Thursday, December 13, 2007

Correlation and Causation in Lawyer Depression

The Wall Street Journal and its Law Blog focus again today on what seem to be irrefutable statistics on the higher incidence of depression among lawyers than among the general population.  I don't mean at all to make light of this; too many family and friends deal with this issue, and I realize how complex a combination of biochemistry and environment depression is.  I wonder sometimes if environmental stimuli to depression outpaced the evolution of the human body's ability to generate seratonin.  (Hmm.  Were people clinically depressed, in our modern sense, five hundred years ago?)

But do lawyers become depressed, or do people with a biochemical predisposition to depression become lawyers?

[Cross-posted at Concurring Opinions.]     --Posted by Jeff Lipshaw

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Fair question, Jeff, and I can think of many reasons why the depressive personality may be drawn to the profession rather than the practice causing depression. One is that we get many law students by default and lack of desire to enter some other field when their college time is up. That would seem to fit with the kind of inertia and passivity that may be consistent with depression.

Your concurring opinions post on this has lots of good comments by readers that I would recommend to ours.

Posted by: Childress | Dec 13, 2007 1:32:32 PM

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