D.A. Hawk expected to return to work Thursday

District Attorney Susan Hawk is reportedly out of treatment for severe depression and back in Dallas.

Hawk has been off the job for nine weeks now, but is scheduled to be back at work Thursday.

Dr. Fred Gioia, a psychiatrist at Texas Health Dallas, says he is always cautious about his patients’ return to work.

Gioia says that returning to a high-stress work environment without easing into it can cause a patient to relapse.

“If we let someone go back right away to their job and their job was a major stressor in inducing the episode of depression, we might be setting them up to fail again,” said Gioia. “…If someone has had a lot of stress at their workplace, and it did play a role in what happened to their psychological well-being. I think it would be hard to go back right away and full-time at that."

But Hawk's first assistant, who has been running the office, says Hawk is expecting to work full-time when she returns.

Emails that FOX 4 obtained revealed that Hawk began missing work in July.

After the mysterious four-week absences, she revealed that she was battling depression and would take a four-week week leave of absence to receive treatment.

Her leave was later extended to early October.

“The hardest step for most people is to ask for help,” said Gioia.

In March, Hawk admitted that she sought treatment in late 2013 for a prescription drug addiction after having a bad back.

Gioia cannot talk about Hawk's case, but he says substance abuse and depression are often intertwined.

“A lot of times, it's a tricky, kind of murky line there, and it’s difficult to tell which came first, the drug addiction or psychological problems that they're having,” said Gioia.

In a statement released last week, Hawk said she is healthier and stronger than ever, and excited to get to work.

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