Most lawyers who are depressed have a hard time being productive. Work—and here I mean everything from preparing for depositions to arguing a motion in court to the kinds of “work” we assign ourselves, like reading a good book or planting a garden—is a chore to the depressed. It drains us, leaves us feeling as bad as before, physically worn out and emotionally depleted, instead of proud of ourselves and invigorated. Other people with depression seem to work very hard all the time, but there is little payoff for their efforts. As with so much of depression, there is a real chicken-or-egg question—is work so difficult because we’re depressed, or are we depressed in part because we can’t accomplish anything? And as with so many chicken-or-egg situations, we face a false dichotomy: the truth is, poor work habits and depression reinforce each other.
Bill Bernat talks about how the chasm separating those suffering from mental illness from their loved ones can be bridged by a willingness to open up and even a sense of humor. Read more here.
Dr. Gregory Mattingly, a practicing psychiatrist for over 25 years, offers some insight on the halting and all too commonly ineffective methods used to treat mental illness. As Dr. Mattingly explains, while the initial cost savings insurance companies derive from ‘step therapy’ are desirable, the failure to adequately treat a patient is more expensive over the long run and, most importantly, often fails to alleviate suffering in any measurable way. Read the blog here.
Aliya King’s blog offers some useful tips for coping with depressive symptoms that tend to crop up around this time of year. Read it here.
One of the most important steps in overcoming the stigma surrounding mental illness lies in concretely defining terms that can serve as the basis for an honest discussion. Ross Szabo, CEO of the Human Power Project, helps clear up some common misconceptions shrouding mental well being in his blog that coincides with the beginning of National Suicide Prevention Month. Read his blog here.