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skceb1234's avatar

Are my parents alcoholics?

Asked by skceb1234 (60points) June 17th, 2009

im going through a really tough time at the moment because im suffering with OCD. this means that im stressed alot and my parents drinking is not helpful at all.

my mum and my step dad down 2 bottles of RUM on average every day. thier moods are always up and down which is hard to deal with. ive tried confronting them about it but i always get told off, and they say that it is a normal amount to drink and they dont have a problem. i disaggree. this is really started to affect me now. i cant take it anymore; i have been so stressed i have self harmed and i also thought about running away.

my step brothers and sisters aggree with me but they do not live with me so i hav no other support, and they will not say any thing.

1. are they alcoholics??
2. what shall i do?

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16 Answers

Darwin's avatar

Sounds as if they are alcoholics (two bottles of rum a day?) but no one can change them except themselves. Have you considered finding a branch of Alateen in your area? This organization is for those who live with and suffer from the actions of alcoholics and is designed to help the members learn how to cope with the stress and to realize that someone else’s alcohol use is not your problem to solve.

skceb1234's avatar

thank u but im only 15 and i have tried telling them so many times and i just cant tlk to them about it. if i even suggested AA meetings they would ground me. i have enough stress as it is with my ocd

Alleycat8782's avatar

You should talk to your step brothers and sisters more or at least talk to someone who can support you (maybe other members of your family). I think support is the biggest thing you need right now.

Darwin's avatar

Alateen isn’t AA per se, and it isn’t for them. It is for you. You don’t need to discuss it with them. They don’t need to go to it. It is to help you deal with the stress of their drinking.

At least contact the organization online. They may have (and probably do have) online support groups, or possibly even something associated with a local school or church. Perhaps you could even make a friend who can drive you to meetings – that way you simply say that you are going someplace such as the church youth group with your friend.

You don’t need to talk to them about it at all. You can’t change their drinking. Only they can do that. But you can find support for your own difficulties with their drinking.

If you can do nothing else, talk to a counselor at school or to a minister if you attend church.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

wow that’s really hard
I’m sorry you have to deal with that
keep up hope for the future
when you can move out and live a positive life
i know that’s not much help right now
but your priority should be to figure out how you can be independent

ubersiren's avatar

That definitely sounds like trouble, dear. Anyone who is addicted will have trouble admitting it. In my opinion, a bottle of rum a day is not a normal amount, so I would say they are addicted. If they don’t see their problem, then all you can do is wait to get out. There will be little you can do to change their views. Your 18th birthday is closer than it seems to you now, so just hang in there. If they start to neglect their parental duties to you, call the agency that handles that stuff in your area. I’m so sorry that you’re having to deal with it at such a young age.

wundayatta's avatar

Many mental illnesses share a common allele. The disorders can be passed down genetically. Mental illness doesn’t have to be expressed the same way from generation to generation—i.e., bipolar parents could have an OCD or anorexic or depressed child. There could be all kinds of combinations. Schizophrenics could give birth to bipolar kids. Depressed parents might have ADD kids. Etc.

What I’m implying is that if you have OCD, is it more likely that your biological parents also have a mental illness. If they do, your mother, at least, could be self-medicating. You do not write about your biological father, or why he and your mother separated. If she has a mental illness, that could help explain the separation, and also why she chose her next husband. I tell you this only to offer you a possible explanation of what is going on. It doesn’t help you figure out what to do, but sometimes understanding helps.

Now, some people say that you first deal with the symptom (alcoholism) and then deal with the underlying issue. My instinct is to think that you should deal with the underlying issue, and then the symptom will go away.

My advice is that you read up about different mental illnesses, and then compare your parent’s behavior to these descriptions. If something matches up, then you have more to go on. In doing this, you should take advantage of your disorder, because it helps you focus on the task, and push yourself on until you complete it in the most thorough way.

If your parents do not think they have a problem, and their behavior continues to hurt you, you could develop options to living in their home. Is your father still alive? Is he a reasonable person? Could you live with him? Are there other family members who would let you live with them? Are there social services that could help you develop options to living with your parents?

A problem like this makes people grow up very fast. It forces you to deal with very serious problems on your own at a younger age than most people in our society have to. One thing you should know is that many children have survived parents like these. Several are on fluther. They moved out as soon as they could, in some cases. It was difficult—very difficult, but they survived, and some say it made them stronger.

This is a challenge for you, and it sucks. However, I have a feeling you are up for this challenge. I wish you the best, and I encourage you to keep asking questions here.

loser's avatar

It sounds like your parents do have a problem with alcohol. I feel for you. No kid should have to deal with that. I hope you can find the courage to get help for yourself though. Alateen can help you learn how to cope with your parents and take care of YOU. I know this can’t be easy but there are others who have had to deal with similar situations and Alateen and Alanon has helped hundreds of people. Please take care of yourself. Hang in there!!!

skceb1234's avatar

thank u everyone for all ur support. I was starting to think that drinking that much WAS a normal ammount. but I still cant tlk to them. even now they are drunk they have drank a bottle of whiskey and are half way through a bottle of rum. they are also starting to drink earlier in the day; IE 11:10 am. im scared tht if i tell any1 they might take me away from my parents. i know they are alcoholic but i still love them:(

susanc's avatar

Do contact Alateen. Remember, it will help you to keep in mind your own life as opposed to theirs. At your age, and I would add at my own age when I joined AlAnon (I was 46), it’s really good to have these reminders, because you may want to “save” your mother and stepfather, if only to have a better home life. But people who are drinking that much need this alcohol (for a reason we can’t determine here) and besides being foggy because of it, their first loyalty will be to it, not to you. Not a choice. A condition.

So your job is to focus on your own wellness. Yes, living with these parents is going to be difficult. But let it gradually become clear to you that their pain does not have to be your pain. It’s hard enough to witness it, because they’re your family and I imagine you love them. So get this support. It’s not aggressive, it’s not
shaming. I promise.

skceb1234's avatar

if i do that and they find out ill be in so much trouble though

Darwin's avatar

So don’t tell them.

Look after yourself first. When you are 18 (actually 17 in some states such as Texas) get out, but until then get support.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes. They should get help.

CMaz's avatar

Either they are alcoholics or are running a pub in your kitchen.

Talk to others that are close to you about it. That will help plenty.

ncbausa's avatar

Im not an expert on Alcoholics or mental illnesses. you say you love your parents i understand that but you are responsible for you if you dont help your self the no one can untel you contact a place like the one that (Darwin) suggested then no one can help alcohol is a very powerfull substance it changes someones prorites. maybe what your parents need is for you to contact someone to help you and that may make them see how seariously there actions are affecting you. YOU have to take the nessasery steps to better YOUR life and your parents will follow. The key word is YOU. You take control of YOUR life and make it what it can be or someone else will.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Visit for an assessment and “Drink Too Much?” ( for suggestions on how to help

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