her house and telling her how much you love her and how worried you are for her.

    ​Talking about getting professional therapy....talking about the things you see in her health....talking about how you don't want to lose her...and how you will help her "fight" her consumption of alcohol....help with ideas for her boredom.....etc.

    ​Once you put it out there to her..unfortunetly there won't be much more you can do and it would be up to her...but its possible she does not see that she is harming herself...and affecting the family as well.....

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    • Posted

      Thank you.  The part about once you put it out there that there's not much you can do.  That's where maybe ALNON comes in - to help family members who are dealing with a loved one who has an addiction.  The most one can do is speak up and show concern.  After that, it's up to the individual.  And I really wish my family had an intervention with me.  My grandmother tried but it took me a lot longer for it to sink in.  Poor lady went through so much with me.  Then again she's the only one (besides my husband) who does not drink.  

      Yes, get other family members involved & Good Luck.  

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    • Posted

      We can't do it for anyone....for some reason....there just comes a time for many that they CAN do it....and its sad that those that really care aren't there to see it...but she would be proud of me.....

      ​I call on her many days still...for the strength to not drink for just this one day.

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    • Posted

      Wonderful idea smile I'll have to call my grandmother more often!

      Got things to do today so I won't be online "too much" until later this evening.  Going to vote & out to eat with my husband & parents.  A day to take my mind off things at a restaurant with no alcohol (and a huge gift shop).  LOL!  

      Have a great day!

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    • Posted

      You are SO lucky your grandma is still alive!  Absoultely...CALL HER TODAY....tell her how good you feel (leave out the slip)....

      ​I'm voting today too...You will be busy and to me..that means a guarantee that you will not be drinking today!  Well almost a guarantee..

      ​I'm going for a random alcohol test today...and that is dangerous for me to be HONEST....they tested me Thursday...and now today....they can only test 1x a week...so if i go today they can't test me till next MONDAY...which means I could drink today and get away with it.

      The test only shows up to 4 days.....so important for me to keep busy today and eat well too.

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  • Posted

    Have a look at this page, even if it's no help for your aunt it might be for someone else you know:

    https://patient.info/health/sinclair-method-for-alcohol-use-disorder

    She might have a different attitude if she knows there's a way out aside from abstinence and cold turkey withdrawal. I'm using this method myself and it works quite well. I've cut back to about 25% of what I was drinking per week at the outset and I expect that to drop even more.

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