Male Lawyers Struggle with Depression

Male Lawyers Struggle with DepressionRates of depression and suicide among male trial lawyers are rampant. There are several theories about why lawyers are so susceptible to depression and suicide. One theory states that the profession attracts workaholics. Additionally, practicing law means putting oneself in a state of conflict almost every single day, which is naturally stressful and can be extremely depressing.

One individual that CNN reported on, Steve Angel, had practiced law for 27 years when the pressure and stress became too much. He was neglecting calls from clients and was eventually reprimanded by the bar association. Angel gave up his law license willingly and is now working as a legal researcher while he studies depression in lawyers. He believes the law profession draws workaholics in and they fall into a pattern of stress and ultimately depression.

Dan Lukasik, the founder of Lawyers With Depression, reminds us that the stigma is still huge when it comes to depression and mental illness. It can be even worse on lawyers, who are supposed to solve problems, not have them.

It can be difficult to see the signs for depression, especially for individuals that make their living by keeping emotions at bay. However, knowing the symptoms can help individuals more aware of the signs, even subtle ones.

Some of the symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings.

There are resources in a number of states, such as 24-hour hotlines or lawyer assistance programs that reach out to colleagues at risk.

Depression can occur in any individual, no matter the profession, age or gender. It’s not something to take lightly, and nothing to be ashamed of. If you or a loved one feel that these symptoms match, seek help as soon as possible.

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