Daniel Lukasik, a longtime proponent of mental well being within the legal and greater Buffalo communities, national voice as part of the work being done to combat stigma in the United States, and creator of this website, lawyerswithdepression.com, has been named new director of workplace well-being for the Mental Health Association of Erie County. Read more here.
Breaking Mental Health Stigma With Workplace Programs
What Its Like to Have High-Functioning Depression and Why You Shouldn’t Bottle it Up
An honest look at the day-to-day travails for many who suffer from, and yet are able to hide, depression. For as is too often the case, though from the outside a life appears ‘high-functioning’, the reality of mild to moderate depression is one of exhaustion and isolation. Read more here.
Finding Meaning in the Legal Profession:An Interview with Dr James Hollis
This is my interview with psychoanalyst, James Hollis, Ph.D., author of the best-selling books, “What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life,” and “Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up”
Dan: What is depression?
Jim: I think first of all we have to differentiate between depressions because it‘s a blanket term which is used to describe many different experiences, different contexts and different internalized experiences of people. First of all, there is the kind of depression that is driven by biological sources and it is still a mystery as to how that works. We know it affects a certain number of people in profound ways. Second, there is reactive depression which is the experience of a person who has suffered loss and as we invest energy in a relationship or a situation and for whatever reason, that other is taken away from us, that energy that was attached to him will invert as depression. Reactive depression is actually normal.
We would have to figure out where that fine line is and where it might cross over into something that was more than normal. When we say that a person is grieving too long or it is affecting their lives so profoundly, that’s a judgment call, of course, but we do know people that have been sort of destroyed by reactive depression because they had attached so much of their identity to the other, whatever it might be: a position in life that they lost or a relationship that was important.
But I think none of us can avoid occasional reactive depressions because life is a series of attachments and losses. Most commonly, when we think about depression, however,
Trump Said Mental Illness Leads to Gun Violence. Here’s Why Doctors Disagree
Obviously part of a huge debate across the country right now, mental illness has been unfairly scapegoated as the chief reason for gun violence in America. In this article doctors point out that, while additional recognition and resources for treating mental illness are welcome, the health epidemic resulting from deaths and injuries inflicted by assault weapons is staggering and cannot be alleviated by “treating mental illness.” Read the article here.
No Longer Taboo: Americans Embrace Testing, Treatment for Mental Illnesses
Connecting Patients to the drug that best fits their genetic makeup-a discipline called pharmacogenetics-is gaining in popularity, including amongst those suffering from mental illness. Recent research suggests that 2 in 3 Americans suffering from mental illness are interested in taking a genetic test to determine their best treatment plan. Read more here.
Oversimplifying Beliefs About Causes of Mental Illness May Hinder Social Acceptance
Belief that mental illness is biological has increased among both health experts and the public in recent years. But campaigns to treat it as a disease and remove stigma may be lacking because other factors, such as bad character and upbringing, still are viewed as playing a role, a Baylor University study has found. Read more here.
Depression: ‘I Kept My Head Down to Survive the Day at Work’
This report of Natalie Hall’s struggle to persevere through her depression without letting her colleagues know what she was going through highlights the inner turmoil required by many suffering from mental illness to just ‘get through the day.’ Read it here.
How To Deal With Stigmatizing Remarks About Mental Illness
In the wake of the massacre in Texas, this pertinent article looks into how President Trump’s characterization of the shooting as resulting from a “mental health problem” is part of a broader tendency to demonize mental illness in the wake of tragedies. The article lays out why such an approach is both misleading and unhelpful, while also providing some helpful advice for combatting stigmatization. Read it here.
Depression: There’s Help and Hope
Part of my hometown of Buffalo, NY’s campaign during depression awareness month, this article serves as a reminder that there is always someone to turn to and somewhere to go to for support. We just need to a better job of communicating the message. Read it here.
Mental Health Days: A Necessity or a Burden
Fourteen members of Forbes Coaches Council discuss several ways mental health days benefit employees and companies or possibly hinder their activity, as some critics suggest the practice can increase the stigma surrounding mental illness, leading to a deeper sense of alienation and ultimately, poor performance. Read their opinions here.