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how to help someone who doesn't want help



New member
Jun 25, 2021
I live with my partner. She is very depressed. She feels she cannot kill herself only because her son would go to his dad. She says she is very angry that she cannot kill herself. She says that she lives only for her son. I said "You need to be happy and healthy to take care of your son" She says, "even as a drunk I'm better than his dad"

She drinks ~17 drinks a day. Last week she decided to check herself into detox. She thought that if she went there and dried out she would finally actually want to quit. Detox was traumatic - she was the only one there voluntarily (not the supportive community she imagined). They gave her a ton of meds including addictive substances (adavan she didn't need?) and unidentified pills. She took group therapy from a preschool teacher and dental hygienist. She left after two days, feeling that the program was useless (and also, surely, wanting to continue drinking).

She still does not want to quit drinking. She wants to want to quit.

She is "in therapy" (over the phone) but I think she cancels a lot and I think she is not letting her therapist know how serious her problems are.

I am not allowed to encourage her to seek help. I have to be indifferent to her drinking and her depression for our relationship to continue. I am a recovering alcoholic, so her constant drinking is a problem for me, and I end up drinking more often than I would like.

She says she does not want to be happy. How can she want to keep living, but not want to be happy? How do you help a person like this?


Well-known member
Mar 29, 2021
The simple answer is that you cant

Are you sure you want to stay with her? Bluffing you will leave her could force her to do something positive but may also have the opposite effect.


Well-known member
May 14, 2021
South America.
How do you help a person like this?
Sadly, in all likelihood, you cannot.

And while your intentions seem noble, there comes a point where if you've tried everything that you reasonably can and it has no meaningful effect, then it's time to start thinking about moving on.

That's not being selfish, awful or uncaring, it's simply not continue to harm yourself with no purpose or gain by willingly chaining yourself to what seems to be, and you'll have to forgive my graphic language, a walking corpse.


Well-known member
Mar 29, 2021
Yeah agree with Mildly

I was born in Berlin. Dont understand whats happened to Germany in the last 20 years. Used to have a great education system and generous social welfare. Now it seems more like USA. No minimum wage. Crap universities.No re.nt caps. AfD a Nazi political party.

Sounds like the detox program was run by volunteers or scammers. I guess you got good ones but expensive.

Yeah Id leave tha5 woman before she does you any more harm. Already using emotional blackmail against you. Yeah a walking corpse.


Well-known member
Apr 28, 2011
.......She says she does not want to be happy. How can she want to keep living, but not want to be happy? How do you help a person like this?
I would not assume that being happy is necessarily a good goal to have. Being happy is not the opposite of depression. Many people have very unhappy lives and yet are not depressed. Happiness is a nebulous condition anyway with people having different interpretations of what it means

Look to giving her practical help. Small steps with small attainable goals.
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