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Author Topic: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL  (Read 108956 times)

Grotos

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #50 on: December 29, 2005, 01:36:13 AM »
LAW IS IMPORTANT TO OUR SOCIETY! We have to get it right.

True, but getting it right means reducing the overemphasis placed upon it.  Not writing that statement in all caps might be a good start.  Never forget that, like a bunch of French intellectuals, the legal profession doesn't actually produce anything tangible nor does it generate significant societal capital.  Most annoyingly, American law has no jurisdiction over 95%+ of the planet.  The more professionals who ignore these truths, the more the profession is resented by the rest of us, the one's paying your bills.

emc

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #51 on: January 12, 2006, 06:09:27 AM »
Quote
4) Thinking "like a lawyer": Defining people primarily according to their legal rights, and trying to understand, prevent and resolve problems by applying legal rules to those rights, usually in a zero-sum manner. This involves close inspection of words and writing to look for defects in an adversary's position or which may create future problems for a client. It is fundamentally negative, critical, pessimistic, and depersonalizing. This method of thinking is conveyed and understood in law schools as a new and superior way of thinking, not a strictly limited legal tool.

We call it thinking "like an ass".

;)

1HellChicago

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #52 on: January 12, 2006, 09:01:38 AM »
Now look back at Brooke Shields. Because we all praised her for getting medicated, the lesson to the average person having the kind of problem I describe above is "get mom hooked up on post-partum depression drugs". That message is an absolute SIN and Brooke Shields is partly to blame for promoting such a message. The more healthy thing to do, what my wife and i did, was talk about her depression, talk about her conflicting feelings of love and hate for the baby, talk about the rising frustration that builds up throughout the day with a baby that simply cannot be consoled and that will not stop crying. But people don't want to do this because it's hard work and is confessional in nature.

Post-partum depression is a lot more serious than just contradicting emotions about one's baby. It involves real, emotional AND physical symptoms of depression for the mother, which might mean she becomes so uninvolved that she's not taking care of herself or the baby, and the mother may DO dangerous things, not just have negative feelings she can work through by talking a bit.

If people are too medicated, it's b/c the doctor inappropriately diagnosed this disease. Obviously it's already misunderstood and underestimated by members of the public.

Mimimimi

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #53 on: January 12, 2006, 11:06:14 AM »
Now look back at Brooke Shields. Because we all praised her for getting medicated, the lesson to the average person having the kind of problem I describe above is "get mom hooked up on post-partum depression drugs". That message is an absolute SIN and Brooke Shields is partly to blame for promoting such a message. The more healthy thing to do, what my wife and i did, was talk about her depression, talk about her conflicting feelings of love and hate for the baby, talk about the rising frustration that builds up throughout the day with a baby that simply cannot be consoled and that will not stop crying. But people don't want to do this because it's hard work and is confessional in nature.

Post-partum depression is a lot more serious than just contradicting emotions about one's baby. It involves real symptoms of depression for the mother, which might mean she becomes so uninvolved that she's not taking care of herself or the baby, and the mother may DO dangerous things, not just have negative feelings she get work through by talking a bit.

If people are too medicated, it's b/c the doctor inappropriately diagnosed this disease. Obviously it's already misunderstood and underestimated by members of the public.

Completely agree.  BigTex, you simply have no way of knowing whether Brooke Shields was one of those cases that "really" needed medication or not.  So why presume she didn't? 

I have been moderately to severely depressed on and off for almost 15 years, and I have previously always dealt with it through therapy.  While I wasn't as anti-med as you, I sort of felt the same way like I should be able to deal with it without resorting to that.  And I did deal with it, to a certain extent.  I was constantly sad, did not get much pleasure out of life, and cried every night, but I was able to function.  This was until I had a really severe episode during the first semester of law school.

I don't think I can fully explain how absolutely horrible it was, so I won't try here.  Suffice it to say, I finally understood why people commit suicide.  No matter how much objective evidence there is to the contrary, I felt totally worthless, totally hopeless, and like a total burden on all my loved ones.  And the physical symptoms - I went for a month sleeping not at all to a maximum of 2 hours a night.  I had absolutely no appetite and ate maybe once a day; I lost 15 pounds in 2 weeks.  I tried to do my law school reading but I would stare at the page for 20 minutes and literally not be able to understand any of it.  It was like something had taken over my brain.  Finally, I agreed to go on meds, and within 2 weeks, I was functional again.

Maybe, with an extended period of therapy I could have pulled myself out of it without meds - who knows.  But by that time, I would have flunked my entire first semester and most likely dropped out and moved home with my parents, because I simply could not function.  It makes me sad now to think of all the years I've spent feeling miserable when I did not have to.  You say that meds sap intelligence, drive, and creativity, but in my experience, depression does that.  I have done ok for myself in life, but I know I could have done more, experienced more, if this battle were not always at the forefront of my life. 

I am sure I will not convince you of anything, but I wanted to share my experience because I refuse to be dismissed as lazy, cowardly, or otherwise by people who do not understand what I've gone through.  Bradzwest is right that talk like yours is often what prevents depressed people from seeking help in the first place.  Sure, there are examples out there like Brooke Shields, but that is not what most depressed people would take to heart - they take to heart the message that says they are worthless, lazy, that they should be able to get over it on their own - that depression is a character flaw - because that is the deepest fear that they have about themselves.

Please consider yourself blessed that you are able to espouse such opinions without having to confront the real dilemma of whether you would yourself adhere to them or take the "easy" route of medication in order to preserve your sanity and all you have worked for in life.   

BigTex

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #54 on: January 13, 2006, 12:24:59 AM »
Please cite iconic cultural examples (celebrities, etc.) where the person in question said: "i was having severe emotional problems, so I visited a therapist and worked through my problems both through the support of my therapist and family and friends". Such examples are few and far between. Examples of iconic celebrities saying: "I was severely depressed so i got medicated and everything is awesome now" seem much more prevalent.

The message? If you get on drugs to solve your problem, there was never really anything wrong with you mentally, you just had a "chemical imbalance" that needed correction. However, if you went to therapy that means there's nothing physically wrong with you, rather - you've got the horrible stigma of actually being mentally imbalanced. For shame!

So, yes, I will hold Brooke Shields and the chic Hollywood drug panacea/illusion accountable for this message they foist upon us, a message which shames anyone who actually has the guts to say: "there's nothing physically wrong with me, i'm just mentally messed up right now and need to work this out w/ a professional".

W/ regard to empathy, was in virtually similar situation to above poster in the high-school/college transition. Fortunately, Hollywood had not yet embarked on its "psycho-meds are cool!" campaign, and I felt no pressure whitewash my problems as a "chemical imbalance". So, through professional help, family & friends, and deep and independent self-introspection the obstacles were overcome. It's a shame that such a path is no longer even a conceivable option for many people. "It's not me, it's my chemical imbalance" has become the knee-jerk response expected of us.

Mimimimi

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #55 on: January 13, 2006, 05:48:08 AM »
The message? If you get on drugs to solve your problem, there was never really anything wrong with you mentally, you just had a "chemical imbalance" that needed correction. However, if you went to therapy that means there's nothing physically wrong with you, rather - you've got the horrible stigma of actually being mentally imbalanced. For shame!

So, yes, I will hold Brooke Shields and the chic Hollywood drug panacea/illusion accountable for this message they foist upon us, a message which shames anyone who actually has the guts to say: "there's nothing physically wrong with me, i'm just mentally messed up right now and need to work this out w/ a professional".

W/ regard to empathy, was in virtually similar situation to above poster in the high-school/college transition. Fortunately, Hollywood had not yet embarked on its "psycho-meds are cool!" campaign, and I felt no pressure whitewash my problems as a "chemical imbalance". So, through professional help, family & friends, and deep and independent self-introspection the obstacles were overcome. It's a shame that such a path is no longer even a conceivable option for many people. "It's not me, it's my chemical imbalance" has become the knee-jerk response expected of us.

I find it interesting that you separate the mental from the physical to such an extent.  Really, our thoughts are the product of our brains - a physical organ.  I would freely admit that I am "mentally messed up" but that doesn't mean there's not a physical or chemical component to the problem.

You trumpet "family and friends, deep and independent self-introspection", etc., as the "real" cure to problems.  Do you deny that for some people, this doesn't work?  And for those people, what would you have them do? 

execstyle

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #56 on: January 19, 2006, 04:40:23 AM »
tag

Senior Belding

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #57 on: January 19, 2006, 02:28:50 PM »
This is a fantastic thread, actually.

Getting back to the point at hand--

I will make one point--I have that people who have a clear vision of what they want to do with their law degree are generally MUCH happier than those who are just going to law school to make use of their public policy / poly sci degree.

By people who have a plan i mean (not limited to):
-Those who have resigned themself to public interest who actually WANT to do public interest
-science/engineering types who want to do patent law
-People who are actually jazzed about environmental law or international law

Overall, i think the unhappiness rides on the general principle that we all come from places where we were top of the class and respected in that way. Now in law school, only 10% of us get to feel that way (at least around our law school peers). So for 90% of us, we have lost ground which can be a saddening exerience. My whole view is that people outside law school and the legal profession respect you for going through law school in general (and to some degree the namesake of the school) and that people think you are an arrogant ass if you mention "law review" or "summa cum laude" in the same breath as where you went to law school.

So far I feel pretty blase, but optimistic about law school but I am enjoying the new scene. If you have a plan, then law shcool is put into persepctive as just a certification..a bump in the road if you will.



Budlaw

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #58 on: January 19, 2006, 03:43:54 PM »
This is a fantastic thread, actually.

Getting back to the point at hand--

I will make one point--I have that people who have a clear vision of what they want to do with their law degree are generally MUCH happier than those who are just going to law school to make use of their public policy / poly sci degree.

By people who have a plan i mean (not limited to):
-Those who have resigned themself to public interest who actually WANT to do public interest
-science/engineering types who want to do patent law
-People who are actually jazzed about environmental law or international law

Overall, i think the unhappiness rides on the general principle that we all come from places where we were top of the class and respected in that way. Now in law school, only 10% of us get to feel that way (at least around our law school peers). So for 90% of us, we have lost ground which can be a saddening exerience. My whole view is that people outside law school and the legal profession respect you for going through law school in general (and to some degree the namesake of the school) and that people think you are an arrogant ass if you mention "law review" or "summa cum laude" in the same breath as where you went to law school.

So far I feel pretty blase, but optimistic about law school but I am enjoying the new scene. If you have a plan, then law shcool is put into persepctive as just a certification..a bump in the road if you will.





I'm not top ten percent of my class and I feel just fine. I believe if anyone feels like they're not respected then that's their own personal issues. Same with people who ARE top ten percent of their class and look down on people that aren't, they've got some type of inferiority complex themselves.

Regardless of all that, lawschool is simply a reflection of life and as is anything in life, it's what you make of it.

sammie

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Re: INSTITUTIONAL DENIAL ABOUT THE DARK SIDE OF LAW SCHOOL
« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2006, 01:22:51 AM »
A very interesting thread indeed.