My twin brother has always suffered from depression and began drinking to drown his sorrows as a teenager. His only bouts with the law were one DUI. Then he went back to just drinking at home. I decided on medical intervention to help with my depression, and I never got into self-medicating. My brother was drinking so much that he started bleeding internally and was hospitalized. His doctor referred him to one of the alcohol treatment centers in Florida where he could get help with his addiction and the underlying psychiatric issues.
I was able to face it that I had a chemical imbalance in my brain that caused me to suffer from depression. It was not my life, my work or my family dynamic that was at the root of my problem. It was just a malfunctioning balance of neurotransmitter chemicals in my brain. It was no different than if my pancreas stopped producing insulin and made me a diabetic. The depression was just a symptom as high blood glucose is to a diabetic. I take the medications to balance the chemicals to let me be me instead of being the depressed me. I needed my brother to get to that point so he could let go of the alcohol.
My meds have potential side effects, but they are nothing like the damage my brother has done to himself using copious amounts of alcohol to treat his problems. He now has more physical disease because of is choice for self-treating his depression. I work, have a wonderful wife and kids and do not fall into those pits of despair anymore. My hope is that my brother will stick with the treatment provided by the alcohol treatment centers in Florida and get on a real medical treatment for his clinical depression.