Our family has a member who is currently suffering from a number of psychological issues. Alcohol is not involved, but the story is similar. This person is angry, paranoid, depressed, and causing problems for both their immediate and distant family members. The question has arisen numerous times – how do we get this person straightened out? How can we get them to accept help? If we offer help, we are seen as passing judgment on them which only fuels and confirms the paranoia. So, how can we get this person to seek help on their own?

Most alcoholics achieve what is called “the bottom”. Everyone in AA has their “bottom” story. For many it involves jail time or a divorce. For some it is bankruptcy or being fired. For me, it was being raped. Without this bottom, it is believed that most alcoholics who quit drinking will return to drinking, only to achieve the bottom at a later date.

Although I belittle my bottom, most people are horrified by the story. To me, I am somewhat thankful for it, as it was the impetus that led me to achieve where I am today. It is the reason that I am not dead today.

We have yet to figure out a way to help our family member. We are, in fact, waiting for this person to bottom out. Perhaps something will happen that opens their eyes, and we hope it is not as rough a bottom as I had or as many alcoholics have.

We have tried leaving leaflets lying about. We have even suggested outright going to counseling. Neither of these have worked. In fact, the people who did these two things are now persona non grata with her. So, how do you help a person who is unable and unwilling to even see their own disease?