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How to Overcome Sickness From Work Stress

Alyson, an ambitious attorney, had a stroke when she was 35.

She was going to court that day, but suddenly her body went limp. She was paralyzed.

It didn't happen in a day, however. It happened over the course of a stressful career because a high-pressure job like lawyering can make you sick.

Stress Kills

Stress has been called The Killer Disease because it causes many life-threatening conditions, such as high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks. In the legal profession, it also explains the high incidence of depression and alcoholism.

It's like water that builds up behind an aging dam. First there are cracks, and then the dam breaks. But in a high-stress job, the water gets high pretty fast.

According to Harvard Business Review, work stress can literally make you sick with headaches, nausea and insomnia before more serious disorders kick in. "So if we find ourselves in the kind of job that is resulting in a hit to our health, we must take intentional steps to better our body and mind," says Regan Walsh.

Legal Therapy

Some law firms are addressing the problem at work. We've previously written about how on-site psychologists and other wellness initiatives are becoming common place at law offices.

While other law firms dismiss the idea of on-site treatment, every practicing attorney knows first-hand the challenges of handling client problems. The adversarial environment, liabilities, deadlines and economic pressures amount to first-class stress.

For those who don't get professional help, here are some ways to de-stress:

  • Take frequent breaks
  • Work fewer hours
  • Enjoy hobby time
  • Take a sabbatical
  • Leave the profession

Or, if you are like some over-achieving lawyers, you can have a stroke.

Have an open position at your law firm? Post the job for free on Indeed, or search local candidate resumes.

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