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Let's Talk Life

Published:Saturday | March 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Yvonnie Bailey- Davidson, Contributor

My dad is stressing me

Dear Counsellor,

I am taking care of my father who is 80 years old. I feel stressed and frustrated. I feel as if I would die before my father. He is confined to bed or a wheelchair and he fusses about everything.

- Janet

Dear Janet,

Caregiving is a very challenging activity. You need a break from caregiving. Do you have relatives who can help with your father? You may need to put him in a nursing home for a month or two. You may feel guilty about putting him in a nursing home, but it is for the good of both of you. Going forward, you need to arrange for breaks so that you can feel less frustrated. You can get a nurse's aid to help with him.

I am an alcoholic

Dear Counsellor,

I have a drinking problem. I have the symptoms of alcoholism. I get angry if anyone speaks to me about my drinking. I have to drink every morning or else I get the shakes. I have tried to cut down, but I have been unsuccessful.

- Anthony

Dear Anthony,

The description that you give tells me that you have alcoholism. Some people are social drinkers and others have problems controlling their drinking. What do you drink? Do you drink with friends, or do you drink alone? How long have you had a drinking problem? You need to go into a rehabilitation programme. You will have to give up your drinking buddies and your bar. This is easily said, but it can be done if you are committed. There are agencies that can help you quit the drinking of alcohol.

Are you stressed, worried, or anxious about life? Many people drink to cope with life's challenges. Life is very stressful and we all need coping skills. See a psychiatrist who can help you to deal with the substances. You need to assess your emotions and seek help to deal with the stresses. Some individuals are depressed, psychotic, or suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. These individuals drink to cope with the symptoms of these disorders.

People who drink alone tend to lead a lonely life. Are you a spiritual person? There is a support group for individuals who drink heavily. You need to believe in a God who is in control and will keep you free of alcoholic beverages. There is a teaching that says that alcoholism is a life-long illness with relapses.

Sometime an individual has to hit rock bottom before he admits to himself that he is sick and in need of treatment.

Email questions and feedback for Dr Yvonnie Bailey-Davidson to yvonniebd@hotmail.com or call 978-8602.