Hereditary Mental Illness? (15M)




My dad drank a lot, to the point where it eventually killed him. He had panic attacks and severe depression, he was drinking upwards of a litre of vodka daily. He died last year.

Now, I drink a lot. I can’t leave the house because of agoraphobic panic attacks. I’m doing things and then forgetting that I’ve done them. I’ve blacked out at 9PM, woken up at 1AM, checked my phone and found out that I was having clear, coherent conversations with no memory of it. It’s as if there’s someone inside me taking control of my personality temporarily.

  • listener

    Hi there,

    I'm really sorry to hear about the loss of your dad and how much you're struggling personally. You've been through so much with your dad's drinking and passing, it's understandable that you're finding it difficult to cope.

    It must be really frightening to have these black outs with no memory of what has gone on. Have you spoken with anyone else about this? This is a very scary thing to be going through alone so I hope you have some support around you.

    It's really important to get some help for everything you're going through right now. It could be good to start by phoning your GP if you haven't already. They will be able to talk you through options of support. It may not seem like it right now, but things can improve with the right help.

    It's really positive that you've reached out on here. It's not an easy thing to talk about, but if you have the space to share it can feel a little bit better.

    Nacoa is there for you as well so if you'd like to get in touch you can email or call 0800 358 3456.

    Take care of yourself and keep reaching out.

    • thejavaboy


      Thank you for the thought-out response. I am having appointments with a psychiatrist (GP referral) but I haven't mentioned the drinking. I fear that I won't be taken seriously because of how unorthodox it seems for a 15-year-old to have an alcohol problem.

      Nobody knows about the blackouts. Although, I have been accused of being really "mean" to people online, which are either fabrications or a result of the blackouts. I don't think it's drunken episodes as much as alcohol combined with stress completely frying my memory.

  • listener


    It’s good to hear you are having appointments with a psychiatrist. I hope that is helping and I would encourage you to open up about the drinking with them, if or when you feel ready to. I know it might feel difficult and scary right now, but hopefully they will listen without any judgement and then may be able to provide you with the right support. It could be worth mentioning your dad's addiction to them - they may take it more seriously.

    I don’t know if you’re speaking to anyone else about this at the moment? There’s lots of resources and support out there both online and in person and sharing your experiences with others that have gone through similar situations will hopefully help to remind you that you are not alone and not the only one experiencing these feelings.

    Finally, I would suggest looking at some of the resources and publications on the Nacoa website. Maybe doing some reading and research will help you to understand and therefore tackle these issues a bit better? It’s great that you’ve reached out on here and to your GP, it sounds like you are already taking some important positive steps.

    Best wishes

  • uniquemind


    I'm really sorry you are going through.

    Alcoholism has a genetic factor, although I feel many studies have established it is mainly based on life-choices and personality attributes. I have grown up around parental alcoholism, although I do drink to moderation on the odd occasion I do not drink to access. However, I felt when I was younger I did drink to a access to try and help me deal with the negative emotions and experiences I was feeling through my alcoholic parent. I feel substance misuse is sometimes a coping mechanism for experiences you are living and emotions you are feeling.

    Please do not feel like you are alone in what you are experiencing because I and many others understand what you are going through. Contacting services for therapy based treatment or counselling services could help you a lot with what you are dealing with. Try your local mental health team or other services local to you.

    Hope this helps,

    Take care

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