NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

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UVA2B

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby UVA2B » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Why did a discussion about dealing with addiction in the legal profession turn into a discussion on saving money on six figure incomes and lifestyle choices?

Why do all discussions about anything dealing with the suck of the legal profession turn into a discussion on saving money on six figure incomes and lifestyle choices?

A person died due to the stresses of this job and a substance abuse/addiction problem. Stop worrying about how much money he could've saved and gotten out, and stop arguing how to best get out of the career alive with money to do what everyone really wanted to do.

Sometimes TLS really is the worst.


Think it was brought on by the (*gasp* slightly optimistic) notion that if you can plan intelligently, live frugally, think long-term, save up, invest wisely and grind it out for a *mere* 7 years or so in biglaw, then you will be in really good shape financially, which may relieve some of the anxiety around the "biglaw is a never-ending shit factory that causes people to get depressed, abuse drugs and die" mentality that is being expressed on this thread. Get in, do your time, do it wisely, get out, do something else. 30 year olds making 300k a year need to deal with it in the short term and maximize it for the long term. Period, the end.


That was an interesting stream of consciousness, but again, it's not in any way relevant to this discussion.

We're talking about the pressures experienced by working in this environment and how people with a litany of problems can succumb to those pressures in unhealthy and destructive ways. It's about a culture which relies on people being squeezed out through forced attrition that everyone is simultaneously aware of while not directly talking about because talking about that open secret could lead to reduced productivity. It's about the way in which the profession does little to nothing to support people in need, and far too often sees people seeking the help they need as a sign of weakness that should be distanced from the firm. It's about the things people do to themselves to maintain some forward momentum of success, simply because they think that's what they're supposed to do. It's about the people worried so deeply about their family and what their family thinks of them that they would rather hide the destructive behavior than rely on that family for support.

I get that you have zero sympathy for these people who are struggling, but to make this story and discussion about how to plan financially for the future so you can get what you need from Biglaw before getting out is at best insensitive, and at worst openly adding to the open secret that the Biglaw firm model doesn't care about its people, its culture, and most importantly, the physical and psychological health of its members.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby UVA2B » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:36 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Why did a discussion about dealing with addiction in the legal profession turn into a discussion on saving money on six figure incomes and lifestyle choices?

Why do all discussions about anything dealing with the suck of the legal profession turn into a discussion on saving money on six figure incomes and lifestyle choices?

A person died due to the stresses of this job and a substance abuse/addiction problem. Stop worrying about how much money he could've saved and gotten out, and stop arguing how to best get out of the career alive with money to do what everyone really wanted to do.

Sometimes TLS really is the worst.

I mean, the bullshit you're seeing in this thread is part and parcel with why people in the profession are so unhealthy.


Agreed.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:59 pm

Art Prior wrote:I've also stated that there are blurred lines between the different categories. I don't believe ppl are bad ppl just because thier use progresses to heavy IV use. I've been there myself and maintained moderate use and no needles for the past 5 years. So I'm not holding myself higher (no pun intended) than any other type of user.

The article talks about use stats...not every lawyer IVs cocaine 5x a day, so my comments on medical and moderate use are included in those stats and relevant. Also the article states he tried to steal his own sons pills because he was in pain. To deny that medical use has zero connection to abuse is absurd.

Again, especially when you have chronic 24/7 pain. The line between medical use and abuse blurs always. Try telling someone in horrible pain with a full bottle of pills that they can't have another because it would go over thier prescribed limit when they still have 4 hours of work . They will tell you to suck it. Is that abuse though or taking your well being into your own hands. I say it's not abuse.


This is getting far afield, but that's precisely how people start abusing painkillers and other prescription drugs. Eventually, the pain is mostly coming from their dependence on the drug, not whatever the original condition was. And in the article, it's pretty clear that the pain was secondary to the drug addiction, to the extent that it was anything but an excuse to use more.

I don't know you, and I know it seems weird to broach this subject on an online forum. But have you ever sought help from any groups that help addicts? Your posts here are pretty concerning, especially given your insistence that you're a functioning user (which, to put it bluntly, is a pretty common trait among people who are one bad day away from an overdose). If your doctor thinks that you need to be taking a certain type of medication for a specific condition, that's one thing. But if you're using opiates just to function, without any plan (with your doctor, of course) to diminish your dosage over time towards a more sustainable therapy, then that's a serious problem. There are places you can get help for that.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:28 pm

Art Prior wrote:I've also stated that there are blurred lines between the different categories. I don't believe ppl are bad ppl just because thier use progresses to heavy IV use. I've been there myself and maintained moderate use and no needles for the past 5 years. So I'm not holding myself higher (no pun intended) than any other type of user.

The article talks about use stats...not every lawyer IVs cocaine 5x a day, so my comments on medical and moderate use are included in those stats and relevant. Also the article states he tried to steal his own sons pills because he was in pain. To deny that medical use has zero connection to abuse is absurd.

Again, especially when you have chronic 24/7 pain. The line between medical use and abuse blurs always. Try telling someone in horrible pain with a full bottle of pills that they can't have another because it would go over thier prescribed limit when they still have 4 hours of work . They will tell you to suck it. Is that abuse though or taking your well being into your own hands. I say it's not abuse.

The article says that he gave back pain as an excuse for stealing his son's pills. That doesn't mean his issue actually arose from pain. But you're right, for a lot of people addiction does arise out of prescription pain medication - which is why "taking your well being into your own hands" is not generally the best way to go when you're talking about these kinds of substances. I'm well aware of people who get hooked on prescription pain meds and can't get/afford them any more buying heroin and fentanyl from their local drug dealers. It's dangerous and yes, it's abuse, and while I get that there aren't always any good options and people feel they have to do it, I think it's a bad thing - *not* that they're bad people, but that it's not a good path to walk, for their own well-being.

But to go back to the premise of the article - I still feel like your focus on chronic pain is a red herring. For one thing, chronic pain really *isn't* conceptually the same as what you call "moderate use," which I feel like you're trying to kind of shelter under the umbrella of medical use. More importantly, though, why would chronic pain conditions be disproportionately represented among lawyers compared to the general population? if chronic pain is really an aggravating factor for lawyers more so than everyone else, doesn't that suggest there's something unhealthy about the profession?

Because really that's what this is about - not whether addicts are "good" or "bad" people, but to what extent biglaw contributes to self-destructive drug use and what (if anything) people can do about it.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby Art Prior » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:32 pm

Heres how the line between medical use and illegal use gets easily crossed for almost all pain patients (I don't believe stats otherwise). When you are in bad pain you actually don't care what the doctor that is being threatened by the evil DEa and under prescribing for your pain tells you to take...because you know you need a higher dose to manage your pain and work your hours, even if you keep yourself honest and ONLY take enough to work. Doctors severly under-prescribe due to 20 something's overdosing on fentanyl laced heroin at high rates, that's where the black market pills and heroin come in when you have real pain. Believe me it's not fun 90 percent of the time being dependent on drugs, but if I wasn't I could only work a part time job. I would trade being pain-free in a heart beat for the "high" of opiates everyday, which isn't much of a high when you take them daily.

To the other poster I have voluntarily sought help when I used to IV. I have a strong family and wife support system that is totally aware of my drug intake and when I aquire drugs my wife holds it and hides from me and gives me what I need (she is not a user). The problem is when you have chronic pain, as much as you would like to be drug free it's just not an option. Plus if you seek help your pain will never be treated again. It's a very shitty system that leads to black market opiates for a legit pain patient. I don't do stimulants because I don't need them to function, opiates yes unfortunately.

Lawyers have the money (drugs are expensive!) and the profession that doesn't care about drug abuse plus the added pressures of law...that's why it's found more in law.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby hdunlop » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:21 am

UVA2B wrote:Why did a discussion about dealing with addiction in the legal profession turn into a discussion on saving money on six figure incomes and lifestyle choices?

Why do all discussions about anything dealing with the suck of the legal profession turn into a discussion on saving money on six figure incomes and lifestyle choices?

A person died due to the stresses of this job and a substance abuse/addiction problem. Stop worrying about how much money he could've saved and gotten out, and stop arguing how to best get out of the career alive with money to do what everyone really wanted to do.

Sometimes TLS really is the worst.


Amen.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby hdunlop » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:23 am

Also, I hope Art, a drug addict in complete denial, and the sex addict both get the help they need. Brutal stuff.

I'm really glad about this article.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby Pokemon » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:24 am

UVA2B wrote:Why did a discussion about dealing with addiction in the legal profession turn into a discussion on saving money on six figure incomes and lifestyle choices?

Why do all discussions about anything dealing with the suck of the legal profession turn into a discussion on saving money on six figure incomes and lifestyle choices?

A person died due to the stresses of this job and a substance abuse/addiction problem. Stop worrying about how much money he could've saved and gotten out, and stop arguing how to best get out of the career alive with money to do what everyone really wanted to do.

Sometimes TLS really is the worst.



Biglaw is stessful but come on, this offensive to people who actually have dangerous careers.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:30 am

Pokemon wrote:Biglaw is stessful but come on, this offensive to people who actually have dangerous careers.


You mean like careers where substance abuse, depression, and suicide rates are all much higher than in the general population? Or are you just referring to the generic "dangerous careers" where there's a direct risk of physical injury?

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby UVA2B » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:37 am

Pokemon wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Why did a discussion about dealing with addiction in the legal profession turn into a discussion on saving money on six figure incomes and lifestyle choices?

Why do all discussions about anything dealing with the suck of the legal profession turn into a discussion on saving money on six figure incomes and lifestyle choices?

A person died due to the stresses of this job and a substance abuse/addiction problem. Stop worrying about how much money he could've saved and gotten out, and stop arguing how to best get out of the career alive with money to do what everyone really wanted to do.

Sometimes TLS really is the worst.



Biglaw is stessful but come on, this offensive to people who actually have dangerous careers.


The hyperbole wasn't directed at whether the career was actually dangerous, but instead directed at people treating it like it is. I believe the culture for many people dealing with substance abuse issues can be toxic to the point of killing someone (par example: the NYT story), but that's not at all at issue.

I agree that saying working in Biglaw is equally dangerous to serving in frontline combat or other careers that are similarly dangerous would be flippant, but what's offensive in the context of this discussion is belittling the stresses these people are put under, whether self-imposed or due to culture, that suggests the pain and stress they feel is somehow insignificant when compared to others in more life-threatening careers. This isn't about comparing the relative threat to life of one career vs. another, and it's not about whether that stress is justified or warranted given the relative stresses of the job. This is a singular discussion about a prevalent problem in a profession that imposes stresses on its ranks to the point where those with substance abuse problems are reduced to being crushed under their own expectations.

You really missed the point I was trying to make, and maybe that's on me, but in no way was I suggesting this career is particularly dangerous or in any way more dangerous than any other career path. I was merely pointing out that making this discussion about getting as much financial freedom before making your inevitable exit from Biglaw is insensitive and dismissive of the people who continue to struggle in that environment.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:16 pm

Pokemon wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Why did a discussion about dealing with addiction in the legal profession turn into a discussion on saving money on six figure incomes and lifestyle choices?

Why do all discussions about anything dealing with the suck of the legal profession turn into a discussion on saving money on six figure incomes and lifestyle choices?

A person died due to the stresses of this job and a substance abuse/addiction problem. Stop worrying about how much money he could've saved and gotten out, and stop arguing how to best get out of the career alive with money to do what everyone really wanted to do.

Sometimes TLS really is the worst.



Biglaw is stessful but come on, this offensive to people who actually have dangerous careers.

No it's not "offensive" to anyone. Come on.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I was surprised this was a Wilson partner who worked in Silicon Valley. My impression was that maybe not as bad of a scene but apparently they still work ppl to death there. Would be interested to hear what that firm in particular and others have done in response to this to try to help their people. Mental illness is very sad, but I think firms and lawyers in general need to take responsibility for a lethal workplace culture at some point.


SV IP is definitely just as bad as NYC IP.

I was really close to applying for a position there, and while I know it's not Wilson's fault specifically that this happened/could have been any firm, I'm now really glad I didn't.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby elendinel » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:58 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
Pokemon wrote:Biglaw is stessful but come on, this offensive to people who actually have dangerous careers.


You mean like careers where substance abuse, depression, and suicide rates are all much higher than in the general population? Or are you just referring to the generic "dangerous careers" where there's a direct risk of physical injury?


Exactly. The article pretty clearly points out that the legal field itself causes mental shifts in how budding attorneys think/feel that are damaging (and in some instances life-threatening) to many of them. If an industry changes people's mental processes to the point where they are more susceptible to life-altering/threatening mental illnesses or addictions, how is that industry not inherently dangerous?

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby georgej » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:49 pm

Is anyone else getting ads for "all-inclusive luxury executive addiction treatment" on the top of this page?

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby The Abyss » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:54 pm

georgej wrote:Is anyone else getting ads for "all-inclusive luxury executive addiction treatment" on the top of this page?


Getting that ad at bottom of page and Waypoint treatment center at top.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby georgej » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:56 pm

The Abyss wrote:
georgej wrote:Is anyone else getting ads for "all-inclusive luxury executive addiction treatment" on the top of this page?


Getting that ad at bottom of page and Waypoint treatment center at top.


It's good to know someone cares about our wellbeing. Thank you, capitalist technocrats.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby stannis » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:57 pm

I have J Crew up top and Trump Hotels on the bottom

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby lolwat » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:05 pm

elendinel wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Pokemon wrote:Biglaw is stessful but come on, this offensive to people who actually have dangerous careers.


You mean like careers where substance abuse, depression, and suicide rates are all much higher than in the general population? Or are you just referring to the generic "dangerous careers" where there's a direct risk of physical injury?


Exactly. The article pretty clearly points out that the legal field itself causes mental shifts in how budding attorneys think/feel that are damaging (and in some instances life-threatening) to many of them. If an industry changes people's mental processes to the point where they are more susceptible to life-altering/threatening mental illnesses or addictions, how is that industry not inherently dangerous?


It's been a few days since I've read the article, but isn't this sort of really a subset of the legal field? I mean many people graduating law school will come out with some debt and that's horrible enough in itself, but there are options other than biglaw for people to get into and still practice law. They, sadly, just don't pay as well.

Also, I sympathize with those who are struggling, but those people probably won't find much help on TLS because while they might feel better knowing others are going through the same shit, ultimately they probably need to see experts who can truly help them. As for the shitty culture, no one here can do anything about that. Unless you happen to be a managing partner of a biglaw firm lurking around TLS, I guess, or somebody with a big enough book of business to make demands/a difference at your firm. I think that's why people here, who often are either still in law school or junior associates, often start talking about the financial aspect and how individually people can escape from biglaw with the least pain -- because that is something they do have control over. That being said, I don't want this thread to turn back to that.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby Art Prior » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:09 pm

hdunlop wrote:Also, I hope Art, a drug addict in complete denial, and the sex addict both get the help they need. Brutal stuff.

I'm really glad about this article.


I'm not in denial. I've said that my addiction sucks. it's not all highs and parties like you think. I'd trade no pain for being on opiates in a second.

If youve read any of my last posts the point was that for ppl in chronic pain on opiates there exists no treatment for abuse. If u admit u abuse u never get opiates again and have to lay in bed in horrible pain disabled the rest of your life not working. So there is no treatment that will allow me to manage abuse and continue to have low pain levels so I can work.

I will add that before my biglaw job I was unemployed for a year and since i could relax I didn't have pain and was off opitaes totally. Withing 1 month of my biglaw hiring I was back on opiates due to pain returning.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:14 pm

Art Prior wrote:I will add that before my biglaw job I was unemployed for a year and since i could relax I didn't have pain and was off opitaes totally. Withing 1 month of my biglaw hiring I was back on opiates due to pain returning.

I'm presuming to some extent at least this would be true with any job, but doesn't that seem to go to the point of the thread, which is that biglaw is unsustainable/toxic?

(And I know I'm giving you a hard time, but I'm sorry you're dealing with this.)

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby elendinel » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:26 pm

lolwat wrote:
elendinel wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Pokemon wrote:Biglaw is stessful but come on, this offensive to people who actually have dangerous careers.


You mean like careers where substance abuse, depression, and suicide rates are all much higher than in the general population? Or are you just referring to the generic "dangerous careers" where there's a direct risk of physical injury?


Exactly. The article pretty clearly points out that the legal field itself causes mental shifts in how budding attorneys think/feel that are damaging (and in some instances life-threatening) to many of them. If an industry changes people's mental processes to the point where they are more susceptible to life-altering/threatening mental illnesses or addictions, how is that industry not inherently dangerous?


It's been a few days since I've read the article, but isn't this sort of really a subset of the legal field? I mean many people graduating law school will come out with some debt and that's horrible enough in itself, but there are options other than biglaw for people to get into and still practice law. They, sadly, just don't pay as well.

Also, I sympathize with those who are struggling, but those people probably won't find much help on TLS because while they might feel better knowing others are going through the same shit, ultimately they probably need to see experts who can truly help them. As for the shitty culture, no one here can do anything about that. Unless you happen to be a managing partner of a biglaw firm lurking around TLS, I guess, or somebody with a big enough book of business to make demands/a difference at your firm. I think that's why people here, who often are either still in law school or junior associates, often start talking about the financial aspect and how individually people can escape from biglaw with the least pain -- because that is something they do have control over. That being said, I don't want this thread to turn back to that.


The article points out that this starts in law school; the article is specifically about a biglaw partner so it talks about the lingering effects via a biglaw partner's experiences, but there's nothing to suggest that similar issues can't be found in other parts of law.

Also I don't think anyone's suggesting people should find mental health help on TLS; it's just depressing how quickly any conversation about how sh**ty biglaw life can be devolves into people arguing about the best way to save money. There's a place for that discussion, to be sure, but it's arguably not in a thread about a guy who literally killed himself because of the stress he suffered in the field.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby bk1 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:32 pm

dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Pokemon wrote:Biglaw is stessful but come on, this offensive to people who actually have dangerous careers.

No it's not "offensive" to anyone. Come on.

I sympathize with pokemon here b/c my gut reaction is often to dismiss mental illness/issues as people being "weak" (I don't mean this flippantly to pokemon). That said, the correct response is that mental illness/issues are just as serious as physical ones even though our society doesn't treat them as such. I feel that gut reaction now, even though I mentally know it's not right.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby Art Prior » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:41 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Art Prior wrote:I will add that before my biglaw job I was unemployed for a year and since i could relax I didn't have pain and was off opitaes totally. Withing 1 month of my biglaw hiring I was back on opiates due to pain returning.

I'm presuming to some extent at least this would be true with any job, but doesn't that seem to go to the point of the thread, which is that biglaw is unsustainable/toxic?

(And I know I'm giving you a hard time, but I'm sorry you're dealing with this.)


True that any job would do it...but the hours of biglaw are more than most jobs. All the required lunch outings and offsite meetings are what is most taxing personally that leads to more dosing.

On the toxic thing, I've only been at the job a little over a year and don't find it toxic, just demanding work wise. The group Im in is not run like a slave camp though so I can imagine certain firms and groups are very toxic.

A lot of overachievers do it to themselves though...the slaving is self imposed so it's not always the firm.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby glitched » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:56 pm

Anonymous User wrote:My situation is a bit more unique, I don't take any type of drugs, but I've fallen into the habit of seeing escorts. I've literally wasted so much money on this sex addiction, at least thousands of dollars. And I can't seem to control it. Even before going to work this morning, I went to see an escort. I feel so horrible, but I always seem to go back to it again and again. I've been in this rut for 2 years.

The worse part is that I am married and I know it would kill my SO if I told them of this addiction, I just wish I can conquer this. I need help.


Oh my God... that's disgusting. Escorts? Did you find them online? There are so many websites though... which one? What website?

But in all seriousness, I hope you find help. And since this is a fairly serious topic, I am not actually asking for the name of a website for escorts. It's a bit from the show Always Sunny in Philly.

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Re: NY Times Article-The Lawyer, the Addict

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:09 pm

bk1 wrote:
dixiecupdrinking wrote:
Pokemon wrote:Biglaw is stessful but come on, this offensive to people who actually have dangerous careers.

No it's not "offensive" to anyone. Come on.

I sympathize with pokemon here b/c my gut reaction is often to dismiss mental illness/issues as people being "weak" (I don't mean this flippantly to pokemon). That said, the correct response is that mental illness/issues are just as serious as physical ones even though our society doesn't treat them as such. I feel that gut reaction now, even though I mentally know it's not right.


I've been in three dangerous occupations. One was definitely the most dangerous (active fighting in war zones), the other two are arguable. Obviously, deaths to physical injuries are very common and tend to get the most attention, but the demanding schedule, and lack of down time, along with an intense, unending pressure to complete tasks at a high level, created the perfect conditions for rampant drug-use and mental health issues. Even now that almost no one is "in the shit", I'm still seeing lots of former comrades falling off, either being institutionalized for substance abuse-related issues, or dying.

In real life, there is no "toughen up", or "deal with it" or whatever. Humans malfunction when put under conditions like biglaw (as far as it is described on this thread), and then self-destruct. The people that can handle "it" without physically self-destructing are rare, and often cannot function in normal society.

EDIT TO ADD: In the long run, the casualties of the ol' GWOT could be more suicides/OD's than combat deaths. The "mental illness is weakness" is some Confederate States of America-Walter Scott readin'-mumbo jumbo that our society needs to get over with a quickness.



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