Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Mental Illness or Alcoholism

My brother-in-law is a raging alcoholic.  The entire family realizes this and so does he.  However, he has been in detox and AA 4 different times with no success.  His family has a history of mental illness and I am wondering if the alcoholism could be a symptom of a mental disease instead of the alcoholism being the main problem.  We are trying to help him beat the drinking but are thinking that he may need mental help first and then work on the drinking second.

He has no money or insurance and can not afford treatment.  Are there mental resources in Iowa that could help him?  Thank you for your help as we are lost on what to do now.
28 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi Toad,

Avatar universal
hi toad,

    Sorry about that, this damn keyboard! I too am originally from Iowa, an alcoholic myself with lots of mentally ill folks in my life! First of all is your family member a veteran? If so the VA offers low cost or no cost mental health and substance abuse treatment. Although I'm sure if he is he has no doubt already checked out those resources. The VA's in Iowa are in Des Moines, Knoxville and Iowa City. Don't know what part of Iowa he is in but most counties and cities have community outreach services of some sort that provide referral and information. I got on the web to try to find some Iowa stuff for you and Iowa Dept of Human Services has kind of a crappy website but if you are patient enough to wade through all their stuff it looked like there was some referral type infor. Also, Iowa State University Extension Service had a mental health referral by town or county, www.exnet.iastate.edu., also kind of a awkward website but some referral services there too. Just try putting mental health + Iowa on your on search engine, you may find some interesting stuff. I grew up in Northwestern Iowa, and there was a lot of stuff over there, a council on alcoholism, a mental health referral center, and a county community action agency as well that all had referral information. I will keep my eyes open for more and if I find out will post to you. Take care.
31505 tn?1345439945
Alas, I do wonder if there is such a thing as the incurable addict.  Can an additional mental illness make permanant the hell of addiction?  There are people out there who do die from it because they can't stop no matter what.  I have often wondered if I am one of those people...........I wonder.......
Avatar universal
HI,  welcome to the forum....alcoholism and addiction (same disease) are a symptom of an underlying problem,,,,take the responses from Irish and run with it.......she knows what she is talking about,,,,,good luck   love to all    cin
Avatar universal
Cindi, have someone run to the drugstore and get you some Azo standard for your bladder infection it really helps with the pain and the urge to go all the time.  There are a few different brands of the same type of medicine and it is all otc.  Uristat has one too.  It really helps but it turns your pee orange.  Small price to pay for relief.  Feel better!
Avatar universal
Thanks a bunch   never knew that was over the counter,,,i can have doug do that tomorrow but my nieghbor who lives with infections gave me her pyridium   numbs you so it doesn't hurt and some antibiotics......man  I haven't had one of these in years....but the pyridium does make your pee orange..like glow in the dark orange....thanks tons  and BTW  How are you doing?  Jb:   How are you feeling  you seem to be doing much better   I'm happy for you      love to all      cin
Avatar universal
Hi Cindi. I just wanted to let you know I'm here for you. I had horrid pain untill they removed my bladder. So I can sympathize with you. Your in my prayers hon. I know your under a lot of stress. I too am looking forward to a trip to Florida. If at all possible my husband and I are going to my family reunion next week in Lakeland. Money isn't really here to go on but I need to get away so bad.Between doctors and tests and kids, this 44 year old grandma of nine is about to blow a fuse. So I told my husband if he valued his life,he needed to get me out of this for a few days. My biggest concern is leaving my 5 year old grandson I'm keeping now. He doesn't understand anything that is going on. Just that he wants to live with me and doesn't want me to go anywhere without him. That would be defeating the purpose of the trip if I have to take him with me. but I have to make sure he'll know I'm not leaving him. I'll shut up now. I didn't mean to unload on you with all you've got going. hang in there girlfriend. As always , your in my prayers.
Avatar universal
.....i found an AN...(AA)....BUT!?
-reg. numba
-talkinn sh.t,talkinn crazy..(grow up,immature,blah,blah,co.k s..k)
-they need to "INFORM" family?(stupid $#@!)

.....SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO.....now..!?

...livinn in a "slow zone"...apathy...im a child of a former EON?
...deeply undaground..readinn bookz,takinn dope,tryin` to resolve
global karma...alwayz under suspecction of a lower form of existence.....concrete environment...need nature..MAYDAY.MAYDAY!?

skipper my friend i`ve told u ev.thing `bout me that u should know.......what do u think i should do...please.....I cant go
to hospital at once....(if doctaz can help them selfs,how can
they help me?)

Avatar universal
I know in this state you can get free health care including mental health at certain clinics. Irish is right contact Human Services. One of the doctors here has made a killing with this. You pay ten dollars for all services. It is not a run down place either. It is the same clinic that everyone with insurance goes to. Also, the college here in down offers mental health services based on your ability to pay. I have used this and they are really good. I could not tell the difference in them and the one I paid $150.00 an hour for. I think you are on the right track. Good luck.
Avatar universal
GO Granny! go granny !go granny go!!!!!!  get away  run fast   a gramma of how many at what age?   LOL  I am 41 with 2 kids 7 and 3 and I am pulling my hair out....when i move you can come with me.......love you   cindi                 PS  UMMMMM  if anyone sees spook around send my love
Avatar universal
Passive,  I really wish I knew what you are talking about so I could help you.  i know you have an Ultram addiction as I do.  If there is anything I can do to help please try to communicate. SKIPPER - How are you doing with understanding this all?
WW, Jenny and Cindi Just a big hug to you all today  Here goes (((((((HUG)))))). Wish I had a good joke for you all but I never remember them.  Oh well Hope you are all ok.
Avatar universal
Are you still with us?  Just want you to know I am thinking of you.  I am so scared I have promised myself I am going to call an addiction specialist tomorrow and it scares the hell out of me.  I know getting completely off the Ultram is going to be the hardest thing I have ever had to do because I know I have to look deep into my soul and see what I am covering up.  Anyway we all have our hard times so lets keep our chins up.  It helps me to help others so please if I can help please ask this goes for anyone on this forum.  Love to all you kind souls!  Jules
Avatar universal
Hi all,
Nothing really to share, only this mess isn't getting any better.
Husband seems to be in major denial, me, i'm still battling all the madness around me!
I'm just getting more and more exhausted trying to keep up with everyone's demands!
Things are definately NOT going well!  No easy answers, see only pain!
It's late and i'm just beyond exhausted!  Kids are healthy thank god.  I miss the husband i saw in rehab, he seems to be gone again!
My parents are coming for a visit in a week, going to disney with the kids.  Should be fun, but hope it doesn't cause problems with my husband being the way he is lately!  Don't need to stress them out. Parents get stressed, it stresses me to the max!
Life has definately been better!
Prayers and (((HUGS))) for everyone!
Lv Jenny
Avatar universal
Hi Toad,
As a Psychiatric Social Worker, I can comment on this. It sounds that he falls into the "Dual Diagnosis" category..having both alcoholism and some other diagnosible mental illness? What are the mental illness symptoms in addition to the alcoholism? Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders and many other problems often go hand in hand with substance abuse. The current Psychiatric school of thought is to treat both problems at once, though most Psychiatrists will require that a person stops using the alcohol before prescribing a medication to help. Look into your County Mental Health center. In most states, if not all, County Mental Health centers are funded to treat people who do not have insurance, and most have dual diagnosis programs that consist of groups, individual counseling, medication management and sometimes inpatient treatment if needed.

The problem is that until someone is clean from the drugs or alcohol for a while, it is hard to tell if there is really also an addition mental illness, since the effects of alcoholism mimic the symptoms of other disorders as well.

Good luck in the search for help...my heart goes out to all of you in this situation. I grew up with a raging alcoholic mother, and I know how devastating it can be to see someone you love suffering so badly.

Avatar universal
don't know how to help you. What can i (or other members of this
forum) do to help you?
if you can not get help for your drug problem where you are now,
can you leave and go somewhere else in europe where they have more enlightened attitudes about drugs?
like i said before, if there is anthing you want from this forum,
you have to ask for it!

keep an angel on your shoulder
Avatar universal
It sounds like you've calmed down a bit since the last time I was on this forum.  I hope you are okay!

I spent three weeks imagining all kinds of terrible things that could possibly happen to me.  I was a wreck mentally and in my mind's eye, I thought I'd be an invalid for the rest of my life.  Not to mention that my attending physicians at the hospital took me off narcotic painkillers.  Naproxen and Tylenol were RX'd in their place.  What a cruel joke!

Anyway, my PC doctor was able to get me in good spirits again and got everything back on track...and then some.  There really are some good doctors out there!

I'm still recuperating from the septecemia...it takes a long time.  But at least under the care of a good doctor, I am comfortable and not living in a world of terror and nightmares.

I'm slow but sure and feel pretty good today.  Hope you are, too!  J.B.
Avatar universal
Thank you for thinking of me,  I have calmed down a bit,,what else can I do    I have other things to keep my mind occupied  my son has croup, i have been working 9 hours a day, dealing with my 86 year old gramma who thinks she's dying because her chest is heavy  (she has seen every doctor under the sun) and she has no get up and go and can't remember what happened yesterday...she has gone down hill since my mom died  she was her only child....so now I'm back to square one with taking care of people.....not that I mind, but ****, I'm trying to move to florida  LOL  so gramma thinks I can call off work to take her to the doc,   I can't, she calls her "little" sister the tender age of 84 to drive her there I call gramma and ask her what the doc said,,,,she flippin tells  me   "I don't know what he said"  I'm normal I guess",,,,,,GOD HELP ME !!!!!  AND I AM MOVING THIS WOMAN TO FLORIDA WITH ME!!!!    sometimes she wants to go and then she doesn't,,hell   I can just tell her that she wants to go but just can't remember she said it.... I am not being mean,,,,I am so tired,,,I took care of my mom for long and I miss her so flippin much I can't take it    now i have visions of the police escorting me from work....SO!!!! JB,I'm glad you are doing better,,,Sepsis takes awhile to get over and you are very lucky and blessed..and I am lucky and bless to have friends like all of you here......PS   HI Skipper!!!!! where is my It's Tuesday bulletin  LOL  I know the beginning of the semester.LOL  love to all   cin
Avatar universal
Oh cindi, you sound so exhausted! I hope you can get some time to just catch up on your own rest. Dealing with frail elderly loved ones is something I've dealt with too, and it is draining beyond one's understanding at times.

Avatar universal
Yes  it is exasperating....of to work.. but I hope you have a wonderful day.....Blessed Be...........Love cin
Avatar universal
Sorry to hear what you've been going through.  I know you are a tough cookie, though.  You'll make it.  I have been reading your emails, but haven't had the time to respond, but don't ever think that I am ignoring you.  I'm trying to do some catching up tonight.  I think your right on w/ that email about the NEW poster here.  It's definately him.  Nutt-so more than ever.  
Did I read somewhere that your moving to FLa.???  You will be closer to me, if you do.  Our meeting won't seem so impossible.  Hang in there sister, and bare w/ me.  We'll chat soon.
Love ya (as always),
Angelica (:
Avatar universal
Where is that Post you were talking about in that last email????
Not sure if you will see this, since your pulling back.  I'll email you.
Avatar universal
here there dixie chick....LOL my sister is here visitng  again   actually partying more than helping but what the hell....gott get to be  jen has her first soccer game in the morning   talk to ya later tater tot   and   My surfer dude   you know that I know what is going on so all i can say is I feel your dust and see your rainbows and I will always be your dorothy and dorothy loved the wizard........LOL    love you both  cin
Avatar universal
Thank you thank you thank you......... man, nobody answers your posts here, anymore......  That erks me!!! Does it erk you???  LMAO
SO jen is playing soccer.  My hubby used to be a soccer pro LOL and a coach.  We tried that w/ my son, but he didnt keep it up.  Well, chickadee.... we'll chat soon.
Avatar universal
Everything erks me lately.  lOL  that perimenopausal ****  LOL  hey catch ya later tater       love ya....
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