Law school and depression (+How can you cope)

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This article will explain how and why Law school may have such a negative impact on your mental health to the point it can make you depressed. Aside from that, the article will show what are ways you can cope with being in Law school so as not to have such a negative impact on you.

How can Law school make me depressed? 

Law school can make you depressed because of the overwhelming pressure it puts on you, it puts you through long periods of stress, which can lead to depression. 

Instead of blaming yourself, you should have in mind that law school is an extremely competitive place, you have to battle with your colleagues for the best grades and possible the best internship opportunities. 

You may also be experiencing a lot of expectations, and sometimes not even just your expectations, but your family and friends may often want to know how law school is going, and what are your plans for the future.

And even though the competition and expectations can help you feel more motivated, and keep you moving forward, sometimes, the prolonged exposure to it, will cause you to feel drained, leading you to depression. 

When law school makes you depressed, you can feel all your energy has been taken away from you. Your cognitive functions, meaning your ability to focus, and memorize things, will also get worse. You can begin to eat more, and gain weight, or stop eating, and lose a lot of weight. 

It can also make you feel more tired, and change your sleeping patterns. You can lose interest in things, and your motivation and sense of purpose will most certainly be affected. Your grades and how well you go in classes can suffer, as well as your relationships since you can begin to isolate yourself and become more irritable.

What is important to keep in mind, when you feel that the stress of law school is taking the best of you, and you start to feel depressed, know that there are ways to cope with this. So let’s discuss what they are.

How can I cope with depression when I am in law school? 

When you are in law school and start to feel depressed, here is what you can do.

Own up to your feelings

The first thing to do when you feel like this is to understand how you feel. Don’t blame yourself, and keep in mind that law school is always stressful. Your friends may be going through the same thing. 

What you need to do is let your feelings come out, since kept feelings are usually worse. Try to understand that no one is perfect, and you will sometimes fall short. But in this process also find some time to praise yourself for what you have accomplished.

Look for help

If you are feeling depressed, as much as you may know about your feelings, you must get some professional help. They will help you manage the situation, and understand the root of all your suffering. It may also be good for you to share all your thoughts and feelings with someone that won’t judge you.

Take a look around your campus, since they might have a student support center. Nowadays it has become more common for universities to have a mental health center. And if they don’t have a professional there that can care for you, they will most certainly direct you to where you can get help.

Take breaks

Law school asks you to study a lot. It takes countless hours to look at a book, and at some point, you can begin to feel like you are done. There is no more energy, and you are unable to focus. That is why it is so important to take breaks.

You can go for a small walk, watch one episode of a show you like, or listen to some music. But take some time to do things that will get your mind off of the law. It may seem strange, but by taking a break you may come back more motivated and energized.

Try to look at things from another perspective 

If you put all the weight of the world on law school and see it as the one thing that will define your entire life, it may become difficult to handle all that it asks of you. Rather than that try to look at law school, and the activities it begins as another chore or homework. 

No one is denying that this is an important moment, but try to not ask too much of yourself, and add all of your and other people’s expectations in this process.

Write it out 

You may find it is beneficial to write about how you feel. It is another way to vent, and it allows you to look over your thoughts and feelings, and understand the patterns, and how you can handle them better.

Create your own set of strategies 

Law school lasts a few years, with time, and if you decide to write about your feelings, you may begin to realize what are the most stressful moments to you, and how it gets to this point. This will allow you to create your own set of strategies.

It will allow you to think about what you can do the next time you feel overwhelmed. For example, you may discover that breathing exercises help you a lot in those moments, so each time you feel stressed, you can turn to them to center yourself again.

Have a routine 

It is important to have some sense of routine in your life. Care for your eating, and sleeping, try to exercise, and focus on caring for yourself, and your house. Having your affairs in order helps you focus your energy mostly on your studies.

Don’t make big decisions 

When you are stressed or even depressed, you may start to question everything, and may even begin to think about leaving it all behind. When that happens, try to keep in mind that this is not the right time to make any big decisions. Try to calm yourself first, and then you decide, with a clear mind, what is best for you.

Remember what your goal is

When you are feeling depressed, you may lose your sense of purpose. And it makes it extremely easy to just abandon things. It is important to keep in mind what your goal is. And of course, it can change over time, but having it clear can help you find your center to analyze if that is what you still want.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): How can law school make me depressed? 

How does depression affect my learning? 

Depression will have a huge impact on your learning process. It affects your energy levels, your motivation, and your ability to focus. Which can directly impair how you will learn. 

It will make you more fatigued, making it necessary that you take longer breaks, and the irritability depression brings can cause you to feel like it is hard to stay in the learning environment.

Know that it is important to not blame yourself for the difficulties you may experience in your learning process as you are depressed. Look for treatment, and with time you will begin to feel better.

Can school cause depression? 

It shouldn’t be like that, but a school can cause a person to develop depression. The constant overload of work, overscheduling of things to do, the pressure for good grades, and how competitive your school can be, can harm your mental health.

Knowing all this can lead you to become depressed will help you to create strategies to not be so overwhelmed by it all. And preserve your mental health in the best way with your know-how.

How can teachers help students cope with depression? 

If you are a teacher, and you have realized that one of your students may be depressed, you can be supportive of them. Try to create a collaborative relationship, in which you will help them. Try to bring the conversation about depression up, and let them know you are there to support them.

Avoid negative techniques to motivate them, such as sarcasm, or punishment. Those will only make them feel worse. It may be necessary to make adjustments to accommodate the needs of the student that is depressed. And it is by talking to them, that you will better understand what their needs are.

And always try to motivate them. You may want to create situations in which they can succeed. And value them as they do so.

What is brain fog?

Brain fog is a sense of confusion, and memory problems, accompanied by a lack of mental clarity, and difficulty focusing. The person can experience brain fog when they are going through a stressful moment, in which they feel overwhelmed, and have trouble sleeping. It can also be related to spending too much time in front of a screen.

It can lead to insomnia, low energy, headaches, mood swings, impaired cognitive function, low motivation, and even mild depression. To deal with brain fog, one needs to find a balance in stressful situations, exercising, and having a healthy lifestyle can help.

How can I reset my mental health?

If you feel you have been struggling with mental health, know that there are some things you can do to reset your mental health and go back to feeling good. The first thing you should do is try to exercise regularly. You can take up jogging, or even go on short walks. 

That will allow you to get some time outside, and help you clear your mind. Try to take part in social events. Being around people means you will be mentally stimulated, and connecting with others may help you. 

But it is important to also have balance. Find what works for you, and be around people when it feels positive, but also take time to care for yourself.

Having time to do things you love is extremely beneficial to your mental health. Try to find time in your days for that. It can be some time to care for your skincare routine, get a massage, or even watch your favorite show. 

Aside from that, try to be kind to yourself. Don’t ask too much of yourself, and make things easier, which will often have a positive impact on your mental health.

Conclusion

This article centered on explaining how law school can affect the students to the point they may feel depressed. It also showed why this may happen, and what are the best ways for students to cope with it.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.

References

https://www.nesl.edu/blog/detail/how-to-deal-with-law-school-stress-in-healthy-ways
https://firsthand.co/blogs/vaults-law-blog-legal-careers-and-industry-news/tips-for-coping-with-depression-in-law-school

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