Lawyers hide depression

by Marcus Priest

Australian Financial Review
Pubdate: Friday 15th of September 2006

The true extent of depression in the legal profession is being hidden because lawyers are so good at covering up their problems, according to a leading expert on mental health.
Mamta Gautam, who last week gave the inaugural Tristan Jepson Memorial Lecture in Sydney, said many professionals were able to function at the edge of the danger zone for long periods because of their high intelligence and unrelenting professionalism. "The culture of the profession is one that is very strong and very competitive and is focused on productivity and setting high goals," said Dr Gautam, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry, University of Ottawa. "What we have is a greater instance of depression than in the average population, perhaps two to four times what we see elsewhere," she said. "What I also see is that people are capable of operating at a fairly high level despite a fairly advanced state of depression and they actually wait longer to seek help." In June, The Australian Financial Review reported on a Beaton Consulting study that found lawyers were the second unhappiest of all professionals.

Marcus Priest | Australian Financial Review
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