If you are in the Western New York neighborhood tonight, I encourage you to attend A Conversation About Depression hosted by attorney Dan Lukasik. Dan is a fellow traveler.  He has experienced the dark hole of major depression himself, and has made it a personal mission to inform other professionals, especially lawyers and judges, about diagnosis, treatment and living with depression. His website and blog, lawyerswithdepression.com is full of helpful information presented in an attractive, readable format.

Professionals of all stripes, doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs, often have trouble,

1) admitting they have a problem and

2) reaching out for help.

Professionals are trained to think for ourselves and to take pride in being self-sufficient. Heck, we define ourselves by that old attitude:

"Pull yourself up by the bootstraps!"

"Stiff upper lip,"

"When the going gets tough, the tough do anything but stop and consider therapy!"

It could be that people who enter the professions self-select for stubbornness. It could be what we learn self-sacrifice in our training. It could be that society, which expects a great deal from us in terms of role modeling, puts pressure on its professionals to keep fighting even when they are down for the count.

Dan Lukasik knows about this from the inside out and wants to help other professionals, lawyers in particular, to not wait, to get the help they need to climb out of depression. Here is how his article, One Attorney's Depression Story, which appeared in Trial, a journal for the American Association for Justice, is introduced:

Editors’ note: In a seminal study published in 1990, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that lawyers were 3.6 times mo re likely to suffer from depression than members of any other of 104 professions studied. Since then, smaller studies and data from bar association lawyer-assistance programs continue to confirm that many attorneys are plagued by this soul-sapping and sometimes life-threatening disease. Other research has shown that suicide is a leading cause of premature death among lawyers. Here, a plaintiff attorney who has confronted his illness shares the story of his ongoing struggle for mental health, and his law partner tells how their firm helps him cope while maintaining a successful litigation practice.

Dan Lukasik's talk tonight, Monday, September 27th, is at 7PM at the Wick Center at Daemen College, 4380 Main Street in Amherst.

If you are a professional who requires the utmost confidentiality and you wish to explore options for treatment of depression or anxiety, please call me at 716.308.6683. You can learn more about me and how I work at explorewhatsnext.com.