How to disclose depression?

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Mernan34
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How to disclose depression?

Postby Mernan34 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:14 pm

The only reason I'm considering disclosing that I have struggled with depression is because it took a huge hit on my academic performance. Here's the my story:
I have 2-3 w's, my overall gpa will come out to be close to under a 3.0. I attended UCSD for undergrad, graduated in 3 years. My grades don't reflect my actual potential. I didn't know I was actually depressed until I couldn't handle it anymore and sought help mid through my third/last year. I was tired of trying so hard and failing to meet my goals regardless. I was diagnosed as clinically depressed, started medication and there were improvements all around. Since I graduated thereafter there isn't much to really back up this upward trend. I graduated this August so I have some of summer school to claim.

Not sure how to go about explaining this or if I even should.

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t-14orbust
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Re: How to disclose depression?

Postby t-14orbust » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:19 pm

I doubt it will matter either way. As I said on your other post, this is fairly common. What you can do is destroy the LSAT and your summer quarter. Maybe then an explanation that your grades were not an accurate representation of your ability might be more credible. Even then, I highly doubt you would perform much better than your numbers will dictate.

Mernan34
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Re: How to disclose depression?

Postby Mernan34 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:32 pm

I went from being a c student to an a student. I'm not worried about the LSAT. I'm confident I can do well. I think it's fair to say there is credibility there. My problem is I don't know how to go about explaining it regardless if you find it "common".

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t-14orbust
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Re: How to disclose depression?

Postby t-14orbust » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:40 pm

Mernan34 wrote:I went from being a c student to an a student. I'm not worried about the LSAT. I'm confident I can do well. I think it's fair to say there is credibility there. My problem is I don't know how to go about explaining it regardless if you find it "common".


I'm not trying to downplay it, I'm just saying that I don't think it will substantially improve your chances whether or not you explain yourself. I suppose it could be a good thing in that adcomms won't just assume you were partying the whole time.

You explained it just fine above. Just mention that your undiagnosed depression caused you to underperform in school, and that after it was treated you improved significantly. No need to write an entire page about it.

Mernan34
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Re: How to disclose depression?

Postby Mernan34 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:59 pm

No of course not. I was thinking an addendum would be best. I wanted advise on how to write that.

clee33
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Re: How to disclose depression?

Postby clee33 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:06 pm

Mernan34 wrote:The only reason I'm considering disclosing that I have struggled with depression is because it took a huge hit on my academic performance. Here's the my story:
I have 2-3 w's, my overall gpa will come out to be close to under a 3.0. I attended UCSD for undergrad, graduated in 3 years. My grades don't reflect my actual potential. I didn't know I was actually depressed until I couldn't handle it anymore and sought help mid through my third/last year. I was tired of trying so hard and failing to meet my goals regardless. I was diagnosed as clinically depressed, started medication and there were improvements all around. Since I graduated thereafter there isn't much to really back up this upward trend. I graduated this August so I have some of summer school to claim.

Not sure how to go about explaining this or if I even should.


I think you should explain it more or less exactly the way you just did here. Can't promise it will boost your chances dramatically, but if it comes down to you and one other person, you having a documented explanation for your grades (that has been treated) and the other person not might be the difference, especially if you kill the LSAT (which as I am sure you know will impact your cycle significantly more than any explanation of your grades)

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t-14orbust
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Re: How to disclose depression?

Postby t-14orbust » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:10 pm

Here is another thread that discusses this (though it might not really answer your question of how to write it:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=203928&p=6516007&hilit=depression+addendum#p6516007

Check out the search function and try looking for keywords like depression + addendum.

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jbagelboy
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Re: How to disclose depression?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Aug 26, 2013 2:21 pm

Graduating in 3 years with a sub3.0 gpa was the mistake.

I don't understand the people who get crap grades and think that means its time to cut out. I was depressed my first year too -- and my senior year straight As were critical to demonstrating my "true potential" as an upward trajectory.

Mernan34
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Re: How to disclose depression?

Postby Mernan34 » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:06 pm

I "cut out" due to reasons outside of my mental state. Like I said, I was already doing better. You might want to consider that before you make unnecessary assumptions.

20141023
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Re: How to disclose depression?

Postby 20141023 » Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:26 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bp shinners
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Re: How to disclose depression?

Postby bp shinners » Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:27 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:All they need to know is that you had depression and you got bad grades because of it, not your life story / sob story / true potential that your GPA doesn't reflect but that you will doubtlessly exhibit during law school / etc.


They also definitely need to know that you were treated for it successfully and that you continue with that treatment. As kappycaft1 said, many people have mental health issues during law school. If the school knows you've already been treated for it and are sticking with the treatment plan, that makes it much less likely that it will be an issue in law school.

splat232
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Re: How to disclose depression?

Postby splat232 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:08 pm

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Last edited by splat232 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bp shinners
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Re: How to disclose depression?

Postby bp shinners » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:02 pm

splat232 wrote:Relevant nytimes article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/opinion/lawyers-of-sound-mind.html. Apparently in some states a diagnosis of depression can be a C&F issue (as crazy as that is).


They ask the question, but it tends to be a non-issue if you are being treated for the disease. I know at least a dozen people who were diagnosed during law school or shortly before law school with a mental disease they had to disclose (bipolar disorder being the most common). Every single one of them was admitted to various bars with almost no hassle.




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