Mental health issues stigma

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Anonymous User
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Mental health issues stigma

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:21 pm

Without wanting to go into any more detail than necessary, I'd appreciate some feedback. There is an article that you can find by googling my name - it's one of the first hits - about how I overcame a serious mental health issue. The article is about my success and makes clear the mental health issue was several years ago. No alcohol or drugs or illegality involved. I agreed to be in the article because I felt that there was too much stigma attached to that issue and wanted others to know you could get help and overcome it. Now I worry that that very stigma will keep me from getting callbacks or even screeners when/if people Google me. I'm a borderline candidate so it would be easy to put me in the reject pile.

Am I going to be Googled?

If so, is this a problem? I know it's the kind of thing they can't ask me about, so I'd never know...

Thank you.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:48 pm

You will probably be googled. If it were me, I probably would not hold it against you. I know plenty of people with mental illness, and I know they are very capable people. Depending on what the illness, people at firms may be like me.

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Lincoln
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Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby Lincoln » Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:58 pm

First, good for you for being open about your past struggles. If it does come up, I think the best approach is to maintain that openness.

Second, as you indicate, mental health issues are surrounded by stigma, and I'd be lying if I said there isn't a chance that someone will hold it against you. But there are also plenty of others with their own history of mental health problems, or with relatives with mental health problems. Assuming taking the article off-line isn't an option, I think there's little for you to do except try to turn it into a strength if it comes up.

You also want to make sure that your health history does not affect your planned career or bar admission. I know that there was at least one state that a decade ago didn't admit people with diagnosed thought disorders or severe mood disorders, but I don't know whether that is still the case. Moreover it can be major obstacle to getting a security clearance, in case you ever want to do government work.

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Hannibal
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Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby Hannibal » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:00 pm

Seems like some might hold it against you, and the likelihood of that depends on what illness you're talking about. I'm not sure if they're allowed to ask about that, but if they do ask you, make sure to turn it into a positive about how you worked to overcome it and you have overcome it.

Anonymous User
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Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:08 pm

OP here. Thanks very much everyone. While I realize I'm possibly being overcautious, what do you think the reaction would be to (singly, not together) -

-Eating disorder

vs

-Depression culminating in pill overdose/suicide attempt

vs

-Manic/depressive

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Hannibal
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Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby Hannibal » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks very much everyone. While I realize I'm possibly being overcautious, what do you think the reaction would be to (singly, not together) -

-Eating disorder

vs

-Depression culminating in pill overdose/suicide attempt

vs

-Manic/depressive


Personally, I think eating disorder would be unlikely to be held against you. Depression more likely, though I don't think too harshly since I'd imagine most people nowadays know someone who has had depression and gotten over it. Manic/depressive is harder, IMO. It depends on how harshly the article portrays the "depressive" spells.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Thanks very much everyone. While I realize I'm possibly being overcautious, what do you think the reaction would be to (singly, not together) -

-Eating disorder

vs

-Depression culminating in pill overdose/suicide attempt

vs

-Manic/depressive

It's impossible to give any sort of response to this. It will vary completely based on the people making the decision at the firm, and the relative response to each different disorder wouldn't even be the same because people will respond differently.

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Perseus_I
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Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby Perseus_I » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:28 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Without wanting to go into any more detail than necessary, I'd appreciate some feedback. There is an article that you can find by googling my name - it's one of the first hits - about how I overcame a serious mental health issue. The article is about my success and makes clear the mental health issue was several years ago. No alcohol or drugs or illegality involved. I agreed to be in the article because I felt that there was too much stigma attached to that issue and wanted others to know you could get help and overcome it. Now I worry that that very stigma will keep me from getting callbacks or even screeners when/if people Google me. I'm a borderline candidate so it would be easy to put me in the reject pile.

Am I going to be Googled?

If so, is this a problem? I know it's the kind of thing they can't ask me about, so I'd never know...

Thank you.


Use digg.com to post other things about you online, such as writing samples. Bury that stuff. I did it very successfully with something much more dispersed, though at the risk of appearing like a narcissist. What normal people put all their legal writing samples as the first 10 hits on Google? On second thought, my strategy might backfire. But I'm sure there are other things you can link to on digg.com that would not obviously involve self-promotion.

If you really, really are a narcissist, you could probably even get announcements for Law Review and other awards onto the first page using digg.com. I regularly ended up on national news at certain not-so-proud (non-criminal) points of my life, and I still got rid of most of it. If you're lucky, it's the link itself, not the digg.com link that shows up in the results, meaning that it looks less like you did it on purpose. But maybe I'm overthinking this because every big law partner I know can't use technology at even a rudimentary level.

In short: use digg.com, flavors.me, and blogspot.com to bury the story about mental illness with other content. If you don't have much else on there, pushing it onto the 3rd or even the 4th page is clearly doable.

Also: how unique is your name? How easy is it to tell that this person is you? I wouldn't worry too much unless that's the only thing other than social networking sites linked to your name.

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TTH
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Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby TTH » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:34 pm

Elizabeth Wurtzel got a jerb at Quinn Emanuel. You'll be fine.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:36 pm

TTH wrote:Elizabeth Wurtzel got a jerb at Quinn Emanuel. You'll be fine.

She worked for Boies. Apparently still isn't barred, though. http://abovethelaw.com/2012/08/elizabet ... -schiller/

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gyarados
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Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby gyarados » Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:45 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Without wanting to go into any more detail than necessary, I'd appreciate some feedback. There is an article that you can find by googling my name - it's one of the first hits - about how I overcame a serious mental health issue. The article is about my success and makes clear the mental health issue was several years ago. No alcohol or drugs or illegality involved. I agreed to be in the article because I felt that there was too much stigma attached to that issue and wanted others to know you could get help and overcome it. Now I worry that that very stigma will keep me from getting callbacks or even screeners when/if people Google me. I'm a borderline candidate so it would be easy to put me in the reject pile.

Am I going to be Googled?

If so, is this a problem? I know it's the kind of thing they can't ask me about, so I'd never know...

Thank you.

You should be able to get this taken down. There are a ton of laws about publishing medical information without your permission. They may not actually give you the legal leverage, but news organizations typically have policies that are very careful in light of these laws. I'd contact the news organization and politely ask them to take it down while letting them know that you're withdrawing your permission for the use of your medical information.

Also, don't do whatever the guy said about posting your writing sample online. That just makes you look crazy, which is the last thing you want given the fact this article is floating around out there.

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TTH
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Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby TTH » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:08 am

Bildungsroman wrote:
TTH wrote:Elizabeth Wurtzel got a jerb at Quinn Emanuel. You'll be fine.

She worked for Boies. Apparently still isn't barred, though. http://abovethelaw.com/2012/08/elizabet ... -schiller/


All those firms in which I'll never have a chance of stepping through the door run together for me.

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Loose Seal
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Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby Loose Seal » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:28 pm

Bildungsroman wrote:
TTH wrote:Elizabeth Wurtzel got a jerb at Quinn Emanuel. You'll be fine.

She worked for Boies. Apparently still isn't barred, though. http://abovethelaw.com/2012/08/elizabet ... -schiller/


Also, she is a published author.

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lawschoofoo
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Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby lawschoofoo » Sun Aug 12, 2012 1:38 pm

I would ask yourself this - would you want to work at a firm that (1) wasn't impressed at your openness to share your struggles, and (2) looked down on people who are actually human, imperfect, and willing to admit it?

You can't tell me there aren't many past, current, and future law firm associates that haven't had similar issues. You get a +1 in my book for owning it.

rad lulz
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby rad lulz » Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:09 pm

lawschoofoo wrote:I would ask yourself this - would you want to work at a firm that (1) wasn't impressed at your openness to share your struggles, and (2) looked down on people who are actually human, imperfect, and willing to admit it?

You can't tell me there aren't many past, current, and future law firm associates that haven't had similar issues. You get a +1 in my book for owning it.

Fuck it's not a question of "would you want to work for a firm that XXX." I hate it when people say this. You need $ to pay back the debt brehh.

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ben4847
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Re: Mental health issues stigma

Postby ben4847 » Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:37 pm

http://books.google.com/books?id=snwudV ... ld&f=false

check this out. She graduated from Oxford as a Marshall scholar, and then from Yale law, and then became a professor--all the while mad as a bat (schizo affective disorder bipolar type). Really great read, and good insight into the way American society treats mental illness as a threat even where it clearly isn't.




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