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Burning Out Attorney Looking For Support; Here To Offer Any If Possible


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PS my husband was fired from his job a few months ago when a new manager came in said some derogatory things to him and my husband stood up for himself.

That fueled my fear even more!

It makes you feel like you have to take abuse if you want to keep your job!

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How do I handle bullies who are supervisors? Well, at present, the managing partner is a complete psychotic; he's like Al Pacino on PCP. I have to force myself not to lose my temper and put everything in perspective, I guess. This too shall pass.

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Doesnt it make u angry when Al pacino on pcp treats u with disrespect? How can u hold that anger inside day after day?

Or are u used to this because others scream at u in court or in depositions?

Pls tell me yr secret to handling it!!!

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That wld be super if u hv time and don't mind...u are in the perfect profession and environment where people im sure can be really awful to u at times...and yet even tho u hv depression , u deal with the abuse in some way instead of letting it make u become even more depressed..unfortunately I've only.experienced the latter .

I really appreciate yr help and insight...im sorry if im a pain on this..its just very important to me.

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You know, I actually don't mind when clients get angry (they're either going through a divorce, child support action, or custody action, which is very stressful), or when other lawyers make a show of frothing and yelling, because I know it's just posturing for the client or judge and that we'll likely be having drinks together later that afternoon.

But when Captain Sunshine (boss) gets in one of his moods, it's all I can do not to punch him in the throat, which, I expect, would somewhat hamper my future employment prospects.

So, I start my day with the a few prayers from the Chassidic morning prayer service as soon as I wake up and while in the shower and getting dressed (modeh ani, morning blessings, shema -- long story), say a rosary on the way to the bus stop and walking to work from the bus, and when I get to work, I try my darndest to make a to-do list that has a reasonable likelihood of being followed. By the time I get to work, I am calm, centered, and meditative. It's what happens after that that's the problem.

So far, I'm the only associate who's been able to work with this maniac without quitting, getting fired, or flatly declaring that he'll work for anybody else but him.

So, when he's raging about some bit of minutiæ, my alternative to reciprocal rage is often to "check out" for awhile, which leads to further unproductivity, more anxiety, etc. I used to be able to just put on my big-boy pants and suck it up, but I'm wearing down.

Today, by some miracle a morning deposition was cancelled, so I'm going to use this time to clean my office, update my case list, and make a to-do list I can stick with. Ideally, this will reduce anxiety and give me motivation to work better and reverse the spiral. I'll keep yinz posted.

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ME TOO! I am an attorney and HAVE missed court dates-I HATE my job right now. There are books for stressed out lawyers-

I'm reading--Apparently, you're not alone.

"Stress Management for Lawyers: How To Increase Personal & Professional Satisfaction In The Law"

Well, that book is certainly worth $4.00 on Amazon; I'll check it out, I'm up for anything.

What area are you in, counselor?

I can't tell you how much better it made me feel-just to hear one other lawyer say that they are feeling the way I am. I read a sentence once recently-that put it in a nutshell-I tried to find it for you but I couldn't. We aren't alone-BTW-we are the majority-most attorneys feel the same way.

I defend immigrants and those accused of crimes. My criminal clients have never been in trouble-usually, DUI or some other mid=life issue-(but by the grace of God....) so my clients are about to get deported or lose their jobs, liberty-no, biggie. hahaha.

I'm working on being "accountable" for my depression- the last couple of weeks. I'm working a "depression workbook" (in the 20 mins after 3 kids in bed and my collapse for the night), I start counseling in two weeks and am trying to get outside.

I'd be interested in knowing what works for you? I am going to find the book about lawyers & stress with that sentence.

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That wld be super if u hv time and don't mind...u are in the perfect profession and environment where people im sure can be really awful to u at times...and yet even tho u hv depression , u deal with the abuse in some way instead of letting it make u become even more depressed..unfortunately I've only.experienced the latter .

I really appreciate yr help and insight...im sorry if im a pain on this..its just very important to me.

Work for yourself. There really are a lot of professions where you can freelance-translator, etc. Its not as easy as that I know-but most people work for small businesses.

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The book that I was reading but haven't picked up in awhile-"The Six Minute Lawyer" by Gregory Lois-had the sentence that struck me. It basically applies the "Getting Things Done" philosophy for lawyers. The book basically says lawyers hate their jobs because of -the inability to get anything done-out of fear, mostly. He says studies show that lawyers....

***

"describe their work as challenging but harried. Instead of thrill mostly they experience fear. Too much of their day is misspend procrastinating. Worry and anxiety characterize their work."

He goes on to say that lawyers'

"anxiety is based on their perceptions "that they labor under expectations of excellance, the prospect of regard or humiliation regarding their work product, and with valid fear of penalty (such as disbarment) for missteps."

***

Maybe not you-but that is the story of my professional and large parts of my personal life.

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The book that I was reading but haven't picked up in awhile-"The Six Minute Lawyer" by Gregory Lois-had the sentence that struck me. It basically applies the "Getting Things Done" philosophy for lawyers. The book basically says lawyers hate their jobs because of -the inability to get anything done-out of fear, mostly. He says studies show that lawyers....

***

"describe their work as challenging but harried. Instead of thrill mostly they experience fear. Too much of their day is misspend procrastinating. Worry and anxiety characterize their work."

He goes on to say that lawyers'

"anxiety is based on their perceptions "that they labor under expectations of excellance, the prospect of regard or humiliation regarding their work product, and with valid fear of penalty (such as disbarment) for missteps."

***

Maybe not you-but that is the story of my professional and large parts of my personal life.

No, I'd say that pretty much sums it up. But what if decreasing the anxiety also decreases the motivation to do productive work?

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The book that I was reading but haven't picked up in awhile-"The Six Minute Lawyer" by Gregory Lois-had the sentence that struck me. It basically applies the "Getting Things Done" philosophy for lawyers. The book basically says lawyers hate their jobs because of -the inability to get anything done-out of fear, mostly. He says studies show that lawyers....

***

"describe their work as challenging but harried. Instead of thrill mostly they experience fear. Too much of their day is misspend procrastinating. Worry and anxiety characterize their work."

He goes on to say that lawyers'

"anxiety is based on their perceptions "that they labor under expectations of excellance, the prospect of regard or humiliation regarding their work product, and with valid fear of penalty (such as disbarment) for missteps."

***

Maybe not you-but that is the story of my professional and large parts of my personal life.

No, I'd say that pretty much sums it up. But what if decreasing the anxiety also decreases the motivation to do productive work?

It would depend on how low you want your anxiety to be. I have learned over the years to use my anxiety as a tool for motivation, in fact I have also found anxiety to be useful in "jogging" my creative side. It takes practice sure, but you can utilize it the same way as well.

I also believe that zero anxiety is counter productive except in situations of resting, relaxing, sleeping, ect.

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The book that I was reading but haven't picked up in awhile-"The Six Minute Lawyer" by Gregory Lois-had the sentence that struck me. It basically applies the "Getting Things Done" philosophy for lawyers. The book basically says lawyers hate their jobs because of -the inability to get anything done-out of fear, mostly. He says studies show that lawyers....

***

"describe their work as challenging but harried. Instead of thrill mostly they experience fear. Too much of their day is misspend procrastinating. Worry and anxiety characterize their work."

He goes on to say that lawyers'

"anxiety is based on their perceptions "that they labor under expectations of excellance, the prospect of regard or humiliation regarding their work product, and with valid fear of penalty (such as disbarment) for missteps."

***

Maybe not you-but that is the story of my professional and large parts of my personal life.

No, I'd say that pretty much sums it up. But what if decreasing the anxiety also decreases the motivation to do productive work?

It would depend on how low you want your anxiety to be. I have learned over the years to use my anxiety as a tool for motivation, in fact I have also found anxiety to be useful in "jogging" my creative side. It takes practice sure, but you can utilize it the same way as well.

I also believe that zero anxiety is counter productive except in situations of resting, relaxing, sleeping, ect.

What about all that medical stuff about anxiety and stress and cortisol and how it shuts you down over time?

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What about all that medical stuff about anxiety and stress and cortisol and how it shuts you down over time?

Yes I learned about that when I was in treatment back in 02 for a benzo addiction.

We focused more on how to channel our anxiety as a stimulating positive "energy" that helped us complete our daily tasks. We also learned how to expend or wear out excessive anxiety thru physical movement such as, long walks, exercising, and activities which will also LOWER cortisol levels. Non of it has to be intense either.

Have you considered a group setting, out patient maybe with a pro leading the group?

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Britainton

Have you ever found yourself engaged in something on a rather intensified level (and unconscious of it, not intentionally doing it) be it mental, physical, or both, while you were hashing through things your boss had done to you that made you angry, anxious?

This is also a technique we were taught to do on a consious level, bring the anxiety on with the issue that is causing it while you are engaged with working through it. Face the most painful part the anxiety and anger in this way, and really feel it, letting it process through your mind while your body can process the chemical reactions in a safer more healthy way.

I do this while on a long walk, it is where I no longer fear my anxiety so much and I confront it and work through it. I have also noticed it is a great time to think through possible solutions to anxiety provoking issues.

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What about all that medical stuff about anxiety and stress and cortisol and how it shuts you down over time?

Yes I learned about that when I was in treatment back in 02 for a benzo addiction.

We focused more on how to channel our anxiety as a stimulating positive "energy" that helped us complete our daily tasks. We also learned how to expend or wear out excessive anxiety thru physical movement such as, long walks, exercising, and activities which will also LOWER cortisol levels. Non of it has to be intense either.

Have you considered a group setting, out patient maybe with a pro leading the group?

That sounds fascinating. It's like Bruce Lee's kung fu -- using the opponent's energy as your own against him. I wouldn't know where to look for a group, though, but there is the "Lawyers Concerned For Lawyers" group for addiction / mental health problems that might know. You folks are a wealth of information.

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It's a sad state of affairs now for anybody working in the system, be it as a lawyer, a doctor, engineer etc, but it is equally sad that anybody, the checkout assistant, the secretary, the cleaner, or in fact anybody who has to work for somebody else because they need to earn money, is treated like this. When I could work no more, I was middle management with great prospects but I didn't toe the line.... Great year so next year you can do 10% better. Who hasn't heard that expression. I would not pass that pressure onto my team and consequently took the fall. 3 years later and with how many cocktails of sedatives and therapists passed by, I'm still here. Something in our society has to give, we all want more for less, we all want lots of toys but we’ve got to get back to acknowledge the basics, the fact that we are so lucky to be here, right now and us poor lads and lasses who have this chain of mental illness hanging around us need to focus on this, right now. We cannot beat the bigger bullies, because to beat them we all need to change our personality types. We have to be smarter than them, as hard as it may be, but smarter because we will have the richer lives, once we overcome the hurdles in front of us now. Hope we can all combine our energies and fight corporate bullying.

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It's a sad state of affairs now for anybody working in the system, be it as a lawyer, a doctor, engineer etc, but it is equally sad that anybody, the checkout assistant, the secretary, the cleaner, or in fact anybody who has to work for somebody else because they need to earn money, is treated like this. When I could work no more, I was middle management with great prospects but I didn't toe the line.... Great year so next year you can do 10% better. Who hasn't heard that expression. I would not pass that pressure onto my team and consequently took the fall. 3 years later and with how many cocktails of sedatives and therapists passed by, I'm still here. Something in our society has to give, we all want more for less, we all want lots of toys but we’ve got to get back to acknowledge the basics, the fact that we are so lucky to be here, right now and us poor lads and lasses who have this chain of mental illness hanging around us need to focus on this, right now. We cannot beat the bigger bullies, because to beat them we all need to change our personality types. We have to be smarter than them, as hard as it may be, but smarter because we will have the richer lives, once we overcome the hurdles in front of us now. Hope we can all combine our energies and fight corporate bullying.

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http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/ You should read the above link on actions a Canadian company is taking to support mental health, employee re-integration and issue avoidance. It doesn't have all the answers but this is a huge step in the right direction.

Very good stuff!

And no it can never address all things at onetime, the variations of causes of stress and anxiety are endless. I went through treatment that year with a famous concert pianist who was battling the shock of losing someone on 911, a police officer responding to a home invasion and engaging in a gun battle in a house with children in it, to a teenage girl suffering the trauma of extremely abusive parents. And we all help each other through it.

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I was burned out in 2007 - I work in arts and entertainment - and lost interest in everything. Right after that we had the meltdown of 2008 and I got seriously depressed.

What really helped was CBT with meditation at least four times a week and combined with a new exercise plan, I would say it´s unbeatable. It took a while to learn it and practice it, but it has really worked well. I find it helps to focus the mind and lessen anxiety.

You can go to a therapist or use self-help from books or guided exercises on Youtube.

There is a good book called "Rekindling the Flames". It´s for teachers but it´s full of good advice.

Hope it helps.

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Britain....

Great insightful.post! t u very much for taking the time for thought and writing in responding to.my post.

Cldbeworse...

I.teach those immigrants and i.love it..no way to be selfemployed unfortunately and mk a living doing this profession.

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I was burned out in 2007 - I work in arts and entertainment - and lost interest in everything. Right after that we had the meltdown of 2008 and I got seriously depressed.

What really helped was CBT with meditation at least four times a week and combined with a new exercise plan, I would say it´s unbeatable. It took a while to learn it and practice it, but it has really worked well. I find it helps to focus the mind and lessen anxiety.

You can go to a therapist or use self-help from books or guided exercises on Youtube.

There is a good book called "Rekindling the Flames". It´s for teachers but it´s full of good advice.

Hope it helps.

My therapist (weekly) is trying out some CBT techniques, and meditation is something I should do but never seem to want to -- ditto with exercise. I used to lift weights 3 times a week, but with the 3 kids, when I get home my wife is only too happy to let them be my gig for the evening, and what time there is left over after they go to bed is usually movie / reading / "alone" time with us. Exercise may have to wait -- does the walk to and from the bus stop count?

I love these book suggestions -- I've ordered two already on the recommendation of you folks, and I"ll add "Rekindling" to the list.

Update: Saved from near-certain catastrophe by 2 fortuitous events: (1) client called yesterday with the flu and couldn't attend deposition; and (2) client called today and can't attend hearing tomorrow in Mercer County (several counties away). If I can use these near-miracles to catch up, I may just finish up the week on a high note. The key is, in your words, to "focus the mind and lessen anxiety". It's great to hear that you yourself "rekindled" after your "burnout". Even though I still feel a bit like a wet match, it's good to hear success stories!

Now, let's fix Peony!

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