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What’s Up? Gratitude and Depression

When first squashed by clinical depression years ago, some told me to think of all the things I had to be thankful for – as if this would cure my “blues.” But I didn’t have the blues. I didn’t just feel “sad.”  I had an illness.  I had entered a long, dark tunnel.  I didn’t see a glimmer of light at the end of it.  I wandered in it for years … read more →


North of 50 – Depression at Midlife

When first diagnosed with depression fifteen years ago at the age of 40, I thought I would recuperate and, more or less, go back to my busy life as a lawyer and husband with a young family. It didn’t work out that way. I soon found out it was going to be a long haul. And I’m still truckin’. What’s changed in my experience of depression over the past decade … read more →


The Trauma of Stress in the U.S. and its Connection to Depression

The NFL football draft just happened. I followed it because I’m a lover of the game. I played as a kid. I now watch the games on TV with my other brother, Wally over pizza, hot chicken wings and lots of libations.  It’s almost a religious experience, full of pageantry, mystery and a sense of belonging that we feel as fans. But as I grow older, my passion is tempered … read more →


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Depression in the News

How Exercise May Help the Brain Grow Stronger

The New York Times reports that a new study with mice fills in one piece of that puzzle. It shows that, in rodents at least, strenuous exercise seems to beneficially change how certain genes work inside the brain. Though the study was in mice, and not people, there are encouraging hints that similar things may be going on inside our own skulls. Read the News


Two in Five Formerly Depressed Adults are Happy, Flourishing

A new study reports that approximately two in five adults (39%) who have experienced major depression are able to achieve complete mental health. “This research provides a hopeful message to patients struggling with depression, their families and health professionals. A large number of formerly depressed individuals recover and go on to reach optimal well-being” said Esme Fuller-Thomson, lead author of the study. Read the News


Blood Test to Personalize Depression Treatment for the First Time

Scientists have developed a blood test that accurately and reliably predicts whether depressed patients will respond to common antidepressants, which could herald a new era of personalized treatment for people with depression. Read the News


Book Review: ‘Ordinary Well: The Case for Antidepressants

Dr. Abigail Zuger writes in The New York Times, “Dr. Kramer’s bottom line is well summarized by the double meaning of “Ordinarily Well: The Case for Antidepressants” — he argues that antidepressants work just about as well as any other pills commonly used for ailing people, and that the drugs keep people who take them reasonably healthy.” Read the News


LWD in the News

Four Things Resilient Lawyers Do Differently

From the website Law Practice Today: “Resilience has a strong protective function. You need resilience to effectively tackle everyday hassles like managing your workload, dealing with opposing counsel, or working through a challenging situation with your significant other. You also need resilience to bounce back and grow from the big stuff like losing a big client, a death in the family, or divorce. Lawyers who develop resilience skills gain many benefits.” Find out 4 things you can do to build resilience. Read the Blog


5 Stress Management Tips for Solo Lawyers: A Proactive Diagnosis

Lawyer Sam Gaylord blogs, “You might have already come to experience the considerable amount of stress associated with being solo, but if you are still transitioning, please don’t make the mistake of underestimating what is involved in running your own business. It’s not the same as being an employee or associate, and the more realistic you are about the demands that will be placed on you, the better you will be able to deal with feelings of overwhelm.” Read the Blog


How to Defy Your Genes

This AARP Magazine article features Buffalo, New York lawyer, Dan Lukasik.  The article tells Dan’s story about growing up in a home with two parents who suffered from depression and what he’s done to address his depression differently to better cope.  Read the News


The Struggle: Law Students Suffer From High Rates of Depression and Binge Drinking

The Above the Law website reports: “Once law students graduate, these problems do not improve, but seem to only get worse. According to a study conducted by the American Bar Association and the Hazelden Betty Ford Clinic found, one in three lawyers say they have a drinking problem, and 28 percent of them suffer from depression. Among those who reported problem drinking, 27 percent say their problems started in law school. Read the News


The Best of the Blogosphere

With Depression, Sometimes it Pays to Be Patient

Blogger Therese Borchard writes, “The harder you try, the more negative things can get. A study published in August 2007 in The Journal of Neuroscience showed that there was a breakdown in normal patterns of emotional processing that prevented depressed and anxious people from suppressing negative emotions. In fact, the more they tried, the more they activated the fear center of their brain — the amygdala — which fed them more negative messages.” Read the Blog


Volunteer When Depressed? The Life You Save May Be Your Own

Dr. Susan Noonan blogs, “The first thing to know is that when you volunteer  you commit to make yourself available to a person or an organization for a period of time, say 2 or 4 hours per week, on a regular, ongoing basis.  You do it in small steps, not all at once.  You become accountable to others for showing up, on time and ready to function at some moderate level.  They will depend on you for that.  It’s a big step.  This was good for my depression, and I’ll bet yours as well.”  Read the Blog


Depression: Low Mood is Just the Beginning

Psychiatrist, Ian Drever, M.D., blogs, “It’s one of those words that gets thrown around a lot, and we all think we know what it is to be depressed, but do we really? Rather than seeing depression as just a one-dimensional illness of low mood, I think it’s better viewed as a collection of features which affect both mind and body. Everyone’s precise mix will be unique to them, and will often vary from day to day — even from hour to hour.” Read the Blog


Down is the Way to Well-being: The Dangers of Living at Altitude

Parker Palmer, Ph.D., writes, “When you’re depressed, it seems insulting, even insane for someone to suggest that the soul-sucking spawn of Satan that has sunk its claws into you is your BFF. And yet, as time went by, the image of depression as a befriending force began to work on me, slowly reframing my misery and helping me find a way through. Something in me knew what my therapist knew: down is the way to well-being.” Read the Blog