It’s no surprise that facing a DUI conviction is stressful. There’s no question that the consequences of a DUI stretch way beyond the date of the arrest. Being charged with a DUI conviction can create problems when searching for employment or housing. A DUI charge can strain relationships with friends and family. In addition, a suspended license can make simple daily tasks much more difficult. All of these obstacles can start to add up and have an impact. Research shows that a DUI conviction affects your mental health in various ways. In this article, we focus on how a DUI conviction affects your mental health and ways to help you cope.
Statistics show that out of all the possible crimes out there to commit, most DUI charges are first time offenders. These are individuals who have never been in trouble with the law in their entire lives. It may not have been the first time they were intoxicated behind the wheel, but it’s the first time they’ll receive a punishment for it. It’s no secret that the consequences of a DUI can be severe. They can also be quite scary if it’s your first arrest. Just the idea of mandatory jail time, license suspension, or fines can impact your mental health. Most first-time offenders will feel the repercussions of a DUI immediately on their mental and emotional health.
Financial stress is one of the leading causes of severe anxiety and depression. One of the very first issues offenders face is the financial stress of a DUI. The cost of a DUI in the United States can range anywhere from $4,000-$17,000. Between fines, attorney fees, and insurance rate increases, you’re dealing with a large sum of money. Even if you’re financially secure, this is an unforeseen cost that can create a lot of stress. If you’re just getting by and living paycheck to paycheck, a DUI can be disastrous. Individuals charged with DUIs often cite that the financial stress of the arrest was the most devastating part.
Loss of Independence
Unfortunately, public transportation isn’t as efficient or convenient as being able to drive your own vehicle. Having a suspended license is an issue that bleeds into all aspects of your life. Depending on carpools, ride-sharing apps, or friends to drive you around isn’t ideal. This loss of transportation can also lead to a loss of independence. A DUI conviction affects your mental health because it can make you feel stuck in a problem you can’t get out of. When you don’t feel like you have the freedom to go to work or run simple errands on your own, it can start to weigh you down.
Feelings of Depression
We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of how a DUI conviction affects your mental health. So far, there’s a clear link between depression and DUI arrests. First-time convictions, financial stress, and a loss of independence can all contribute to feelings of depression. These obstacles might cause you to pull away from friends and family. You might start to avoid social situations. You could experience stages of extreme fatigue or self-loathing. In addition, it can be difficult to have to share news about your DUI with friends, co-workers, or managers. Facing public scrutiny or judgment can definitely affect your mental health. When you’re reminded of your DUI conviction every day, it can be difficult to move on and shake feelings of depression.
Ways to Cope
Thankfully, there are ways to cope with the after-effects of a DUI. First, it’s important to remember that this too shall pass. While you may feel like you’ll be dealing with a DUI forever, you’ll eventually come out on the other side of this. Here are a few other ways to cope with the effects of your DUI:
- Don’t push away your support system. Allow friends and family to help.
- Remember to stay physically healthy. Exercise can help fight off depression.
- Stay informed and do your research. Learning more about your DUI charges can help reduce stress.
- Try to stay away from alcohol. Alcohol is a natural depressant and it can enhance feelings of despair or sadness. If you believe that addiction could be a problem, it’s important to get help right away.
For More Information on How a DUI Conviction Affects Your Mental Health
If you’d like more information on how a DUI conviction affects your mental health, speak with a DUI attorney. They can provide you with local resources to help you deal with mental and emotional stress. A DUI attorney can help also you understand your charges and guide you through your fines and penalties. With the support and knowledge of an experienced attorney on your side, you can overcome your DUI conviction and move on. Contact a DUI attorney today to learn more!