Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby keg411 » Sun May 06, 2012 10:02 pm

roaringeagle wrote:
keg411 wrote:Chemical imbalances actually aren't the causes of everyone's problems, IMO. I'd wager Cognitive Behavior Therapy >>>>>>> medication for most people suffering from anxiety-related DSM disorders, even chronic ones. For people without some type of actual chemical imbalance, SSRI's can do way more harm then good and even make the symptoms worse.



And you'd be contradicting much smarter people than yourself who have studied and proven that chemical imbalances are the root cause of most people's mental difficulties. CBT and the newer version is very effective, but if someone has chronic mental problems therapy is just half of the equation. SSRI's are only one drug among many that treat Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Suicidal ideation, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Seasonal Affective Disorder etc.


I'll just say that I'm speaking from a *lot* of personal experience when I say this (and when I was going through this personal experience, it was pretty much SSRI's or bust. Maybe things are different now).

ETA: mallard, the problem with a lot of psychiatrists is that they push medications. Most psychiatrists aren't going to look at OP's issues and say that he's better off in CBT... they're going to prescribe. Therapy should be the baseline even for chronic problems, not medication (however, I'm only talking about DSM I anxiety disorders and not DSM II psychotic disorders). I'm sure we had different personal experiences that are clouding our own feelings about this.

User avatar
roaringeagle
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:11 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby roaringeagle » Sun May 06, 2012 10:08 pm

keg411 wrote:
mallard wrote:Also worth noting that the OP's account included several details that point to this being major/clinical rather than circumstantial depression (or what you might call "being sad"):
- It's been going on for a really long time (since law school started, or before).
- The symptoms are very severe.
- It's impaired his daily functioning in a way that he didn't like but could not bring himself to stop.
- No obvious initial event brought it about.


I agree that OP's problem appears to be chronic and not circumstantial, but that still doesn't mean medication is definitively the answer. Although his experiences with things like procrastination and not wanting to do any work aren't just symptoms of depression. I had a similar experience with an entirely different anxiety disorder.

But I'm not a doctor (or even close), so I'm not going to try to diagnose him. Best bet is to hopefully find a good psychologist who can figure out the problem, and then if medication is necessary, it can also be recommended (plenty of psychologists are willing to recommend psychiatrists if necessary). The sooner he can get an accurate diagnosis, the better.


Most psychologists are quacks, incompetents or worse. There are thousands of horror stories about psychologists abusing their patients. The reason for this is simple. Mentally imbalanced people are very easy to abuse. Hence, predator types gravitate to the profession.

Therefore your idea of someone going to a psychologist first is idiotic at best. For some odd reason you hear way less horror stories about Psychiatrists. This is because Psychiatrists are DOCTORS. They are generally much smarter than your average psychologist and have things like Medical Boards of their peers that monitor them closely. Monitoring of psychologists is much more difficult than monitoring psychiatrists.

A smart psychiatrist will know good psychologists. The psychiatrist is the top of the Pyramid in psychotherapy. Even if you do not take medication a visit to a psychiatrist is a very good idea.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby keg411 » Sun May 06, 2012 10:28 pm

"Love and Other Drugs" may have been a shit movie, but it's premise wasn't wrong considering psychiatrists and overprescribing medications... and they're not going to tell someone to go to therapy for anything that's long term over taking meds.

Meanwhile, it's a fuckton easier to stop going to a therapist if your therapist sucks then it is to get off of certain medications if the medications make your problems *worse*. I trust psychologists and social workers specializing in CBT to treat DSM I disorders way more than I trust psychiatrists, "doctor" or not.

cdbanana
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:01 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby cdbanana » Sun May 06, 2012 10:30 pm

keg411 wrote:
roaringeagle wrote:
keg411 wrote:Chemical imbalances actually aren't the causes of everyone's problems, IMO. I'd wager Cognitive Behavior Therapy >>>>>>> medication for most people suffering from anxiety-related DSM disorders, even chronic ones. For people without some type of actual chemical imbalance, SSRI's can do way more harm then good and even make the symptoms worse.



And you'd be contradicting much smarter people than yourself who have studied and proven that chemical imbalances are the root cause of most people's mental difficulties. CBT and the newer version is very effective, but if someone has chronic mental problems therapy is just half of the equation. SSRI's are only one drug among many that treat Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, Suicidal ideation, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Seasonal Affective Disorder etc.


I'll just say that I'm speaking from a *lot* of personal experience when I say this (and when I was going through this personal experience, it was pretty much SSRI's or bust. Maybe things are different now).

ETA: mallard, the problem with a lot of psychiatrists is that they push medications. Most psychiatrists aren't going to look at OP's issues and say that he's better off in CBT... they're going to prescribe. Therapy should be the baseline even for chronic problems, not medication (however, I'm only talking about DSM I anxiety disorders and not DSM II psychotic disorders). I'm sure we had different personal experiences that are clouding our own feelings about this.


It's comments like the bolded quote above that can make some people feel guilty about resorting to meds. Meds won't work for everyone, but they certainly worked for me, counseling proved to be quite the waste of time. Feel free to share your negative experience with meds, but I wouldn't extrapolate to generalizations about meds being a bad first resort depending on the diagnosis (even for DSM 1 - which includes chronic depression).

Psychologists aren't all quacks, and psychiatrists don't all exist to prescribe meds. I'm sure you can find several bad apples in both industries.

OP is already seeing people and is in good hands. Bottom line is there are lots of avenues you can take. He may need to try a few different strategies until he starts finding the right place, but I think we can all agree to encourage him to seek out help in different ways and hopefully soon enough he'll find what's best.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby keg411 » Sun May 06, 2012 10:40 pm

I'll share my story, but please no one quote in case I want to edit this, since I'm very, very outed on this site.

I suffered from panic attacks beginning from before I even started kindergarten. I basically acted like the OP all through high school (didn't do work, didn't give a shit, chronic procrastinator, got by because I was decently smart). Decided I didn't like therapy after trying like once, so my mom took me to an analyst who put my on 50 mg of Zoloft (it did nothing). Changed psychiatrists, and that guy put me on 100 mg's of Zoloft and then gave me klonopin to help me sleep. Zoloft continued to do nothing except make me feel flat emotionally and drained me of any motivation to do anything but watch TV. Klonopin made me sleep through 50% of my classes in undergrad. Psychiatrist switched me to Lexapro which just made me feel sick. Eventually I just stopped taking anything, and just finished out undergrad the way I was (taking an occasional xanax for a panic attack -- which also generally makes me sick, even at a super low dose). No one ever suggested anything than SSRI's.

Finally, after college, I got a job and wanted to get better. I told my primary care doctor and he recommended a therapist specializing in CBT. She basically told me the first time that she could cure my issues in 6 months - 1 year (which I totally didn't believe considered I'd been suffering since I was a child). Went every week, talked about pretty much everything and somehow she got me to change the way I think. Under a year later, I was down to appointments every other week, and by the following summer, I was basically panic attack free and stayed that way for about 4 years. No medication, just CBT and it turned my entire life around.

I've had the occasional short-term relapse (usually brought on by very high stress) and each time I go back to CBT and it helps and I break out of it and am normal again. Medication made me emotionless, dull and totally unmotivated and generally a life trainwreck. CBT made me a normal person. So this is why I'm a "medication hater" for DSM I disorders.

User avatar
roaringeagle
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:11 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby roaringeagle » Sun May 06, 2012 10:47 pm

keg411 wrote:"Love and Other Drugs" may have been a shit movie, but it's premise wasn't wrong considering psychiatrists and overprescribing medications... and they're not going to tell someone to go to therapy for anything that's long term over taking meds.

Meanwhile, it's a fuckton easier to stop going to a therapist if your therapist sucks then it is to get off of certain medications if the medications make your problems *worse*. I trust psychologists and social workers specializing in CBT to treat DSM I disorders way more than I trust psychiatrists, "doctor" or not.



Fine. I have friends who are mentally interesting and not one of them "suffered" from taking meds. The vast majority of them benefited greatly from these drugs. Do you know they used to electric shock people and lobotomize them for depression?

Let's now take an easily imaginable scenario. Guy/girl is mad depressed. Not thinking straight. Goes to random quack therapist. Therapist at best makes matters slightly better. Wow, says guy/girl. This is worth it! Family pressures depressed person to continue therapy. Therapist now pulls out nasty side, makes snide comments, blames depressed person for things etc.

Now one of many things can happen:

1. Depressed person says "Fuck you therapist!" and rides out into the setting sun.
2. (more likely) Depressed person is desperate for someone to talk to about their issues. Despite warning signs, depressed person continues to see idiot therapist.
3. (even more likely) Depressed person BELIEVES WHAT THEY ARE BEING FED. Keg411, have you ever actually met a severely depressed person? You will likely find a very negative person who believes that they are to blame for their depression.

User avatar
Gettingstarted1928
Posts: 407
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:45 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby Gettingstarted1928 » Sun May 06, 2012 10:50 pm

roaringeagle wrote:
keg411 wrote:"Love and Other Drugs" may have been a shit movie, but it's premise wasn't wrong considering psychiatrists and overprescribing medications... and they're not going to tell someone to go to therapy for anything that's long term over taking meds.

Meanwhile, it's a fuckton easier to stop going to a therapist if your therapist sucks then it is to get off of certain medications if the medications make your problems *worse*. I trust psychologists and social workers specializing in CBT to treat DSM I disorders way more than I trust psychiatrists, "doctor" or not.



Fine. I have friends who are mentally interesting and not one of them "suffered" from taking meds. The vast majority of them benefited greatly from these drugs. Do you know they used to electric shock people and lobotomize them for depression?

Let's now take an easily imaginable scenario. Guy/girl is mad depressed. Not thinking straight. Goes to random quack therapist. Therapist at best makes matters slightly better. Wow, says guy/girl. This is worth it! Family pressures depressed person to continue therapy. Therapist now pulls out nasty side, makes snide comments, blames depressed person for things etc.

Now one of many things can happen:

1. Depressed person says "Fuck you therapist!" and rides out into the setting sun.
2. (more likely) Depressed person is desperate for someone to talk to about their issues. Despite warning signs, depressed person continues to see idiot therapist.
3. (even more likely) Depressed person BELIEVES WHAT THEY ARE BEING FED. Keg411, have you ever actually met a severely depressed person? You will likely find a very negative person who believes that they are to blame for their depression.


Huh? What kind of a therapist would tell a person they are to blame for their mental illness. I think anyone who has taken psyche 101 knows that's ridiculous.

User avatar
roaringeagle
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:11 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby roaringeagle » Sun May 06, 2012 10:59 pm

Gettingstarted1928 wrote:
roaringeagle wrote:
keg411 wrote:"Love and Other Drugs" may have been a shit movie, but it's premise wasn't wrong considering psychiatrists and overprescribing medications... and they're not going to tell someone to go to therapy for anything that's long term over taking meds.

Meanwhile, it's a fuckton easier to stop going to a therapist if your therapist sucks then it is to get off of certain medications if the medications make your problems *worse*. I trust psychologists and social workers specializing in CBT to treat DSM I disorders way more than I trust psychiatrists, "doctor" or not.



Fine. I have friends who are mentally interesting and not one of them "suffered" from taking meds. The vast majority of them benefited greatly from these drugs. Do you know they used to electric shock people and lobotomize them for depression?

Let's now take an easily imaginable scenario. Guy/girl is mad depressed. Not thinking straight. Goes to random quack therapist. Therapist at best makes matters slightly better. Wow, says guy/girl. This is worth it! Family pressures depressed person to continue therapy. Therapist now pulls out nasty side, makes snide comments, blames depressed person for things etc.

Now one of many things can happen:

1. Depressed person says "Fuck you therapist!" and rides out into the setting sun.
2. (more likely) Depressed person is desperate for someone to talk to about their issues. Despite warning signs, depressed person continues to see idiot therapist.
3. (even more likely) Depressed person BELIEVES WHAT THEY ARE BEING FED. Keg411, have you ever actually met a severely depressed person? You will likely find a very negative person who believes that they are to blame for their depression.


Huh? What kind of a therapist would tell a person they are to blame for their mental illness. I think anyone who has taken psyche 101 knows that's ridiculous.


You are not thinking like a predator. This is because you are not a bad person. Of course my theoretical therapist knows that what they are saying is bullshit. However it is so easy to feed this stuff to someone who already believes it themselves.

User avatar
mallard
Posts: 1092
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 5:45 am

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby mallard » Sun May 06, 2012 11:08 pm

roaringeagle wrote:You are not thinking like a predator. This is because you are not a bad person. Of course my theoretical therapist knows that what they are saying is bullshit. However it is so easy to feed this stuff to someone who already believes it themselves.


It's worth noting that there are many ways to be a bad therapist without being an evil person. Some of the common ones are being stupid, doing dream analysis, doing Freudian analysis, doing art therapy, discussing events rather than the things that cause the patient to interpret or react to them in a certain way, making to-do lists, and offering judgments of the people in the patient's life. That said, therapy will often have an undercurrent of personal responsibility dogma even when it's not explicit in what the therapist says.

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby 2014 » Sun May 06, 2012 11:10 pm

I have little useful to offer other than I have been where you are academically to a certain extent in high school and certainly throughout UG and it is miserable. Given the high stakes of law school it must be that much tougher to be in that position. I hope you get the help or figure out a path that leads you to happiness.
Last edited by 2014 on Sun May 06, 2012 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby keg411 » Sun May 06, 2012 11:11 pm

Read my story roaringeagle. I was "preyed" upon way more by my psychiatrists (MOAR MEDZ) than any therapist I ever went to. Maybe you had a shit experience with therapists, but I had a shit one with psychiatrists.

Also, mallard, no therapist I had ever did any of that shit. I've specifically recommended CBT for a reason since it involves none of those things. And the only person I had do Freudian analysis was a *psychiatrist* not a psychologist.

User avatar
roaringeagle
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:11 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby roaringeagle » Sun May 06, 2012 11:16 pm

mallard wrote:
roaringeagle wrote:You are not thinking like a predator. This is because you are not a bad person. Of course my theoretical therapist knows that what they are saying is bullshit. However it is so easy to feed this stuff to someone who already believes it themselves.


It's worth noting that there are many ways to be a bad therapist without being an evil person. Some of the common ones are being stupid, doing dream analysis, doing Freudian analysis, doing art therapy, discussing events rather than the things that cause the patient to interpret or react to them in a certain way, making to-do lists, and offering judgments of the people in the patient's life. That said, therapy will often have an undercurrent of personal responsibility dogma even when it's not explicit in what the therapist says.


I am not going to quote myself, but I did say many of them are quacks and incompetents alongside the good ole' predators. Are there good therapists? Of course! CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy is one form of therapy that seems to be popular and very effective for many. I think a good therapist will use an appropriate form of therapy to the particular patient.

User avatar
thisiswater
Posts: 995
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 1:51 am

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby thisiswater » Sun May 06, 2012 11:20 pm

.
Last edited by thisiswater on Mon May 07, 2012 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby keg411 » Sun May 06, 2012 11:37 pm

f7 wrote:
keg411 wrote:Read my story roaringeagle. I was "preyed" upon way more by my psychiatrists (MOAR MEDZ) than any therapist I ever went to. Maybe you had a shit experience with therapists, but I had a shit one with psychiatrists.

Also, mallard, no therapist I had ever did any of that shit. I've specifically recommended CBT for a reason since it involves none of those things. And the only person I had do Freudian analysis was a *psychiatrist* not a psychologist.

My experience with doctors generally is that many of them are shitty. That doesn't mean OP shouldn't try to find a real doctor.


I'll concede that maybe things have changed in the 8 years since I stopped talking to my old one, but all my psychiatrist did to "diagnose" me was talk to me for a 1/2 hour, write a couple prescriptions, and then said "see you in a month" (I wasn't even out of high school at the time this happened). If things have changed from this practice, then I'd have no problem with OP seeing a psychiatrist.

User avatar
roaringeagle
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:11 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby roaringeagle » Sun May 06, 2012 11:38 pm

f7 wrote:
keg411 wrote:Read my story roaringeagle. I was "preyed" upon way more by my psychiatrists (MOAR MEDZ) than any therapist I ever went to. Maybe you had a shit experience with therapists, but I had a shit one with psychiatrists.

Also, mallard, no therapist I had ever did any of that shit. I've specifically recommended CBT for a reason since it involves none of those things. And the only person I had do Freudian analysis was a *psychiatrist* not a psychologist.

My experience with doctors generally is that many of them are shitty. That doesn't mean OP shouldn't try to find a real doctor.



Keg411, I have never been preyed upon by anyone. I have recently quit a good job because my boss was a predator. I will not stand for shit like that. The business by the way closed down 3 weeks later. It could not have happened to a nicer person :). My therapist is theoretical and comes from horror stories I have heard from my friends.I have had to intervene in some cases. I have never heard anything close to what I have heard about therapists when it comes the psychiatrists. It's just such a zoo in therapist country.

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby keg411 » Sun May 06, 2012 11:45 pm

roaringeagle wrote:
f7 wrote:
keg411 wrote:Read my story roaringeagle. I was "preyed" upon way more by my psychiatrists (MOAR MEDZ) than any therapist I ever went to. Maybe you had a shit experience with therapists, but I had a shit one with psychiatrists.

Also, mallard, no therapist I had ever did any of that shit. I've specifically recommended CBT for a reason since it involves none of those things. And the only person I had do Freudian analysis was a *psychiatrist* not a psychologist.

My experience with doctors generally is that many of them are shitty. That doesn't mean OP shouldn't try to find a real doctor.



Keg411, I have never been preyed upon by anyone. I have recently quit a good job because my boss was a predator. I will not stand for shit like that. The business by the way closed down 3 weeks later. It could not have happened to a nicer person :). My therapist is theoretical and comes from horror stories I have heard from my friends.I have had to intervene in some cases. I have never heard anything close to what I have heard about therapists when it comes the psychiatrists. It's just such a zoo in therapist country.


Like I said, I had a "love and other drugs" experience with psychiatry. I'm sorry your friends were preyed on by therapists, but that is why you have to do a ton of due diligence before going to see anyone (and preferably be recommended by an actual doctor). The therapists I went to were all extremely smart and extremely good at their jobs. I am sure there are some horrible ones out there that give therapists a bad name, just like there are psychiatrists and other doctors out there that give those professions a bad name as well.

I'm definitely willing to concede that there are psychiatrists that know what they are doing and that the profession may have improved significantly in the last 8-10 years and we're not living in Prozac nation anymore. And if that's the case, then OP should definitely see if medication is the right option.

User avatar
roaringeagle
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:11 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby roaringeagle » Mon May 07, 2012 1:28 am

Keg411 let me apologize for coming on so strong about this. I am under a certain amount of pressure...What law school to attend, new job etc. Please forgive me if I have insulted you. I did not mean to do so. You have a valid point and a right to express it.

djaja
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:46 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby djaja » Mon May 07, 2012 2:26 am

Just want to reiterate that grades don't matter. Even in law school. This is not reality avoidance-- this is reality bubbling up for a quick grasp of air before the noxious gasses of law school snuff it out. This doesnt mean you shouldnt study, it just means that law school is not worth sacrificing for. Anyone who disagrees just doesnt want to hear that their As and A-s are of absolutely no genuine significance. Ask anyone above the age of 35. Anyone who has spawned offspring or cared for someone with alzheimers or anyone who's ever been given a years-to-live assessment by a doctor. This all sounds like cheesy bullshit so I'm stopping.

Throwaway2013
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 11:21 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby Throwaway2013 » Mon May 07, 2012 4:16 am

Since the discussion has become very focused on many aspects of depression and possible treatment, I thought I'd add a little more about my mental health background.

Since I was in elementary school, my teachers have suggested that I may have ADHD. My parents, not wanting to medicate their child, were strongly opposed to me pursuing any line of treatment. In high school, the teacher who came to know me best was my Debate Coach. She spent years having a close-up perspective of all my study and preparation habits. During my senior year she was describing my debate ability to my mom after I had nearly missed my final debate. Her main point to my mom was that I fitted her archetype of "the absent minded professor".

I would say that most of high school was comparable to Junior/Senior year in Undergrad. I would never carry folders, I just stuffed notes into my backpack or in the front cover of my books. I would never keep a schedule and I would never keep any sort of external reminders. If a class assigned homework I would miss about 10-15% of assignments either because I had forgotten about the assignment or I had missed class when it was assigned, or simply because I procrastinated and then some last-minute technical difficulty (no access to a working printer, lost the book that had the problems I needed, slept in on the morning I was supposed to finish it, etc) ruined my chances of turning it in. Even when I was at my best (Freshman in Ugrad) I was still showing up late for some exams/midterms and lose out on precious testing time (not just 5 minutes, my worst cases were 45m-1hr into 3 hour exams).

I finally got sick of being such a mess and sought help in Ugrad. The counselor was sympathetic and was fairly certain I had ADHD, Inattentive type. Unfortunately her plan for the "next step" was for me to undergo battery testing for ADHD that would run $1000+. Given that I was completely broke, I just had to write off any chance of getting serious help my senior year.

As a 1L, when I finally got the financial aid and had some hope of following up on treatment I was split about it. I felt like I was just falling into all the stereotypes of law students medicating themselves to get ahead. However, I started miss readings/class and fall behind so I finally got to see a psychiatrist on my old (garbage) insurance through my network. It was almost impossible to find someone available in Manhattan so I pretty much took the first opening I could get. Unfortunately, long story short, the guy was ancient and his mind clearly what it wasn't used to be. He was living in another generation and his advice (beyond reading Driven to Distraction) was largely unhelpful, I had to stop seeing him when he would begin to repeat his advice (but not aware he was doing it, he thought it was a "new" suggestion each time) during every meeting. I tried Ritalin, and then Adderall (generic). The Ritalin had absolutely no noticeable effect. The Adderall essentially resulted in me hyperfocusing on whatever was in front of me when the medication kicked in. The problem was that I would become fascinated with even the most mundane things, and while having an extreme interest in a tort case was definitely an improvement over my prior condition, spending 2-3 hours reading/doing background research/drawing economic formulas for a single case wasn't ideal either. I stopped taking the medication when I found myself increasingly distracted while on the medication (i.e. spending hours reading about baking your own bread and looking up bread machines on Amazon.com) and growing sick of the side-effects. All in all the medication was a relatively brief stint that didn't do much to shape my studies 1L year.

I haven't really sought help about ADHD since I sunk into depression. When I started seeing a mental health counselor who holds open-door sessions at the law school last November, it was primarily to deal with increasingly depressing and suicidal thoughts. I'm currently on Wellbutrin for anti-depression, but its also used to treat ADHD and I'm hoping that I still might see some kind of breakthrough. I'm still weighing the possibility of going back on adderall, I think there are some things I could change to increase its effectiveness, and perhaps switching to XR or a brand could have benefits as well. Just to help color your perception of what I deal with, here's the DSM-IV list of inattentive-type ADHD symptoms:

[*]Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
[*]Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.
[*]Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly. (This doesn't apply at all)
[*]Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
[*]Often has trouble organizing activities.
[*]Often avoids, dislikes, or does not want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (I cannot tell if this is caused by procrastination or whether my procrastination is caused by whatever chemistry causes this sort of problem).
[*]Often loses things needed for tasks and activities. (Can't tell if this is due to my disorganization or I lose things more than "average", either ways its not a strong symptom for me)
[*]Is often easily distracted.
[*]Often forgetful in daily activities.

One symptom that wasn't mentioned that I've seen elsewhere was time management/time awareness. I have a huge problem with perpetually being overconfident in my ability to do something in an allotted time, to the point of being irrational about it. This had led to me being consistently late to countless events/classes. When combined with the anxiety that's developed in law school, it exacerbated my attendance issues because I didn't want to embarrass myself by walking in 10 minutes late. I would almost always chose my departure times for "ideal" conditions, and would be late when the Subway/Bus/Travel Route took any extra time whatsoever, or if I would leave and forget something and be forced to come back for a phone/ID/card/etc. I think this may also play a role in my struggle with the time-intensive exams in law school. It's no coincidence that I have done extraordinarily well on take-home exams but have a solid B average on the time-intensive proctored exams. In 7/8 of the proctored exams I have taken, I would get to the last question with under 20% of the allotted time for that question remaining. This would always leave me with a rushed, rambling paragraph as the answer for the last question in almost every proctored exam that I've taken. Everytime I could start going over the time for Q1 I would just tell myself "Oh it's only 10 minutes over, I can make up the time later" or "Well it was worth the extra time to get a quality answer".

Anyway, I'm sure this will influence what many of you may be suggesting to me and the problems I face that may or may not be caused by ADHD have helped fuel the pessimism and feelings of hopelessness that have taken root during my depression.
Last edited by Throwaway2013 on Mon May 07, 2012 4:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
chup
Posts: 23645
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:48 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby chup » Mon May 07, 2012 4:16 am

gdane wrote:Take 900 mg of St. John's Wort a day.

Visit a homeless shelter (people or animal) and help out. Helping out others in a worse position than you often makes you realize what you have, even if its not much, and helps you appreciate things more.

Smile. Hakuna Mattata. Keep your head up. Literally. I've read studies that apparently keeping your head up can help you stay in a positive mindset.

Read this too: http://www.wikihow.com/Develop-Self-Esteem

Good luck!

Mallard is nicer than me. This is offensively stupid.

Throwaway2013
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 11:21 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby Throwaway2013 » Mon May 07, 2012 5:49 am

I need to stop reading SA threads. Part of me gets excited, thinking "I can't wait to start establishing myself as a professional, and finally doing something productive with my life!"

Then I remember that I still don't have a job for the summer and will likely "take what I can get" for post-graduate employment.

kritarch
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:44 am

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby kritarch » Mon May 07, 2012 6:44 am

Have you thought about self-correcting based on bad prior experiences? I know that at various points in my life I have experienced all of the symptoms you describe.

In undergrad, I had a depressive semester. I would be too embarrassed to go to class late, so if I woke up late I would skip the class. These classes were extremely early and always had a graded homework assignment due that inevitably would mean I would be up until 4 am doing the assignment, and then would sleep maybe, ten minutes into the start of the 8:30 am class. It was an hour and a half long, but I would just ditch. I got a terrible grade.

From then on, whenever I sleep through the first ten minutes of class, that thought goes through my head "It'll be so embarrassing, I'll just skip." But for all the years since that horrific class in undergrad, the very next thought has been "Nah, I know where that path leads." And even though I still miss the first twenty or thirty minutes of some classes sometimes, I always go, and yes it's sort of embarrassing, etc. but you can always sit back smugly knowing you'll do well because you came.

Plus, going to class, at least for me, brightens my whole day and makes me less likely to succumb to procrastinative urges.

I do this with a lot of activities, by the way. I can't stand reading and will instead go on message boards and post about random topics. But as soon as I see myself doing that, I will think "This can only hurt me" and I will immediately close the browser. I used to give myself a little reward whenever I did something good like that, and pretty soon afterwards I didn't need to reward myself anymore, I could just trigger the thought and close the browser, and get back on track.

These strategies have done wonders for me even though I think I probably have a personality with propensities very similar to yours. Try it with one self-destructive activity in your life, or as a way of rewarding yourself for doing something on-time, and see if it helps.

Baby steps, my friend.

sadsituationJD
Posts: 126
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:33 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby sadsituationJD » Mon May 07, 2012 7:13 am

OP, it only gets worse from here. No one is truly happy as a lawyer, as the job consists of little more than pushing bales of tedious, makework shitpaper from one side of a table to the other. Compared to finance, the pay is peanuts and the hours totally suck as well. The legal industry is also in steep and systemic decline, and there's a great chance for more Deweys to be coming down the pipe soon, as lawyers are piss-poor businessmen and, in general, not very bright or creative people. Their personalities are usually dreadful/nonexistent, and for the most part are very unpleasant to be around or interact with.

Compared to legitimate careers like medicine, dentistry, or engineering, law takes virtually no brains whatsoever, and certainly no "hard" classes like organic chem or anything of actual substance. The exams (including the bar) are just bullshit formalities, so devoid of substance or practical use that they may as well just auction off law licenses the way NYC does with taxicab medallions and such. The "writing" (if that's what you want to call it) is little more than ungrammatical, cut n' paste dreck which would flunk a 7th grade English exam.

Run far away from this gutter and count your blessings.

HTH

Throwaway2013
Posts: 17
Joined: Thu May 03, 2012 11:21 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby Throwaway2013 » Mon May 07, 2012 7:20 am

kritarch wrote:Have you thought about self-correcting based on bad prior experiences? I know that at various points in my life I have experienced all of the symptoms you describe.

In undergrad, I had a depressive semester. I would be too embarrassed to go to class late, so if I woke up late I would skip the class. These classes were extremely early and always had a graded homework assignment due that inevitably would mean I would be up until 4 am doing the assignment, and then would sleep maybe, ten minutes into the start of the 8:30 am class. It was an hour and a half long, but I would just ditch. I got a terrible grade.

From then on, whenever I sleep through the first ten minutes of class, that thought goes through my head "It'll be so embarrassing, I'll just skip." But for all the years since that horrific class in undergrad, the very next thought has been "Nah, I know where that path leads." And even though I still miss the first twenty or thirty minutes of some classes sometimes, I always go, and yes it's sort of embarrassing, etc. but you can always sit back smugly knowing you'll do well because you came.

Plus, going to class, at least for me, brightens my whole day and makes me less likely to succumb to procrastinative urges.

I do this with a lot of activities, by the way. I can't stand reading and will instead go on message boards and post about random topics. But as soon as I see myself doing that, I will think "This can only hurt me" and I will immediately close the browser. I used to give myself a little reward whenever I did something good like that, and pretty soon afterwards I didn't need to reward myself anymore, I could just trigger the thought and close the browser, and get back on track.

These strategies have done wonders for me even though I think I probably have a personality with propensities very similar to yours. Try it with one self-destructive activity in your life, or as a way of rewarding yourself for doing something on-time, and see if it helps.

Baby steps, my friend.


I definitely agree with the "brightens the day" bit.

I've made some attempts at self-correction before but I guess I just didn't have the willpower or awareness to make it happen. In law school it's been especially difficult because the process that led to missing class was a subtle one. First I wouldn't do the reading either because I didn't have time or had just procrastinated for too long. Then I would inevitably stay up too late at night browsing the internet/playing game/whatever and wake up tired or sleep in. Then I would always feel the need to shower before going to class and always underestimate how long it would take me (ok, 15 minutes to class, but I'll just clean up REALLY quick!), then inevitably either due to sleeping in or shitty time management I would find myself 5-15 minutes late to class. If I had done the reading I probably would want to go anyway, but not reading usually tipped the scales in favor of not going, since not reading meant usually meant the lectures would be unintelligible anyway and it added the risk that I might show up late AND get called on when unprepared.

I think the biggest problem is that I've become an expert at rationalizing things that I know are bad for me. It's like when confronted with these decisions I lose all memory of the 5000x other times I slept through an alarm because I stayed up till 3am or took no less than 25 minutes to do my morning routine, or require at least 30 minutes for every 10 pages of reading. Yet I would constantly make decisions rationalized with "oh I'll definitely do this reading in an hour before class" or "Yea I'll totally wake up on the first alarm with fours of sleep".

keg411
Posts: 5935
Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Re: Depresssion, Apathy, & Unemployment from a CLS-2L (Long)

Postby keg411 » Mon May 07, 2012 8:53 am

OP, based on everything you described, I really think you'd do well on CBT. Pretty sure it's being increasingly used to treat ADHD.

Also, roaringeagle, you didn't insult me. So don't worry. People have different experiences, and I'm just bringing in mine in hopes that it's helpful to the OP to read that he isn't alone and can get his life turned around, even if he feels like he's been suffering for what seems like forever.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: LandMermaid, torilynn and 5 guests