Archive for the ‘Guest Articles’ Category

Growing Pains: Young Lawyers and Ignoring Depression

by Dan

I won’t mince words about this: depression is a real illness, and it really, really stinks.   That may be an obvious point for anyone drawn to read this, but obvious as it may be, it is worth repeating aloud occasionally for people like me who learned it the hard way. To the extent that the depression literature addresses its prevalence within our profession, most of it seems to be directed … read more →

A Trial Attorney’s Dirty Little Secret: Depression

by Dan

Once upon a time, I was a trial attorney at a personal injury defense firm. I was good at it.  I always pushed hard; always did the best job possible.  I won a good share of cases, and, of course, lost a few as well.  I was valued highly enough to be made a partner shortly after joining the firm. But I had a dirty little secret.  I had bipolar … read more →

When Life Loses Its Meaning: The Heavy Price of Acheivement

by Dan

“If you have ever seen a building that has been burned out, you know it’s a devastating sight. What had once been a throbbing, vital structure is now deserted. Where there had once been activity, there are now only crumbling reminders of energy and life. Some bricks or concrete may be left; some outline of windows. Indeed, the outer shell may seem almost intact. Only if you venture inside will … read more →

Happiness is How You Are, Not How You Feel

by Dan

Aristotle said, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” For him and most of his contemporaries, happiness referred not to an emotion but the long-term pattern of action, the sum of which was your moral character. It is the habits of virtue that are acquired over years of exercising the appropriate virtues. A person doesn’t feel happy as much as … read more →

The Worrier Warrior: Working with Depression through Brain Training

by Dan

Frank walked into my office and said, “I was in therapy for 15 years, know my ‘issues’ inside and out, but I’m still taking an anti-depressant and an anti-anxiety med when I have to do any major presentation at the firm.  It’s like my baseline is off.  It’s great for being a lawyer.  I’m always hyper-vigilant—looking out for the next danger, working very hard to stay on top of everything.  … read more →

9 Holiday Depression Busters

by Dan

It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year–but not if negative emotions take hold of your holidays. So let’s be honest. The holidays are packed with stress, and therefore provoke tons of depression and anxiety. But there is hope. Whether I’m fretting about something as trite as stocking stuffers or as complicated as managing difficult family relationships, I apply a few rules that I’ve learned over the years. These … read more →

Anxiety and Exaggerations: Get Relief From Amplifying Possibilities into Catastrophes

by Dan

Worry, anxiety, stress and panic reflect emotional expressions of catastrophic thinking. Technically, catastrophizing is an exaggerating, irrational, style of dwelling on real or imagined disasters. This is popularly known as painfully blowing things out of proportion. Fortunately, catastrophic thinking is correctable. I’ll emphasize how to do this. What are the signs of catastrophizing? You unintentionally make a bad situation worse, or create a crisis out of little to nothing. You … read more →

Take Control: Ten Free Apps for Depressed Lawyers

by Dan

Stress can make or break a person. It has been said that work-life balance is something that each individual should practice in their lives to avoid feeling depressed or thinking that they are burned out. If family and friends are not around to comfort you after a long day in the office, the least you can do is to manage your negative emotions through technology. As a lawyer, these gadgets … read more →

Is Minor Depression Minor?

by Dan

Someone is dogged by a bad mood that they just can’t shake for a month or two. Is it a big deal? Isn’t some suffering expected in this universe? If someone is distressed and impaired by low grade depressive symptoms, how seriously should we take their complaints? Scholars like Jerome Wakefield and Allan Horwitz are concerned that our diagnostic system has transformed normal sorrow into a psychiatric disorder. By taking … read more →

Overwork/Underwork: Two Sides to Male Depression

by Dan

Al commented: “I have never been a guy who can just take time off without feeling wrong and guilty. So I work 70 hours or more a week. It is killing me, I think, but what in the world would I do with the time if I was not working?” Al represents the kind of depression that hides in overwork and lack of social contact. He feels low self-worth and … read more →

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