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Nobody’s Perfect: Lawyers, Perfectionism, and Procastination

  Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfectionism is demoralizing — Harriet Braiker, Ph.D. Nobody’s perfect – that’s why we have erasers.  Nowhere on this sweet blue orb are there more people driven to perfection than attorneys. It’s not surprising, after all. We work with laws, rules and regulations: ancient tomes, incantations, and idealizations about how our society expects folks to behave.  When one acts outside the proscribed rules, … read more →

Book Review: Unholy Ghost – Writers on Depression

Good books on depression aren’t always easy to find.  Strolling down the “mental health” aisle in Barnes & Noble, I found an array of old and new titles written by experts or depression sufferers. I’ve read many. Lots are retreads of descriptions and insights made in countless books I’ve perused before. Some more eloquent, others boring or poorly penned. The book Unholy Ghost does not fall into that category. The … read more →

Out of the Blue of Depression

August. It seems like the sweet sun’s been high in a blue sky for months. It’s steamy outside. But that’s just fine with me.  My feet aren’t cold, dark clouds don’t threaten snow, and everyone’s outside watering yards and going for walks at night. Author Natalie Babbitt captures some of  summer’s magic when she writes: “The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of … read more →

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Depression in the News

The Fascinating Link Between Eating Full-fat Yogurt and a Lower Risk of Depression

A new study found that women who ate a serving a day were 34% less likely to become depressed than women who ate less than half a serving a week.  Read the story.

Better Depression Treatment Could Be Found in Blood Test

According to a recent study, an analysis of blood samples can highlight high levels of inflammation in a patient and help predict which drugs may not be effective. Other recent studies have found a link between increased inflammation and lower success rates from treatment. Read the story.

High Status Job Means You Are Less Likely to Respond to Treatment for Depression

A high-status job means that you are less likely to respond to standard treatment with medications for depression, an international study has found. These results may have implications for clinicians and their patients, employers, and public policy. Read the story.

Here’s Some Surprisingly Upbeat News About Depression

A new study by researchers at the University of Toronto found nearly 40 percent of Canadians who previously had depression reported feeling happiness or satisfaction almost daily. Although the study cannot predict future relapse, its lead author, Esme Fuller-Thomson, said a year without symptoms and a month feeling happy or satisfied every day is a very encouraging sign. Read the story.

LWD in the News

Beyond Biglaw: Embracing Stress

Attorney Gaston Kroub blogs in Above the Law: “The general consensus is that many lawyers lead stressful lives. Whether it is the pressures of handling deals, the emotional toll of counseling broken families in a matrimonial dispute, or the general demands of life as a litigator, stress is an ever-present condiment on the sandwich meat that is a lawyer’s life. At the same time, lawyers are generally considered to have plenty of experience managing stress, due to their having survived law school, the bar exam, and even today’s broken job market for recent graduates.” Read the rest of his blog.

Will Meditation Help Stressed-out Lawyers?

Western cognitive psychologist John Paul Minda is collaborating with San Francisco-based lawyer and author Jenna Cho on a project designed to investigate the relationship between mindfulness training and the well-being of attorneys. “We’re hoping to uncover whether or not there are specific things in relation to lawyers,” said Minda, a member of the Brain and Mind Institute. “The specific kinds of stress attorneys deal with is something research really hasn’t done. We just don’t know because this is a relatively new venture. This is definitely exploratory work which will allow us to generate a more specific and targeted hypothesis.” Read the rest of the story.

Lawyers: Find Freedom From Anger, Anxiety, and Stress

Dr. Rebecca Nerison, a psychologist and author of the ABA Web Store bestseller “Lawyers, Anger and Anxiety: Dealing with the Stresses of the Legal Profession,” says that the accumulated pressures have damaging effects if left unchecked. In this interview, she offers some practical tips for managing stress and developing the resilience to bounce back from stressful events. Read the this article.

The Addicted Lawyer: Science is Deadly


Attorney Brian Cuban writes: “July 2005. A dark room. Table, desk, chairs. I’m with a staff psychiatrist of the Green Oaks Psychiatric Facility in Dallas, Texas. My brothers, Mark and Jeff, are sitting at the table across from me. I have a vague recollection of my younger brother rousing me from my bed. My .45 automatic lying on my nightstand.” Read the rest of the Blog.

The Best of the Blogosphere

Depression Isn’t a Personality Flaw

Ashleigh-Rae Thomas blogs, “Depression, anxiety, PTSD, borderline, these are all diseases and disorders. You haven’t done anything wrong! It’s taken me a long time to realize too that I haven’t done anything wrong.When I was going through it, and if I’m being honest, I still am, I felt utterly alone. The symptoms of depression sometimes present themselves as flaws. I kept thinking if I adjusted my attitude or if I weren’t such a bad person then I would feel better.” Read the rest of her blog.


6 Types of Light Therapy for Seasonal Depression

Therese Borchard writes, “It’s that time of year again when the highly sensitive types among us who thrive with lots of sunlight begin to wither with the plants as the sun begins to hide.Not only do we get less vitamin D (and deficiencies have been linked to depression), but the change in sunlight affects our circadian rhythm — the body’s internal biological clock that governs certain brain activity and hormone production. In some people, the change of mood-related chemicals can cause seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter blues or seasonal depression.”  Read the rest of her blog.

10 Signs You Should See a Doctor for Depression

Ester Crain writes, “Feeling down in the dumps every so often is a normal part of life. But when you’re gripped by an unrelenting sadness or hopelessness that keeps you from going about your usual routine, it’s time to pay attention: it’s the hallmark sign of clinical depression, and an estimated 7% of adults will experience it, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.” Read the rest of her blog.

Why We Need to Talk About High-Functioning Depression

Emily Laurence writes, “High-functioning depression is when someone seems to have it all together on the outside, but on the inside, they are severely sad. Carol Landau, Ph.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry and human behavior and medicine at Brown University, says she primarily sees this in women with a penchant for perfectionism—AKA the same people who are likely your colleagues and friends with enviable lives and a long list of personal achievements.” Read the rest of her blog.