Depression in Lawyers

Posted by Editor Kristi Heidel

The following is an excerpt from Debra C. Weiss, Perfectionism, “Psychic Bettering” Among Reasons for Lawyer Depression, www.abajournal.com (18 Feb 2009).

Depression is disproportionately high in the legal profession. Several states have added a mental health component to mandatory legal continuing education due to the striking statistics for depression in lawyers.

  • Depression is 3.6 times more likely in lawyers than any other profession
  • Forty-six percent of lawyers reported experiencing depression at some point in their legal careers
  • One in four lawyers suffer from elevated feelings of psychological distress, including feelings of: inadequacy, inferiority, anxiety, social alienation, isolation and depression
  • Suicide ranks among the leading causes of premature death among lawyers
  • Lawyers are ranked in the top ten professions with the highest suicide rates

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