My daughter is destroying herself and everyone else

Posted , 12 users are following.

My daughter has an alcohol problem and I don't know what to do.She started drinking to excess after the birth of her last baby eighteen months ago but my husband and I knew nothing about it until three months ago.I took her to our gp to get help and she is now receiving counselling but I don't think it is helping.They have set goals for her to cut back but she is not doing so well.Last week she had a good week and her cousellor congratulated her on doing well.My daughters response was to go out and buy a bottle of wine to celebrate!Sunday she went on a drinking binge and walked out of the house.She went missing for hours and we were about to phone the police when she came back home in a state with cuts all over her hands saying some lads had tripped her up! The whole family are devastated including her children.When she is not using alcohol she is popping codeine based painkillers with the excuse that she has a bad back or a migraine.Her husband is a the end of his tether and has tried to throw her out but she won't go.He says he loves her but he hates her as well.She needs more help than she is getting but I don't know what to do anymore.I am watching my beautiful baby girl destroy her life and the lives of those who love her and I am helpless.Please help me to help her.

3 likes, 52 replies

52 Replies

  • Posted

    It is painfully hard to watch someone destroying theirselves. I have watched my husband do the same, and NO amount of persuading, begging, pleading, from me and my grown up kids, does any good. I still havent got to grips with the fact that HE has to want it - and he doesn't.  Your daughter needs you to be there, she needs her counselling, but she needs to change for HER, no one else. Sad but true. Talk to her when she is totally sober, point out what she is doing to you and her kids, and ask her WHY she feels the need to get so drunk, is there an underlying problem?
    • Posted

      Hi Olivo! I have talked to my daughter a number of times when she is sober,the last time being this morning.She knows exactly what she is doing to her family but she still can't stop.She says she is self medicating because she has anxiety and depression which may well have been why it started.She has four children aged 11,8,3 and eighteen months.The two year old has Downs syndrome.She has had a lot to cope with but she gets a lot of help from family.So we know what the underlying problems are but getting her to accept help is another matter.First of all she was scared that social services would get involved and she would lose her children.Then we got her to accept help but all she is getting is less than an hour couselling once a fortnight! I think she needs to go into detox and maybe some proper medical help but we don't have much money and I don't know if it is available on the NHS.


    • Posted

      Hello Lily, has your daughter been assessed by a psychiatrist? She sounds as she might be bipolar like my daughter! I too sees my daughter destroying herself and there's nothing much I can do apart from being there! She drinks, smokes and is addicted to prescription medications. She looks like a zombie since her last stay in hospital. But she is followed by a mental health team (NHS) ...

  • Posted

    This SHOULD be available on NHS - can you go to her doctor with her, and beg for help if necessary?  I dont live in UK anymore, and we get NO help where we live, but surely there is somone there, who can get her into a programme? I can see now why she has depression, its a lot for a  mother to cope with, and her children are all young. I'm sure the family all muck in and help, but she needs to WANT to stop, do you think she does? And get her life back on track, and then she can still get help from the system, to assist her to look after her family xx
    • Posted

      She admits that she has a problem with alcohol but thinks that she can learn to get it under control.She will not admit to being an alcoholic.
  • Posted

    Lily. Can you give us a little more information about her. Particularly:

    How much does she drink per day?

    Does she drink all day or just in the evenings?

    What happens if she doesn't have a drink? Does she have any physical withdrawal symptoms like shakiness, sweating and anxiety?

    I have to be honest and say that I am not surprised that the help offered to her is of no use to her. I am appalled that 'counselling to reduce alcohol intake' and 'drinking diaries' are all that is on offer on many areas of the UK.

    It is unfortunate that the attitude to those drinking excessively appears to be that those people should be able to get it under control with a bit of will power when most people who have experienced this problem, first or second hand, know that it is not like this at all.

    I work as an independent alcohol treatment practitioner and constantly see that the NHS is badly letting down people who have a physical illness which needs medical treatment.

    Please explain to your daughter's husband that she doesn't mean to be in this mess, it is an illness in the same way as many physical illnesses. Nobody sets out to deliberately get into difficulty with alcohol. Yes, their behaviour maybe a problem, but it isn't done on purpose.

    • Posted

      Hi Paul! I am unable to say how much she drinks in a day as I don't live with her.A lot of her drinking has been done in secret;she keeps finding different places to hide it of she will find an excuse to go out to the shops when she doesn't need to.We only know she's been drinking when we smell it on her or when her speech is slurred.She get the shakes and sweats when she has had a binge.There are some days, when her husband has not left her on her own,when she does not have a drink.She uses codeine based painkillers to help her get through these days and deal with anxiety but she will say she has a bad back or a headache.She asked me to buy her some paramol today and got angry when I refused.
    • Posted

      She needs an alcohol detox, judging by what you say, Lily. That means stopping drinking and taking medication to counteract the withdrawal symptoms. She must not try to stop drinking without the medication because alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous.

      Have a chat to her about this and see if she is willing to consider doing it. If she is, the problem you will need to overcome is the availablity of an alcohol detox in the area where she lives. However, she should ask her GP if she can have one.

    • Posted

      Hi Paul! We have mentioned detox to her few times and she insists that she does not need it.I don't know what else to do.If we can get her to consider detox what kind of medication would she be offered?
    • Posted

      Hello Lily. It would most likely be Chlordiazepoxide, which is also called Librium. It would allow her to stop drinking with NO withdrawal symptoms if it was prescribed at the correct dosage.

      I am not sure why she would be against the idea of derox because it is the safest and most comfortable way to stop drinking.

      I am sending you a private message.

  • Posted


    I totally agree with both Olivo and Paul about the lack of help on the NHS and the fact that your daughter must want to give up for herself. No amount of cajoling, persuasion or threats will encourage her to do so until she is ready.

    i know this from experience. It was only when I hit rock bottom and asked for help, because I was so scared that I was going to die, that I eventually asked for help.

    Prior to that I had been to counselling and just lied to them; stayed at my parents to try and control it but then crept out of the house at night to go and buy alcohol; pretend to run away and shut myself in a hotel to drink and I'd do absolutely anything I could to get hold of it. I lied and lied and lied. And as I saiid it was only when I'd been on a 2 week binge and started hallucinating that I cried for help.

    i hate to say this but maybe she needs to hit rock bottom before she will accept help.

    its not easy at all. The guilt of what I was doing was awful. I knew I was hurting my parents, family and friends but I could just not stop. It's a terrible addiction and I don't understand why it grabs hold of some people and not others. 

    I've been to AA and in the early days I went 6 days a week but after a while I couldn't understand their beliefs so I find my own ways of coping instead.

    i really really hope that your daughter will be different to me and not end up as bad as I did. But there is hope and she can get better but only when she is ready. 

    You might have to wait a while for that to happen, but keep hoping it will and in the meantime just try and be there for her when she needs you -because at some point she will.


    • Posted

      Hi Liz! I am so glad that the eventual outcome for you was positive and I hope that it continues to be so.I fear that my daughter is going to lose her home,her husband and her children because of her illness.I am begining to think that I will not live to see her free from this terrible thing.I feel like I have lost my real daughter and I am grief stricken,but I can not grieve properly because she is still here.She is just buried somewhere underneath this terrible addiction and no matter what I do I can't find her.
    • Posted

      What help did you receive when you cried for helpP
  • Posted

    Thank you for replying so quickly. 

    I asked for help 3 years ago after drinking for about 2 years. This was after the bearkdown of my marriage to an abusive husband. It was my "stupid" way of trying to forget what had happened and block the pain. But unfortunately it got out of hand. I didn't lose my kids, my job or my house but I so nearly did. Thank God I asked for help when I did or it could have been a completely different story.

    i actually didn't get any help as such from the NHS. I woke up one day, on the lounge floor, and had no idea what day it was, what time it was or how long I had been drinking. I hope this doesn't frighten you but I realised that I had been drinking 24/7 for 2 weeks. I thought it had been about 2 days. I counted the bottles and had drunk more than 72 bottles of wine in that time. And that what just the ones I hadn't hidden. I couldn't walk, could hardly talk, was vomiting constantly, hallucinating creepy crawlers, hearing voices, sweating, I couldn't get up the stairs to use the bathroom. It was hell.

    fortunatley, my 

    parents turned up and I just broke down and I said I couldn't carry on like that any more and begged for help. And this time I meant it. 

    I went cold turkey. Something I now know is  extremely dangerous for someone drinking as much as I was. But it worked for me. When I was able, I wrote a letter to myself, describing all the terrible thoughts I'd had and every time I think about a drink I read it to remind myself of where I have been. I also went to AA for about 6 months and even though I am grateful for the help and support I received from them I couldnt "get" the God stuff. I couldn't tap into my "higher power" and therefore stopped going.

    it hasn't by any means been easy. I didn't touch a drop for 18 months and on a few occasions I have thought I could drink socially again. But I can't. My body just doesn't cope with alcohol like normal people's does. For me it will always be an addiction and sometimes it hard to resist. But I can thankfully say that when I have had a drink, I realise very quickly that it's wrong and will get out of hand so have stopped after a day. 

    I really do wish there was a magic button in my brain that tells me when I've had enough but I obviously don't have that switch that everyone else does. So I can't drink.

    now I focus on the gym, work and trying to make up for what I did to my family and I think I'm getting there but it is no way easy and I guess it never will be. This has to be a life choice, not a temporary aid.

    Does that help at all?



    • Posted

      This is beyond anything I have ever heard of and amazing that you managed to stop completely. Well done and keep it up. Incredibly brave and fabulous!

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the community is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.