Oct. 27, 2014 | Volume XXII, Issue 11

Many Lawyers Face Problems With Depression, Anxiety

Published: January 21st, 2008

Category: News, Students

Whitney Nobles A recent article in the Wall Street Journaldrew my interest and I thought that I would share the story with you. The article spoke about a young attorney struggling with depression. Within its contents, the news piece mentioned several statistics putting lawyers at the top of the country in suicidal thought, depression, and anxiety rates. Surprisingly, many of those affected do not want to talk about mental health issues or even recognize that they have a problem. It is no surprise that the legal profession invites those who are driven and hardworking. The problem lies in the fact that the strengths that lead many people to law, (competitiveness, drive to succeed and win battles) are the same traits that make people vulnerable to depression and anxiety.

The attorney mentioned in the article went on to establish a self-help group and website targeted towards lawyers and law students who are seeking support within the field on mental health issues. Although at first, the attorney was reprimanded by his firm for the postings, he has now had a 15 percent increase in client requests in the past year. Many in the field are now applauding him for his courage to speak out about such a taboo topic.

If you are interested in learning more about how the legal profession is taking a stand to support those with mental health issues or are yourself seeking a support group for depression or anxiety, I encourage you to check out the website www.lawyerswithdepression.com.

If you wish to discuss the implications of depression or anxiety, or just want a local support, please feel free to stop by my office in Student Affairs. I would be more than happy to hear your comments or thoughts about this challenging topic. If you wish to make an appointment, please email me at wnobles2@ufl.edu, or call my office at 352-273-0633. My office hours are Tuesday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday 1-4 p.m., and Thursday 1-5 p.m.. I wish you a safe, happy, and healthy semester and look forward to working with you.

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