Thursday, May 15, 2014
I received a very nice email today from Dan Lukasik, a very experienced lawyer practicing in Buffalo, N.Y., who asked me to post a link to a column he wrote for the blog Everyday Health in which he discusses the pervasiveness of depression among lawyers and how to get help for those who suffer from it. As Dan explains in the column, he's turned his own struggle with major depression into a crusade to inform and help other lawyers suffering from the disease by starting a website called "Lawyers with Depression," writing articles (here, subscript. req., and here on page 5) and even producing a documentary. The website itself is a great resource for books, articles and blog posts dealing with the subject of depression generally as well as issues relating specifically to lawyers who are fighting the disease while maintaining a practice.
Here's a brief excerpt from Dan's post "A Lawyer Breaks the Silence About Depression Among Lawyers":
When I turned 40 over 12 years ago, I was a busy lawyer working at a blistering pace at a law firm. Stress, anxiety, and caffeine were my daily fuel. While my life before this time had been punctuated by long periods of pensive sadness, nothing could have prepared me for the dark storm that was about to descend on my life.
. . . .
The day after I saw the psychiatrist, I met with my partners. As I spoke, it was as if something were pushing the air back down my throat into my lungs.
“I need to tell you guys that I have been pretty sick lately. I’ve been seeing a psychiatrist and he put me on some medications for depression. He said I needed to take off some time from work to get better.”
“How much time?” one partner snapped. It felt accusatory rather than caring. The moment he said it, I braced for what was to follow.
“Three months,” I replied.
“You’ve got so much going well for you in your life. Why the hell don’t you go on a vacation?”
The subtext was clear: If I’d only snap out of my funk and be more grateful, I wouldn’t be so depressed. Little did he know that I was depressed even when on vacation.
. . . .
Continue reading here.