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Lawyers are Still Suffering from Clinical Depression
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Back in 1990 a study done by Johns Hopkins University found that among more than 100 occupations studied, lawyers were the most likely to suffer from depression and were 3.6 times more likely than average to do so. A research study of 801 lawyers in the State of Washington found that 19% suffered from depression in the same year. Some studies estimate that of the 1 million lawyers in this country, approximately 250,000 suffer from some form of depression. This sounds like an occupational hazard.

According to Benjamin Sells, “Facing the Facts About Depression in the Profession,” Florida Bar News, March 1995, 1 in 4 lawyers suffer from elevated feelings of psychological distress, including feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, anxiety, social alienation, isolation and depression. Estimates from around the country indicate that the incidence of substance abuse among lawyers is as much as double the national average. Substance abusers are 10 times more likely to commit suicide.

  
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Clinical depression is a serious health problem that affects the person in every part of their life. A successful Kentucky lawyer, popular Northern Kentucky University professor and technology consultant, Finis Price III, jumped to his death at age 37. Back in 2012 Finis Price who taught at Chase Law, according to CNN was managing a thriving practice until his passing. His wife, Heather Price, initially presented it as an accident, telling CNN that it “was too much for me to handle.”

We all experience periods of depression in our lives, typically in reaction to some difficult life experience, such as the end of a relationship or the death of a loved one. But for most of this, these times of sadness are brief and don’t affect our ability to function. In contrast, for someone experiencing clinical depression, the feeling is more extreme and more prolonged. The lows are lower, and the periods spent in these emotional depths are longer.

A study of law students conducted by Dr. Andy Benjamin of the University of Washington estimated 40% suffered from depression by the time they graduated. What are the symptoms of Depression?

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• Depressed mood
• Loss of interest or pleasure
• Change in appetite or weight
• Change in sleeping patterns
• Fatigue or loss of energy
• Speaking and/or moving with unusual speed or slowness
• Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
• Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
• Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
• Suicide attempts

Dentists, Pharmacists and Physicians were the other three occupations in the report, adjusted for age, lawyers ranking number four, as reported by CNN with the latest available data on suicide deaths by profession. For information on employment with CNN click here 



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