Hope is a desire for something combined with an anticipation of it happening, it is the anticipation of something desired. To hope for something is to make a claim about something’s significance to us, and so to make a claim about ourselves. One opposite of hope is fear, which is the desire for something not to happen combined with an anticipation of it happening. Inherent in every hope is a fear, … read more →
Dan's Latest Blog Entries
Whatever the cause, clinical depression sufferers are often shackled to a prison of ruminative, negative thoughts about the world and themselves. They are full of self-loathing, feelings of worthlessness, and a sense of failure. Confidence in their ability to build and maintain successful relationships is eroded. Their sense of competency about their work can plummet as they struggle to get things done, be productive and earn a living. Some may … read more →
“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in the moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people” – Thich Nhat Hanh Like all parents, my Mom and Dad were flawed people – as I am. Yet, they were something more than that. I’ve … read more →
I am a lawyer, like many of 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 the general population. When put in perspective, of the 1.2 million attorneys … read more →
Depression in the News
Should I Tell My Students I Have Depression?
From The New York Times, Abby Wilkerson writes: “The new class I was teaching — “Composing Disability: Crip Ecologies” — was one of several first-year writing seminars offered at George Washington University. Given the focus, it was likely to be a challenge for at least some of the students. And it was presenting a particular challenge to me. Even before the class began, I was anxious. I have depression, and I wondered: Should I acknowledge it in the class? Would the students benefit if I did? I wanted to be sure I knew what I was doing, for everyone’s sake, before taking the leap. But I was not at all certain. The idea of disclosing in the classroom made me feel conflicted and vulnerable.” Read the rest of the story.
3 Things Entrepreneurs Need to Do When Dealing With Depression
Chris Myers writes in Forbes magazine: “Since I first began writing about the struggles with anxiety, depression, and uncertainty two years ago, I’ve heard from hundreds of entrepreneurs who are in desperate need of help. I’ve been humbled by the response, and do my best to connect with each person in a timely manner. Invariably, the number of people who reach out spikes this time of year, no doubt due to the pressure of the Holidays and reflection that takes place at year-end. With that in mind, I thought it might be an appropriate time to share an excerpt from my latest book, ‘Enlightened Entrepreneurship,’ in the hope that it provides solace to fellow entrepreneurs who might be suffering”. Read the rest of the story.
27% of Medical Students Are Depressed
Time Magazine reports that doctors have far higher rates of depression than the average person. According to a new analysis, that elevated risk is present even before they become doctors, back when they’re in medical school. Researchers analyzed nearly 200 studies of 129,000 medical students in 47 countries. They found that 27% of medical students had depression or symptoms of it, and 11% reported suicidal thoughts during medical school. Medical students were two to five times more likely to have depression than the general population; their depression prevalence ranged from 9%-56%. Read the rest of the story.
‘The Impact on Society is Enormous’ in Legal Profession, Depression, Addiction Hurt Clients, Too
CBC News reports: “Ten years ago, litigation lawyer Michele Hollins was a ‘perpetually happy person,’ with twin daughters and a partnership in her Calgary law firm. Then, depression struck. For a while, Hollins was able to hide her illness at work, then go home and ‘become a complete automaton,’ she says, unable to eat or even muster the energy to get ready for bed. Read the rest of the story.
LWD in the News
Young Lawyers Help Put Wellbeing Back on the Agenda
Lawyers Weekly reports: “Drawing on the expertise of contributors from a number of disciplines, the Being Well in the Law pocketbook provides tips on how to manage the pressures of work and life. The free book offers a combination of positive psychology techniques and insights, which the authors point out can help “shape attitudes and build a sense of hope for the future”.Emily Ryan, the new president of NSW Young Lawyers, commended the publication in a recent Christmas message to members.“This toolkit … offers ideas to help everybody, young and old, deal with depression, anxiety, and stress and learn to better manage the business and pressures of work and life,” Ms. Ryan said. Read the rest of the story.
Seven Reasons Why Practicing Law Might Be More Stressful Than Spending 18 Months in a POW Camp
Legal Recruiter, Harrison Barnes writes: “After a long day at the office, the other day talking to attorneys about their jobs who did not seem the least bit excited about practicing law, I had a refreshing phone call with a woman practicing law overseas. The woman is an American but has never practiced with a US law firm. During our conversation, she seemed quite simply to be the happiest attorney I had ever spoken with. “The weather is so nice here today!” she gushed. “I cannot wait to go outside for lunch and take in some sunshine! It’s also my secretary’s anniversary here today! I ordered her flowers. She is going to be so excited!” I’ve been a legal recruiter most of my career. Did this woman know what was going on and how tough being an attorney really was? Had she discovered some unknown antidepressant that was making her immune to the horrors of practicing law?” Read the rest of the story.
Five Tips for Handling Holiday Stress
The Secrets to Being a Happy Lawyer
Lawyer Monica Zent writes in The Huffington Post, “Associate attorneys may have the highest salaries but, in a recent survey, they were rated as having the “least happy” jobs, perhaps because of the long hours and lack of work/life balance. Greater “balance,” however, might not be the answer. According to Wharton Professor Stewart D. Friedman, ‘A commitment to better ‘work/life balance’ isn’t the solution… A more realistic and more gratifying goal is better integration between work and the rest of life…’ As boundaries between work and home continue to blur and work/life balance becomes increasingly elusive, the future lies in integrating career and life in a more seamless, less structured way”. Read the rest of her article.
The Best of the Blogosphere
11 Images That People With Anxiety Will Understand
From the Refinery 29 website, blogger Rebecca Adam writes, “Since spreading a greater understanding about mental illness is one of the most important ways to bring mental health to more people, we decided to interview a handful of readers and R29 staffers about what anxiety really feels like to them. We received a wide range of responses, from jarring, graphic imagery to descriptions of persistent undercurrents. One described it as their “whole psyche fracturing and bubbling like lava”. Read the rest of her blog.
When I Was Diagnosed With Depression
Here’s an excerpt from blogger Amy McDowell Marlow who writes: “i began to cry. all the time. by myself. i would cry in my car, i would cry in my closet, i would even cry, silently, in the toilet stall. every night i would lay face down in my bed and cry myself to sleep, so quietly that my roommate never knew. i lost my appetite and stopped eating meals. i just wasn’t hungry. i couldn’t stop thinking about my mom being gone. that something outside of our control could take her away. that there was nothing i could do about it. and just like when my dad killed himself, i didn’t feel like i could relate to my friends. none of them had experienced (or shared that they had experienced) family losses and challenges like mine. i began to feel very alone.” Read this blog.
Is Self-sufficiency Making You Depressed?
Here’s an excerpt from Christine Stapleton’s blog about learning to let others help her following the death of her mom: “So, I dealt with my grief and didn’t ask for help. I threw myself into my work and believed the more I helped others, the more I would get over the deaths of my parents and my dog. I figured that sorrow was something that melted over time. And while you are waiting for it to melt, work your ass off. That’s how I ended up on disability, antidepressants, and a therapist’s couch. The clouds finally parted and I realized that what my mother had taught me about self-reliance was wrong. You see, every time you deny someone the opportunity to help you, you deny them the opportunity to feel as good as you do when you help people.” Read her entire blog.
Depression and Anger: A Destructive Partnership
Here’s an excerpt from blogger John Folk-Williams excellent piece on anger: “It took me a long time to understand the connection between depression and anger. One psychiatrist I visited would often ask a simple question toward the end of a session: How’s your anger? I couldn’t understand why he asked. I hadn’t been talking about anger. Depression was my problem.” Read his entire blog.