Special Report

Minds Over Matters: An Examination of Mental Health in the Legal Profession

Law.com has embarked on a yearlong investigation into mental health across every sector of the legal profession. Over the course of 12 months, we will aim to shine a light on mental health, addiction, stress and well-being; destigmatize the issue; and identify methods to effectuate change.

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Losing a job can be difficult for anyone, but for a lawyer who is diagnosed with anxiety or depression, the situation can be devastating. If this sounds like a situation you’re facing, don’t despair. Here are some ways to help get through it:

First, contact your psychotherapist or psychiatrist immediately. You know better than anyone that stress can make your symptoms worse, and your therapist can help. Most likely, you are experiencing many different feelings—you may feel defeated, overwhelmed and confused. Your therapist can help you reframe your negative thoughts for more positive and productive ones. You may also need to adjust your medication, if you are on any, but that is for you and your doctor to decide.

If you have never formally been diagnosed with a mental health issue, but you are finding that you cannot sleep, you are sleeping the days away, you are feeling worthless, or you are thinking about the “s” word (suicide), please get help. I would strongly recommend getting healthy before you start your job search.

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