It had been a year since Mark had come out of residential treatment for alcohol addiction. He had spent three months in the treatment centre learning about the damage alcohol does, part of the programme was attending mass every day, daily chores were also given. Mark did not receive one to one counselling or have any kind of assessment. He had been told that once he gave up the drinking he would feel better and start to enjoy life. He actually felt worse than he had ever felt. He had picked out the place where he would take his own life and had the tablets organised to do so. Mark had not drank alcohol in that year and the only thing that had stopped him drinking was the valium and sleeping tablets his doctor had prescribed him. He could not face going back to his old drinking life but this new sober one wasn’t any better, the depression and anxiety were all too much. Mark just wanted it all to stop. Mark broke down one day while having coffee with a friend; his friend gave him a number of a professional counsellor and asked him “please try talking to someone before making any rash decisions”

Two years on, and Mark is doing much better. With the help of his counsellor he worked through the under lying problems and realised that along with depression he had social anxiety. Mark describes his experience in the residential treatment centre as:

“It’s like if your car broke down, you bring the car to a mechanic. He tells you it has no oil because there is an oil leak. He fills your car back up with oil and sends you on your way. At some point down the road you are going to break down again because he hasn’t fixed the leak”