This presentation by Darryl Singer was originally prepared for the Law Society of Ontario's Continuing Professional Development program titled 12th Annual Family Law summit held on April 9, 2018.
It is a legal-profession secret that is finally seeing the light of day: depression, anxiety and addiction to prescription drugs are a real and urgent problem for lawyers. They are three times more likely to suffer severe depression or addiction than the general public.
Most of the lawyers I defend at disciplinary proceedings got into trouble with the Law Society of Upper Canada because of substance abuse or mental-health issues.
If you are a lawyer who is depressed or anxious, abusing alcohol or self-medicating with illicit or prescription drugs, get help. These are not problems that lawyers – or anyone – can deal with on their own. Addiction is serious business, frequently with tragic consequences.