Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Psychological preparation for 1L  (Read 3960 times)

BigRig

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 108
  • Detroit Basketball!
    • AOL Instant Messenger - BTRig12
    • View Profile
Re: Psychological preparation for 1L
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2006, 08:04:08 PM »
SSRI is an antidepressant/anxiety med. a lot of people who enter strenuous academic environments end up needing them and the crap side effects when you start taking them are better dealt with before school starts. i wouldnt pop ritalin--doesnt work for most people.

Heh...Ritalin actually is an SSRI...increases seratonin levels. Thank God I paid attention in Psyc 101  ;D

Actually Ritalin is a psychostimulant (methylphenidate) referred to here in table of pharmacologic treatments for adhd (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/437026_5).  It most certainly is not an SSRI although both SSRIs and psychostimulants are sometimes used in combination (or separately) to treat depression and adhd. I would opt for experimenting with the SSRIs personally because ritalin is a controlled substance and very addictive (in a lot of ways it's like legalized coke). Of course with SSRIs you always face the sexual side effects...
Attending FSU.Go Noles!!!

terralily

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 655
    • View Profile
    • LSN
    • Email
Re: Psychological preparation for 1L
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2006, 08:34:56 PM »
SSRI is an antidepressant/anxiety med. a lot of people who enter strenuous academic environments end up needing them and the crap side effects when you start taking them are better dealt with before school starts. i wouldnt pop ritalin--doesnt work for most people.

Heh...Ritalin actually is an SSRI...increases seratonin levels. Thank God I paid attention in Psyc 101  ;D

Actually Ritalin is a psychostimulant (methylphenidate) referred to here in table of pharmacologic treatments for adhd (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/437026_5).  It most certainly is not an SSRI although both SSRIs and psychostimulants are sometimes used in combination (or separately) to treat depression and adhd. I would opt for experimenting with the SSRIs personally because ritalin is a controlled substance and very addictive (in a lot of ways it's like legalized coke). Of course with SSRIs you always face the sexual side effects...

I just started anti-anxiety meds...stupid application process was actually giving my panic attacks...WTF!  It sucked.  The side effects weren't too bad and  I feel like I have been medicated out of the bad parts of my personality so my good parts come shining through a lot better.  I would do everything in my power to not take medicine as a kind so the fact that I am actually happy I'm on prozac(generic) is weird.  Be honest with your doctor and they'll tell you their honest opinion.  They did go to med school after all.   

BTW...I haven't noticed sexual side effects but if I do my Doc told me she would perscribe a small does of Wellbutrin to be taken as need  ::)  Those things can be figured out.
Windy City here I come....DePaul it is!!!

http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=terralily

HippieLawChick

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2487
  • Current 2L
    • View Profile
Re: Psychological preparation for 1L
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2006, 09:19:13 PM »
I personally think that meds should be a last resort.  If you have tried other avenues to deal w/stress (exercise, positive thinking, talking to others and counseling) then you should medicate.  A pill is a temporary solution. 

I would try alternate methods first.

scottyd1982

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 124
    • View Profile
    • I'm a MySpace Whore
Re: Psychological preparation for 1L
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2006, 10:30:11 PM »
On a more serious note (I was joking about the ritalin)...

...this is the paradigm shift that I see coming about in mainstream psychology, which is now becoming more and more integrated with neuroscience. As opposed to viewing human emotional and psychological problems through a purely metaphysical framework (i.e., problems of the immaterial soul and will), we are coming to understand that the brain acts as the physical gateway between the two. If our brains aren't receiving the proper nutrients they need, they can't produce the neurotransmitters (seratonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, GABA, etc.) to function properly. So even if your immaterial self wants to behave in a certain way, it is not possible to do so if your body is incapable of this. Tell any schizophrenic on the street that they WANT to hallucinate or speak unintelligibly.

I've done some reading on this, since I have an uncle who has suffered from nervous tics and mental problems for most of his adult life. Some of the independent research I've done on vitamin therapy and homeopathic medicine also suggests that our intake of food, vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids can impact this. For instance, many people who express symptoms of pellagra or schizophrenia can alleviate those symptoms with mega-doses of Vitamin B-3 (niacin), etc.

Anyway, I'm rambling...to make a long story short, and this also goes along with the work-out suggestion, I would recommend that everybody entering 1L at least take a multivitamin, particularly one that is a B-complex base compound (i.e., GNC Solotron, which I take). Just this one vitamin alone can assist you in your daily function and activities, both mentally and physically.

Just my two cents.

*Takes off psychiatrist hat. Puts on inferior AU law student hat.*
UGPA: 3.4, 3.9 last 3 years
LSAT: 163
B.A.: University of Nevada
Majors: History/Poli Sci

Dates: DePaul ($$), San Francisco ($$), Temple, Villanova, Cincinnati ($$), Pacific ($$), Loyola Marymount, San Diego

Friends: Loyola-Chicago, UC-Davis

Rejections: None

Fiancee: American

solstice

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
    • View Profile
    • LSN
Re: Psychological preparation for 1L
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2006, 11:34:43 PM »
i should think one would worry more about preserving psychological balance during 1L than preparing psychologically for 1L (not mutually exclusive, but def different things). i find to maintain this balance requires that i engage in a stress relieving activity whether it be working out, spending 'time' with your SO or jamming on the guitar. but preferrably NOT sleeping/staring at the tv because mindless activity just makes it hard to get back up and do work. but as for preparation, maybe a little self manipulation--you know, convince yourself that youre better than you are, that no one is smarter than you, that you deserve what you have, etc. and hey, while youre all at it, start popping SSRIs--theyre helpful.

You're contradicting yourself  :D


Anyway, I'm rambling...to make a long story short, and this also goes along with the work-out suggestion, I would recommend that everybody entering 1L at least take a multivitamin, particularly one that is a B-complex base compound (i.e., GNC Solotron, which I take). Just this one vitamin alone can assist you in your daily function and activities, both mentally and physically.

Just my two cents.

*Takes off psychiatrist hat. Puts on inferior AU law student hat.*

Any suggestions?

dmitrik4

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 64
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Psychological preparation for 1L
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2006, 11:46:46 PM »
It's not just the studying that makes law school frustrating.
There are a lot of other things (e.g. job hunting, auditioning for moot court, journal, etc.) that can have quite an effect on your state of mind and, depending on how personally you take things, your ego.


only if you let it...which, admittedly, is almost inevitable.

law school is not THAT bad.  it's a lot of work, but so is being a lawyer.  you'll also make some extremely good friends, and you'll have a lot of fun.  you'll also work your ass off, but no one ever died from that.  most of my friends that have done well in LS are also the ones who enjoyed it the most.

BTW, stay off the meds.  if that's what you need to get through school, you might not have the chops to be a lawyer.  think of them as academic steriods.

scottyd1982

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 124
    • View Profile
    • I'm a MySpace Whore
Re: Psychological preparation for 1L
« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2006, 11:55:17 PM »
Well, this is my own personal "wellness" program. It's fairly rigorous, but my focus is sharper and I feel better throughout my day.

- Work out 6 days a week. Weights, alternating between upper body and lower body, Saturday-Monday-Wednesday. Cardio, usually 20-25 minutes doing intervals, Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday. Friday, I eat what I want and do whatever, just hang out, to give my body a rest.

- Take a balanced multivitamin in the morning (I do Solotron, Mega Men or Mega Women is fine, too), as well as Vitamin C and an Essential Fatty Acid complex three times a day (with each meal). The Vitamin C is good for general cell repair, and your brain is largely made of essential fats that come from fish oils, flaxseed oil, etc. The EFA omega-complex can be bought at any grocery store, and is awesome for general health. Anything beyond that, including individual B-vitamins, gingko bilboa, or St. John's Wort should be used only in consultation with a doctor, esp. given the potential side effects of interactions with any prescription meds (SSRIs or MAO inhibitors) you may be taking.

- Instead of three square meals, eat three smaller meals and then have 2 snacks and a moderate dessert in the evening (so basically eat six times a day). With your 3 meals, eat one portion of carbs and one portion of protein, adding one serving of vegetables to lunch and dinner. Carbs should be high in fiber as opposed to bleached, white stuff (i.e., whole wheat bread over white bread, bran muffin over banana nut muffin), to keep your sugar balance and prevent you from getting hungry. Proteins should be lean and higher in HDL-cholesterol and unsaturated fat (i.e., lean chicken or fish over hamburger meat). Again, those oily fats, as opposed to solid fats you'd see on a portion of steak, are actually good for protecting your cells. During the two snacks, have some granola or whole grains, maybe a nutrition shake, a piece of fruit that is lower in sugar (berries are the best) .

I know it sounds daunting, but I've been doing this program for about six months now, and the effects on my life have been tremendous. I studied better and stayed focused more often during my last semester, my work ethic improved, my confidence soared, and my social life became livelier.

As intellectuals, I know it's sometimes easy for us to neglect that other part of our self that is absolutely essential for balanced living and maximizing our strengths and talents. But if you take some time out to start getting your body in shape, trust me...your first year of law school or whatever you do next will come easier.

What a holistic health female dog I am.
UGPA: 3.4, 3.9 last 3 years
LSAT: 163
B.A.: University of Nevada
Majors: History/Poli Sci

Dates: DePaul ($$), San Francisco ($$), Temple, Villanova, Cincinnati ($$), Pacific ($$), Loyola Marymount, San Diego

Friends: Loyola-Chicago, UC-Davis

Rejections: None

Fiancee: American

ivywhore

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1069
    • View Profile
Re: Psychological preparation for 1L
« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2006, 11:57:12 PM »
As I get closer to engaging myself into what is considered to be the most rigorous academic experience, I have been doing alot of reflecting recently.

I understand that the law school experience is a competitive one, but does it have to be? I will be attending a tier 2/tier 3 institution next fall with no aspiration or even expectation to work in the "BigLaw." I would rather not be miserable in my first law job, working 70 hours a week. Rather, I would like to gain experience in a medium-small law firm, or government position (DA, prosecutor's office), before I go into private practice for myself. I am also a realist, and know that the top 10% is exactly that: ONLY 10 PERCENT. It would be unlikely for me to obtain one of these jobs even if i wanted it.

With that in mind, I don't see any reason why the law school experience has to be such a negative one. I am going in next year, not worrying about grades. Instead, I plan on focusing on how to become the best lawyer I can be for myself. Does anyone else feel me on this? Thanks and hope to hear some more opinions on how to make the law school experience as tolerable as possible. Good luck to everyone, and I hope everyone can find a way to make this a more enjoyable experience. 

One of the few logical and level-headed posts that I've read in this realm of competitive, unrealistic, arrogant, overachieving, materialistic, money-loving, power-mongering LSD. You, my sweet prince belong in the highest of T1s. The world needs more of this nobility and humility. I kiss your forehead goodnight:-)

Esq Now

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 78
    • View Profile
Re: Psychological preparation for 1L
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2006, 12:38:44 PM »
Quote
BTW, stay off the meds.  if that's what you need to get through school, you might not have the chops to be a lawyer.  think of them as academic steriods.

Don't believe this.  Tons of successful lawyers are on meds.   (And many of those who aren't self-medicate with alcohol, compulsive sex, etc.)

Equity is crunchy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.

terralily

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 655
    • View Profile
    • LSN
    • Email
Re: Psychological preparation for 1L
« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2006, 12:55:06 PM »
Meds vs lifestyle changes. 

Ok so there is a lot of contention about whether or not meds are a cop-out.  In some circumstances I do think that they're are underlying issues that need to be dealt with, whether those be diatary, mental traumas, lack of exercise...  However, if you have changed your diet, seen a therapist and excercise and you still have symptoms of depression then yes meds are probably a good idea.  I have also discovered that you don't need to be on them forever.  My doc has said in 6 mos to a year I can go off of them(yea). So I guess the point is the decision to take meds shouldn't be taken lightly and should be in conjunction with a honest discussion with your doctor or a therapist.

Lily- Thank you about the Welbutrin tip. That is good to know.

Windy City here I come....DePaul it is!!!

http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/display.php?user=terralily