The Impact of Stress on Attorneys

attorney stress impactAttorneys face a number of highly stressful situations in their line of work. Client’s entire lives can be at stake and hanging in the balance of their trial’s outcome. They rely heavily on their attorney to protect them, which puts immense expectations on their attorney’s shoulders. Not all of these types of cases can be won. Every attorney has to make peace with the fact that they will lose a case here and there, or that they will make a costly mistake from time to time. If they buckle beneath the stress and pressure, it will begin to show in their lives in the following ways:

  • Relationships. An attorney’s personal relationships can become strained because of the attorney’s career stress. When the pressure amounts at work, a professional attorney has the tendency to pull away from their family and friends and become engulfed in their professional stress. This is an unhealthy tendency as relationship connections are one of the necessary methods of relieving stress.
  • Work performance. An attorney’s work performance will also be affected by their stress levels. Stress causes high amounts of cortisol to be released into a person’s system, which breaks their focus and makes them rattled and anxious. This distracts an attorney from their professional goals and obligations of properly representing their clients.
  • Physical health. A toll is taken on an attorney’s physical health when they are under a great deal of stress. This is an inevitable effect of stress. Anyone stuck in a prolonged state of stress will feel the physical effects of it. They will get sick more frequently. Their weight is likely to destabilize. Their sleep will become irregular. Courtroom stress can even take years of an attorney’s life.
  • Addiction and disorders. An attorney’s mental health is also in jeopardy due to stress. Addiction and mental disorders are often caused or aggravated by heavy professional stress. Many stressed out attorneys turn to drugs and alcohol, or some other addictive substance or process, to relieve stress. Others just reel with the symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar or some other mental disorder. Often times, they end up requiring the services of an alcohol rehab┬ácenter, a drug detox clinic or a sober living facility.