One of the unanticipated and rarely discussed fallouts after getting a DUI is depression. Many, most often those with a first-time DUI, report signs of depression after getting the DUI, such as deep sadness followed by anger and then sadness again. They often spend a lot of time ruminating over their stupidity and feel like losers. They are ashamed to share the details of their arrest and conviction and subsequent emotions with friends and family. This is more common than you would imagine.
Unfortunately, for some— often it is those who feel they have a reputation to protect— the feelings can even turn suicidal. I will tell everyone reading this: a DUI is a pain, it costs you a lot of money, and it can seriously crimp your lifestyle for a while but it too shall pass. I will also remind you that many otherwise responsible people have a DUI on their record. Heck, even one of our former presidents (at least one, maybe more) had a DUI in the past.
The healthy way to deal with a DUI, particularly if it is your first, is to see it as an opportunity: 1) you got a free pass because your drunken driving didn’t kill anyone, 2) you got a wake-up call alerting you to the personal consequences and hopefully will carry that lesson for the rest of your life, and 3) the DUI might alert you to an alcohol problem you previously refused to admit. I don’t mean to sound judgmental, I have had many DUI clients through my door and I understand the many circumstances that ended in their DUI arrest; none of us is perfect.
If you are feeling depressed, or worse, after you receive a DUI, there are professionals who can help, many of whom have experience with the exact trigger for the depression you feel. You may have already been sentenced and required to attend alcohol education programs. That is a good place to connect with others in the same predicament and form empathetic friendships.
Some of the best strategies are to stay “present” and avoid ruminating on the past DUI. If it feels safe, it might also help to open up to family and friends; you may be expecting judgment but instead you might find that they love and care for you—you might even learn that one of those you open up to also got a DUI in the past but was too ashamed to tell you.
Every DUI client who walks through my door is an individual. I understand that it is more than the potential suspension of his or her license to drive, probation, and hours of DUI education that is a concern; I know there is an emotional cost too. If you have been arrested and charged for driving under the influence, I am here to help. Yes, I will defend your case as aggressively as the law allows, but I will also respond to you as an individual who may need some emotional guidance during the process. You may contact me for a free consultation at 949-474-8008 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.