After the birth of my 2nd daughter, my wife suffered from depression and has been taking Paxil for the last nine years consistently. During this time, she has developed into a heavy smoker, while also increasing her alcohol consumption to 5-6 days per week. Maybe 4-8 beers every evening. In the last 3 years her moods have been ranging from very high and estatic, to downright miserable and everywhere in between. Over the last year we have struggled getting along in our relationship. The smallest problem is now a major issue between us. I can feel her anxiety when any type of questions concerning paxil, alcohol, and smoking is discussed. All lines of communication in regards to our relationship is also put on the back burner. The question I have is concerning what to do from here? Many of my close friends advised me to seek marriage counseling, but she is refusing to go, claiming that counseling will make her feel "beat up" and that her self esteem can't take the discussion. I have done some research in this department and I honestly believe she needs to seek a psychiartrist or someone out there that can evaluate all the issues happening in her life. It will be difficult for her to "accept" my advice b/c she is so defensive and upset by the mention of getting help. Can you help me?
You are truly in a tough situation. It sounds like maybe your wife's medication stopped working and she compensated for this with alcohol. Combining these two things is very dangerous, you shouldn't drink on antidepressants. She sounds very defensive about all of this which tells me she knows she has a problem, and is embarrassed or fearful of help. She needs to do a couple of things, with the first being to see a psychiatrist. She is trying to escape the real world, and with the help of a professional she can find out why. But not only is she putting her life at risk, she's not doing your daughters any good with all this, not to mention what you are enduring. The alcohol has a hold on her, and she needs to stop. You need a way to get her attention, and it may just be through your children, and you. If she thinks she will lose all of you if she doesn't seek help, this should be enough to get her moving in that direction. It won't be easy, but stand your ground on this for everyone's sake. I think marriage counseling will bring you right back to the alcohol and medication. She has to know that she stands to lose a lot if she doesn't seek help, and I don't think she wants this. So far, it's not been a problem for her, she's had the best of all worlds, and this has to change. It's no longer up to her to call the shots, but you. A sort of tough love. I've seen many people stop drinking and get their life in order when it came down to having to choose. Good luck with all this, she is very fortunate to have a husband so caring. Take care....
It sounds like you are living with an alcoholic/addict. I have been one, so I understand. If she refuses to go to therapy, you should still go without her in the beginning. Tell her about how it's working for you and she may show an interest. Otherwise, you should probably go to Al-Anon. They will understand and it's free of course.
As the poster above said, this isn't good for your kids or you, so you do have to do something. I don't think an addict will respond well to threats, but at the same time, you need to think about your kids. The manic-depressive behavior your talking about is common with alcoholics and you can't know until she is clean how much of it is alcohol and how much is actual mental issues.
She probably needs to go to treatment. Kids see all of this stuff, so try not to let it drag out.
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