Attorneys face a great deal of stress in their profession. The intimidating courtroom environment, the severity of the judge and jury and the total dependence a client has on an attorney can be very weighty things for an attorney to grapple with. Attorneys, while brilliant legal minds, are still human and susceptible to the same mental and emotional hardships as anyone else. Some attorneys are of strong mind and character, and they teach themselves to cope with professional stress in a healthy manner. Others are sensitive, fragile or simply not of strong enough mind, and they turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms to get by.
When attorneys cope with their professional stress in a healthy manner, they come out on top of their stress and conquer it. Any attorney can certainly find ways of coping in a healthy way so that they are able to strengthen their character and their professional abilities. Since attorneys are high functioning individuals, they are at their best coping abilities when they find a stress release that suits their high functioning ways of thinking. This may include a physical activity, such as bicycling, kayaking or endurance running, or it may include an intellectual activity, such as chess playing, creative writing or reading.
Attorneys who cope with stress in unhealthy ways, however, are ensuring their own path of self destruction. Stress and responsibilities only mount over time in a legal profession and those who do not learn to cope in a healthy manner will crumble beneath the weight of their own unhealthy habits. Unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as isolation, drinking, emotionally acting out, doing drugs, having anonymous sex or any other destructive tendency can leave an attorney jobless, unwell, alone and unable to care for themselves. This type of behavior cannot sustain any serious working professional and warrants the services of a counselor, rehab center or other mental health professional.