If mother-lawyers are destined to be depressed if they do, depressed if they don’t (see the prior post) it only seems right to provide mother-lawyers with a few definitions and resources for help along the way.
As I was gently reminded this morning, ‘Affix your own oxygen mask first, then assist other passengers.’ That includes children. Fortunately, I’ve never been in a plane that has lost cabin pressure, but I know putting the mask on myself first would not be my natural reaction. It certainly has not been my natural reaction in the day-to-day world of career and kiddos either. So, in order to train ourselves otherwise, take a look at the following resources – and get help if you need it.
First a few definitions from WebMD:
“Depression: What Is It?”
“It’s natural to feel down sometimes, but if that low mood lingers day after day, it could signal depression. Major depression is an episode of sadness or apathy along with other symptoms that lasts at least two consecutive weeks and is severe enough to interrupt daily activities. Depression is not a sign of weakness or a negative personality. It is a major public health problem and a treatable medical condition.”
My favorite thing about this particular site is that it shows a PET scan revealing “hot spots” of increased activity in the brain of a non-depressed person, along with a contrasting “cold” depressed brain. Depression is a physical illness, and like other physical illnesses, it can be treated.
More from WebMD:
“What are symptoms of depression?”
I thought this could be particularly valuable as the measurement used in Leupp’s study were ‘symptoms of depression.’
“According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression may include the following:
- difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- fatigue and decreased energy
- feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- irritability, restlessness
- loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- overeating or appetite loss
- persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
- persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
- thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts”
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) “has been dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness” since 1979. Their website provides a variety of educational and supportive materials for depressed individuals and their supporters.
Lastly, geared specifically toward lawyers, the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs has some (limited) information and resources available. A better place to check for lawyer-specific resources is with your local bar association. Personally, I’d like to see resources specifically geared toward women lawyers, and mother-lawyers in particular. Sadly, in this area (like most of the world of law) it’s still a man’s world.