I’m very glad you wrote. Since you are 60, I’m guessing your brother-in-law may be somewhere close to your age. I’m also guessing that he has been taken to a psychiatric hospital for his behavior. It’s very possible that the problem is medical, not psychiatric. The way the American health care system is currently organized, a psychiatric facility probably didn’t check him out medically. Their job is to stabilize someone, review his psychiatric medications, and get him home.
Your brother-in-law may be less resistant to seeing his doctor than going back to a facility. My best suggestion is that you get him to his doctor for a complete physical. Believe it or not, there are a variety of medical issues that can cause this type of behavior. Problems with the heart or bowel, for example, sometimes show up as delusions and depression. A sign of early dementia is erratic behavior. I’m not an M.D. and I don’t have anywhere near enough information to tell you what the diagnosis may be. I only mention those possibilities to demonstrate that psychiatric symptoms sometimes have medical origins. As for the beer: He may be self-medicating. The alcohol makes him feel better so he goes for it.
You will get a better assessment if the family keeps careful notes of exactly what your brother-in-law does, how often, and with what intensity for a few weeks prior to the appointment and present the information to the doctor. Otherwise, the doctor will only have what his patient reports – which you already know is unreliable.
Your brother-in-law may not appreciate it but he is a lucky man to have concerned family. Whatever the problem may be, early diagnosis makes a difference. By getting him to a doctor, his family may well give him the chance for a much better – and longer – life.
I wish you all well.