Treating Troubled Attorneys

Attorneys often face particular kinds of stress that can lead to depression and life dissatisfaction, and can take a toll on intimate relationships.

Attempts to actualize dreams of success can create pressure to work to the point of exhaustion. Even those who have exceeded their expectations may experience anxiety as they worry about continuing to do as well financially in the future as they have done in the past. Others who are successful may, nonetheless, feel demoralized when they fall short of their own highly ambitious goals. Personal relationships and family life may be compromised as work and/or professional preoccupation become all consuming, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

For others, when work becomes routine and insufficiently stimulating, life in the law may become less satisfying than expected, creating a sense of meaninglessness, disillusionment and self-doubt. Awareness that something is missing can create conflict about whether to remain in the profession or to find a new direction.

These pressures and conflicts may lead to self-defeating behaviors that add further stress and may compromise physical health as well as mental well-being. Talking to a therapist with experience in the practice of law may provide help when anxieties mount, depression increases or when perspective is lost.