Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Depression/Anxiety/Stress Support Groups

My state has a lawyers' assistance program with a help hotli headcase04/14/17
There's a website called Lawyers With Depression [http:www.l ejs201704/14/17
I quit practicing law because of my anxiety. Maybe a start a stillajd04/17/17
As a solo - I found this board helpful. Solo is very isolati adamb04/14/17
I think the success of your group is going to depend largely thirdtierlaw04/14/17
This is a good idea OP. A classmate who was a prosecutor sho vohod04/14/17
I don't mean to be flip, but would meeting with bags or hood wolfman04/14/17
Hence the beneficial anonymity of this board. adamb04/14/17
I battle depression and joined a local men's group that has hmmmm04/15/17
I went out on my own a few months ago going from a big offic qport04/17/17
I agree with gport. I am now practicing at a small PI firm, ambulancechaser201304/17/17
I take Theanine Serene every day before my morning coffee. I dopesmokeresquire04/17/17
headcase (Apr 14, 2017 - 3:55 pm)

My state has a lawyers' assistance program with a help hotline but no attorney mental health support groups. I'm thinking about starting an unfacilitated group where attorneys can get together regularly in an informal way to share their struggles and victories with one another in order to gain insight, strength and hope in living and practicing with depression.

If you are living with depression, would you be interested in this type of group? Do you have any experience with such a group?

Interested in getting some opinions.

Thanks.

Reply Like (0)
ejs2017 (Apr 14, 2017 - 8:04 pm)

There's a website called Lawyers With Depression [http:www.lawyerswithdepression.com] dedicated to this very topic. The author is an insurance defense lawyer from New York. He's very candid about his struggles with depression as a practicing lawyer. His articles and insight are impressive. You may get some ideas there.

Reply Like (0)
stillajd (Apr 17, 2017 - 7:10 pm)

I quit practicing law because of my anxiety. Maybe a start a group on slack or discord?

Reply Like (0)
adamb (Apr 14, 2017 - 4:15 pm)

As a solo - I found this board helpful. Solo is very isolating for a young attorney. And admin keeps the law board mostly attack-free (the occasional expected attorney snark aside).

Reply Like (0)
thirdtierlaw (Apr 14, 2017 - 4:50 pm)

I think the success of your group is going to depend largely on the size of the legal market. I'm sure tons of attorneys would benefit from it. Sadly, the legal profession is one of appearances. I'd imagine many attorneys would be afraid of being seen by somebody they know either at the group or on their way to the group.

There is a huge stigma around mental health and at least from the articles that have been posted on her recently, it is even stronger in the legal profession.

Reply Like (0)
vohod (Apr 14, 2017 - 5:03 pm)

This is a good idea OP. A classmate who was a prosecutor shot himself in the head 1.5 years out of LS (he was a few years short of 30). There is a stigma against weakness and humanity in this field.

Reply Like (0)
wolfman (Apr 14, 2017 - 5:12 pm)

I don't mean to be flip, but would meeting with bags or hoods over your heads be an option? Perhaps the host alone could be bag free and have access to people's info, haha, so people at least know where/in whose office to meet... seriously, it's what thirdtierlaw said: it depends on the size and how tight-knit the community is.

Reply Like (0)
adamb (Apr 14, 2017 - 5:30 pm)

Hence the beneficial anonymity of this board.

Reply Like (0)
hmmmm (Apr 15, 2017 - 9:15 am)

I battle depression and joined a local men's group that has been really helpful. Depression was the darkest when I had my own shop - isolation, conflict, money issues. I spent a lot of time reading these boards to try and feel a connection during those days - it definitely helped.

Reply Like (0)
qport (Apr 17, 2017 - 6:07 pm)

I went out on my own a few months ago going from a big office and it has been very difficult dealing with the change of pace. Since I'm naturally prone to ruminating it has made the isolation of being alone in my office with nothing but my thoughts hard to deal with.

Although I've saved up enough to get by for awhile, I'm still obviously not making what I made at my old job. Intellectually, I knew going in that my first year would be lean. However, looking at the number of hours I'm working versus the amount I'm making forms an icy ball of fear in my stomach every day. I try to pep myself up and say that nobody hits it out of the ballpark their first year, but the possibility that I've majorly screwed up my life is always in the back of my head.

I can't really talk to my attorney friends about this because most of them are successful and I can't imagine they want to refer cases to some stressed out guy complaining about not making enough. I asked a close attorney friend of mine how she deals with the stress of private practice and her advice was "Zoloft, and lots of it." I've never had to take any medication for mental health in my life. I thought to myself "is this what I really signed up for? To be chemically dependent for the rest of my life so that I can feel some sense of normalcy?"

My wife is very supportive (and working, thank God) but I can't tell her everything because I imagine it stresses her out to hear the main family breadwinner complain about money and mental problems every day. So I tell her my day went fine.

Anyways, now I try to stop focusing on the future and just put one foot in front of the other. Don't know if this helped anyone, but it helped to write it out.

Reply Like (0)
ambulancechaser2013 (Apr 17, 2017 - 7:53 pm)

I agree with gport. I am now practicing at a small PI firm, but I was out on my own for a brief period of time. I had a relatively complex civil case and I was staring at a trial and an MSJ before that if the case did not settle. I subbed in from another attorney, who despite representing the plaintiff in what should otherwise have been a contingency case took around $15,000.00 in attorney's fees. The client was broke and her business was shattered.

Suffice it to say I had less than 2 years of experience and going up against a sophisticated smallish insurance defense firm that was about to do the MSJ. I defended the client's depo which was a total nightmare. She just, let's say did not help her case.

For me to have tried the case, I would have needed at least $30,000.00 in expert witnesses for causation and damages. That probably would have gotten me past an MSJ, maybe maybe. The venue was so so, it was relatively plaintiff friendly, but the law was not on my side. The client's story was a sob story, but she was not without her faults and she came across as less than sympathetic.

I bought malpractice insurance for the case. It cost me $3,500.00. Can you imagine that...

So the case went to mediation and it settled. For a lowish figure. The client took the entire pot, I got no fee. The entire affair lasted about 2 months. I defended a depo, did an opposition to a motion to compel further discovery and an opposition to another type of motion. Plus I did discovery work. All for no pay.

The entire thing of being on my own on a case I had little to no experience with was terrifying. Again, I would have needed to have spent $30,000.00 to lose gracefully at trial, meaning no directed verdict, beaten the MSJ, but unlikely to have gotten a plaintiff's verdict.

So when I hear this "Since I'm naturally prone to ruminating it has made the isolation of being alone in my office with nothing but my thoughts hard to deal with" I can tell you I went through that on a daily basis. Plus I was working out of my home and did not have an office. It sucked.

Reply Like (0)
dopesmokeresquire (Apr 17, 2017 - 9:44 pm)

I take Theanine Serene every day before my morning coffee. It helps a lot with the anxiety.

Reply Like (0)
Post a message in this thread