Archive for the ‘Guest Articles’ Category

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 →

How Can I Find Time to Meditate at the Office?

by Dan

Meditation, once considered an alternative activity for the nonconformists of this world, is slowly becoming more mainstream. Why are large companies, executives, attorneys, and people from all different walks of life taking-up the practice of meditation? Simply put: because it works! It’s more than just a fad; it is a scientifically proven stress reliever that really works – otherwise, why would so many people from so many different backgrounds be … read more →

Through A Glass Darkly: An Interview with Miriam Greenspan About Depression

by Dan

Question: Why do you think it is important for us to pay attention to the dark emotions, in particular? Greenspan: Actually I think it’s important for us to pay attention to our emotions, in general. Too many people have never learned to do this, because they’ve never been encouraged to do it. We have the notion that our emotions are not worthy of serious attention. Naturally we have less difficulty … read more →

Is Your Law Partner Depressed?

by Dan

Depression is one of the leading causes of lost work productivity.  A depressed worker is prone to absenteeism and may suffer deteriorating relationships with his or colleagues. This combination of symptoms is problematic in any workplace, but can be devastating in a legal environment because of the critical nature of the work. Yet legal practitioners are especially vulnerable to depression, in part because of the competitive nature of the field. … read more →

From Breaststroke to Backstroke: Lawyers and Depression

by Dan

One description of depression is that it is like the shapeless sagging of a rubber band that has been kept tight and taunt for too long. When feelings have been strong, stressed, unprocessed, or held captive over a period of time, we just stop feeling altogether. Persons and events no longer have the power to enliven us; we operate on a low level cruise control. Usually we keep functioning, but … read more →

Lawyer Depression is Contagious

by Dan

Catch a depressed mood the way you catch a cold? Not exactly . . . but similar. Can other people really be a source of the rising rate of depression in the United States? The scientific evidence suggests the answer is yes. Our social lives play a huge role in how we think and feel. After all, none of us are immune to the influence of others, for better or … read more →

How Lawyers Can Choose the Right Treatment for Depression

by Dan

Dr. Irving Kirsch, a professor at The University of Hull, has caused a stir lately with a body of research suggesting that SSRIs, the most common class of antidepressant, are no better than placebos. (Here is a 60-Minutes story about his findings.) Of course, for every SSRI skeptic there are any number of evangelists who swear by the drugs. Personally, I’m undecided. I’ve seen SSRIs aggravate depression by muting happy … read more →

Act now to be a Happy Lawyer Later

by Dan

Law professors and television writers tell phantasmagorical stories of power and achievement in the legal profession. Big law firm associates haul in big bucks while mentored by legal bigwigs in fancy skyscrapers.  Trial lawyers perform on stage to an admiring audience of jurors. Prosecutors save the city from dangerous criminals and are treated as community super heroes. Don’t be fooled. These are not the stories of lawyer life: the day-to-day … read more →

An Interview with Dr. Andrew Weil about Depression

by Dan

One reason Andrew Weil, M.D., the “father of integrative medicine,” wrote his new book, Spontaneous Happiness, is that the most searched-for term on DrWeil.com is “depression.” It’s the common cold of modern emotional life. And he thinks we’re thinking about it all wrong. Yes, an imbalance of brain chemicals can trigger depression, but it goes the other way, too: An imbalance of thoughts and habits can change your brain to … read more →

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