The Mental Health Effects of a DUI: How to Stay Positive and Move Forward – Guest Post

Getting charged with driving under the influence may feel like the end of the world, but there is a way out of it. While there are likely to be legal and social consequences you’ll have to deal with, it’s also important to take care of your mental health and any addictions alongside them. The stress and guilt of a DUI can be overwhelming, but it’s now more important than ever to focus on your well-being and recovery. This guide will help you process the situation and stay mentally balanced on your road to recovery and prosperity.

Assess the Situation, and Be Proactive

DUI charges are always serious, but they sometimes can be overcome or reduced with the right legal representation and a focus on recovery. Depending on the number of prior charges and whether anyone was injured, you may be looking at anything from a limited driver’s license to a suspended license along with jail time. This may seem daunting, but it’s important to know that what’s done is done and it’s in your best interest to move forward with the right professional help.

You’ll want to take steps to ensure it never happens again. Some ways include joining a detox and addiction treatment program to help you quit alcohol and narcotics safely and for the long-term. You may want to seek therapy to help you with any past traumas along with the current stresses of your situation. Dealing with DUI charges and an addiction simultaneously can be extremely difficult, and it’s crucial that you get professional help to find a way forward.

You should also consult with an attorney as soon as possible. With their experience, you will know exactly what to expect throughout the entire ordeal. A good attorney can help minimize your legal troubles, and they will also mentally prepare you for every step of the process. This will also greatly benefit your mental health since there will be fewer surprises along the way. Understanding the legal process will remove the fear of the unknown, and you will feel more in control of the situation by actively participating in it.

Remorse is Fine, but Practice Self-Forgiveness

It’s easy to feel guilty about your DUI, and a slight amount of guilt may help you on your road to recovery. But dwelling on the past can also hinder your growth moving forward. It’s important to find a balance between recognizing your past mistakes and not repeating them while also staying positive about the future.

While therapy is highly recommended, you can also get started right away by practicing mindfulness and being present in the moment. Take notice of how you feel, and go through all the reasons you ended up in this situation. Consider what made you drive while under the influence, and understand that this is a mistake that cannot be repeated.

It’s perfectly normal to be hard on yourself given the severity of the situation, but you should also practice forgiveness for your actions. Recognize that you were in the wrong, but also that this doesn’t have to define you forever. Know that you can change your path and don’t be afraid of reaching out for professional or social help. Let your family and friends know about your situation, and open yourself up to them so you can start to heal. While some of the conversations may be difficult, they can also lead to breakthroughs in your thought process while also removing some of the weight from your shoulders.

Find Good Habits to Reduce Stress

A DUI charge is stressful, but you can minimize the stress by improving other areas of your life. Exercise is a great way to reduce both physical and mental stress along with anxiety and depression. Finally, make sure to eat well and get enough sleep so you can start the day on the right track. All of these tools will help you cope better with your current situation and lead to the best outcome possible.

Your DUI charge does not define you, but you have to work to overcome it. The above tips can help you as you mentally and emotionally recover from the whole ordeal, and working with professionals will help you to prevent it from happening again. Remember to be kind to yourself, work with your lawyer and counselors, and know that the future can only get better as time moves forward. By focusing on your mental health today, you will be better prepared to create the future you want tomorrow.

Sources – Finding Drug Rehab Centers in Missouri – When Science Meets Mindfulness – Exercise for Mental Health – Diet and Exercise and Sleep