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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 →


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 →


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Depression in the News

Pokeman Go Reportedly Helping People’s Mental Health, Depression

We already know that exercise helps greatly with depression (along with virtually every other mental health problem), but being motivated to exercise when you’re depressed is a challenge. That’s why an engaging game like Pokémon Go can be helpful.Pokémon Go does this by encouraging people to get outside, take a walk, talk to others, and explore the world around them. Granted, it’s through their smartphone acting as an interface, but walking is walking, even if the motivation for doing so is to play a game.  Read the full article.


Brain Structure That Tracks Negative Events Backfires In Depression

A region of the brain that responds to bad experiences has the opposite reaction to expectations of aversive events in people with depression compared to healthy adults, finds a new study. Read the article.


Behavioral Activation is Effective, Less Expensive Therapy for Depression

A new large-scale study has found that a simple and inexpensive therapy called behavioral activation may be equally as effective at treating depression as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Behavioral Activation is relatively simple, meaning it can be delivered by more junior staff with less training — making it a cost-effective option. It is estimated to be approximately 20 percent less expensive than CBT, meaning it could help ease current difficulties in accessing timely and affordable treatment. Read the full article.


Mental-health Issues Often Well Hidden

From the Toronto Star, Jowita Bydlowska writes, “Having mental-health issues is not like belonging to a secret society where there’s a sign — invisible to all except other sufferers — hovering overhead, indicating that, yes, this particular person, too, has the thing! Personally, the only time when I sometimes become aware of others’ issues is when I take a break from worrying about me. It’s not easy, lately, to do that and I have a natural tendency to self-obsess when things are bad. But this kind of obsession is only comfortable in a murderous way — it’s like a crushing, dark blanket of gloom that I could just bury myself in and that will eventually bury me. And ignore you.” Read the full article.


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

Fear Keeps Depression in Place

Psychologist Margaret Wehrenberg writes, “Such fears block full participation in life. They stop people from meeting potential romantic partners, trying for a promotion at work or cause a person to get weaker and lonelier with each passing mealtime. Facing fear is one of the great challenges in life, and not facing fear is a great cause of depression. Whenever fear wins, it gets stronger. And whenever people give in to fear they feel less able, less competent, less positive about themselves, i.e., more depressed”. Read her Blog


The Culture of Depression: Nature, Materialism, and Depression

Dr. Robert J. Hedaya writes, “The physical world we have created and within which the incidence of depression is most rapidly rising is the densely populated Western city. It is made of concrete, steel, glass and asphalt.Most of us do not know, in our bones, the slowly changing rhythms of the forest, through the seasons, and year after year. We can only see time passing in the faces of our loved ones, or the mirror, but we do not experience the naturalness of the passage of time via a changing, slowly morphing landscape around us”. Read his Blog


Success Syndrome: The Ambition-Depression Connection

“I’m trying to get comfortable with the idea that I am a human BEING not DOING, and that being a child of God is enough. With therapy and lots of soul searching, I am digging inside for the strength that lies at my core — naked, unassociated with any accolade or achievement,” writes Therese Borchard. Read her Blog


10 Ways Our Thinking Can Fuel Depression and Anxiety

Psychologist Elvira Aletta writes, “Right now, you and I can see clearly how those thoughts are exaggerated, over-the-top, unreasonable. It’s not so easy to see when we are caught up in the moment. Luckily, to make this task easier for us, Dr David Burns did a lot of work categorizing ten basic ways we distort our thinking. Study these categories. Highlight the ones you tend to use. Think of your own real life examples”.  Read her Blog