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The Heart of the Matter: Lawyers, Anger, and Depression

I’ve felt plenty of anger over my twenty-five years as a litigator. Sometimes, and thank God they were few and far between, I would blow up at opposing counsel or a client.  More often, my anger would sometimes simmer just below the surface.  This is an all too common reality for today’s lawyer.  “By definition, the adversarial system is conflict-ridden, and conflict creates certain types of emotions like anger, guilt, and … read more →


Other People’s Judgements About Our Depression

We all dish out opinions and advice whether asked for or not. Much of it harmless; some, necessary and kind. Then there’s those we dole out without knowing what the hell we’re talking about. Where we should tread carefully, we lumbar. For better or worse, there’s tremendous power in words we use to express our opinions.  When vulnerable – as we are during depression – the critical or misguided words … read more →


Hope Counts: One Lawyer With Depression’s Testimony

I am a lawyer, as many of you. I went to law school and passed the bar exam like you. I also struggle with depression like too many of you,  as well. A new study by the American Bar Association and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation found that twenty-eight percent of over 12,825 practicing lawyers polled reported a problem with depression.  This is over three times the rate found in … read more →


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Depression in the News

Wiring of ‘Little Brain’ Linked to Multiple Forms of Mental Illness

Having a single mental illness like anxiety, depression or schizophrenia is hard enough on its own. But studies consistently show that up to half of people with one mental illness also experience one or more additional forms of mental illness at the same time.The high numbers of patients who suffer from multiple forms of mental illness has many researchers shifting focus away from studying individual disorders and instead hunting for common mechanisms or risk factors that might cause all types of mental disorders. Read the rest of the news here.


How Untreated Depression Contributes to the Opioid Epidemic

The Atlantic reports: “Several researchers now believe depression, one of the most common medical diagnoses in the U.S., might be one underlying cause that’s driving some patients to seek out prescription opioids and to use them improperly. People with depression show abnormalities in the body’s release of its own, endogenous, opioid chemicals. Depression tends to exacerbate pain—it makes chronic pain last longer and hurts the recovery process after surgery.” Read the rest of the story here.


Diet and Depression: Is There a Link?

U.S. News & World Report states, “If it’s true that ‘you are what you eat’ – and research is increasingly confirming that truism – then what you eat certainly has an impact on mental health. Finding a direct link between certain foods and the prevention or treatment of depression is hard, however. A cause-and-effect relationship “is a hotly debated issue,” says Dr. Steven C. Schlozman, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Read the rest of this news article here.


Anxiety, Stress and Depression at All-Time High Among Americans: Study

Newsweek magazine reports that more Americans than ever before suffer from stress, depression, and anxiety, with those affected often too poor to afford general medical treatment, according to a new study which found that around 8.3 million people suffer from some form of serious psychological distress, which represents a large increase over previous years studied.  Read the entire article here.


LWD in the News

6 Tips for Lawyers On Maintaining A Positive Outlook

Whether you’re Biglaw or SmallLaw or government law or stay-at-home-parent law, there are a few things that are important to pay attention to every day. Keeping a positive outlook is one of them. Attorney Garry T. Ross offers up some great ideas on how to do just that.  Read his blog here.


Rethinking Lawyer Motivation

Lawyer and law firm consultant, Paula Davis-Laack writes, “Autonomy, connection to others, and competence are important because they drive motivation and engagement. For those of you focused on the bottom line, it has been shown that engaged employees perform better on a daily basis, and the higher a person’s level of engagement, the higher their objective financial returns.In addition, levels of employee engagement were positively related to business performance in the areas of customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, and productivity. That is, higher employee engagement translated into higher customer satisfaction and loyalty, higher profitability, and more productivity. Read her blog.


The Science of Well-Being and the Legal Profession

Lawyers face challenges unlike those found in many other professions. The combination of long hours, time away from family, pressure to find (and keep) clients, stress, and the ever-present focus on the bottom line does not leave much room for balance or a general sense of well-being. This article analyzes why the journey into the legal profession can be difficult and provides research-based solutions to move toward a culture of positive professionalism. The goal is not to present a jaded, self-help view of how to fix the unhappy masses, but rather, to present an empirical, research-based framework to initiate a new conversation within the legal profession. Read the blog.


Even Lawyers Need Play

Lawyer Ruth Carter blogs at Attorneyatwork.com: “Captain Kirk, in a TV episode of “Star Trek,” says, “The more complex the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play.” Playing is not something I do easily or often. Even in my youth, it was easier to get me to eat brussels sprouts than do something purely for fun. However, I’ve come to accept that playing is a necessity for sanity, to offset the high-stress lawyer lifestyle. Sometimes I wonder how other people have so much room for downtime when my nights and weekends are filled with errands, chores, working out and writing blog posts. Where does everyone find time for frivolity?” Read the entire blog.


The Best of the Blogosphere

Five Simple Tips for Physical Activity While Fighting Depression

Researchers have found that routine physically activity can help reduce depression. When you’re physically active your brain releases chemicals that help relieve stress, promote alertness, and improve your overall mental well-being.That said, becoming more physically active while fighting depression can seem daunting. Here are some simple tips to get you started and keep you going. Read the rest of this blog.


Shame: The Other Emotion in Depression and Anxiety

Psychologists have identified anywhere between 6 and 10 basic emotions experienced by humans. It will come as a surprise to no one that the primary emotion in depression is sadness and in anxiety fear. In all those case, feelings of sadness and fear combine to form a stew of toxic emotions. Read the rest of this blog.


What It’s Like to Live With Both Anxiety and Depression

Blogger Jordan Ruhnke writes, “Living with depression feels like you’re in a dark hole with nowhere to go. Living with anxiety makes you feel like you’re losing your mind. Depression takes away all of your motivation and drive to do anything, but anxiety makes you want to constantly do that activity. Read the rest of her blog here.


15 Survival Tips for Anyone Living With a Mixture of Anxiety and Depression

Blogger Sarah Hughes writes, “I never got along with Anxiety, but my relationship with Depression was a whole different story. We despised each other. It was a deep loathing I had never felt before. We had formed a brutal rivalry, the only casualties on my side. It was every man for himself. Depression was a lot worse to me than Anxiety ever was. I think it’s because Depression had me brainwashed, kind of like the older guy you date in high school who you’re madly in love with, but he has you believing the entirety of your self-worth is dependent upon what he says.” Sarah recovered and offer these 15 tips. Read her blog.