So says the close relative of a patient hospitalised after an overdose. It's the third this year, and they are getting more serious at each attempt. The family have tried pulling out all the stops when they get the call, followed by a more standoffish response, followed by "Tough Love". None of it makes a difference.
Booze is a big part of the problem... that and a hefty dose of denial. The loop of admission, dry out, Psychiatric evaluation and discharge revolves around and around. The problem is "Deathwish" is not a condition covered by the Mental Health Act.
You might argue that repeated efforts at self destruction suggest a soul in torment and in need of help. Indeed it's hard to contend otherwise. But if, on "recovery" the patient can say "I'm fine and I don't need your help" and keep a straight face while doing so, the Psychiatrists hands are tied. Serial "offenders" become well known to their local A&E and Psychiatry teams, and are treated with diminishing regard and respect at each attempt, and many eventually get it spectacularly wrong, and the cry for help ends up literally costing them the earth.
After a forty minute call in which the best I can offer are platitudes and contact details for a support group for families, I am left with the feeling, again, that there ought to be more that we can do.
Then step up Radio 4 (yes I still think they are listening in to my consultations) and the delightfully named Prof Nut a Bristol Psycho-pharmacologist, who says that we may be no more than five years away from antidotes to the "harmful" effects of alcohol.
I pray that he is right, and that this family can wait that long.