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omph last won the day on June 29 2017

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  1. I'm late to the party here. But congratulations, you just wrote an LSAT question.
  2. Fair enough. You're right, I was getting a bit overzealous in this thread, and that was out of line. My apologies. I definitely don't want to suggest that my experience is more important than other people's.
  3. In any event, I've said what I'd like to say here and probably further discussion is not helpful, especially if I am getting preachy. (Sorry about that!) I'll leave off for now, and thanks to everyone for their thoughts on this subject.
  4. Fair enough. It's not my intention to minimize other people's experiences (and for the record, I thought your comments in this thread were helpful).
  5. Describing someone's depressive symptoms as "wallowing" is blameful. Probably someone who is feeling fine and dandy wouldn't interpret it that way and would shrug it off. When you're dealing with someone who says they feel worthless, depressed, and alone, those comments often cut way deeper. That's because one of the features of depression is a constant feeling of debilitating guilt and shame that you are thereby reinforcing. People in this state can be extremely vulnerable. It's important to bear that in mind. The reason I'm saying this is not because I want to be on a high horse. There is a time and place for Diplock's brand of reality check. That time is not when someone says they are experiencing symptoms suggestive of clinical depression. The OP expressed to me that they were so upset by some of the responses in this thread that they couldn't even bring themselves to look at it anymore. Another poster who was lurking expressed a similar sentiment to me. I recognize that everyone here was trying to help. It's important to consider feedback about how effectual your advice is in different circumstances. I'm just trying to say, when a post raises the spectre of mental illness, moderate your tone appropriately if you want to offer constructive help. Much as I don't appreciate the personal insult, Bob, you are right. I am looking at this issue from the point of view of someone who's been there. That absolutely informs my approach, and it should.
  6. One more thing: responding with empathy is often the most constructive approach just because it makes it more likely that people will open up more and tell you the full extent of what's actually going on. If people put out tentative feelers and you respond with blame, it shuts the conversation down before you can even get to the real issues.
  7. Sure. I am not trying to say we should only ever comfort people. I am trying to say we shouldn't respond with blame, and we should be attuned to what they need right now, whether that's empathy or gentle encouragement or anything else. ETA: Generally you can't effectively give gentle encouragement until you have developed a relationship of trust. Blame often kills that relationship.
  8. Just to respond briefly: I am not trying to imply that anyone here has bad intentions. I think all of us mean well and just want to help OP. I am trying to talk about how we can effectively do that. In saying that kind of blameful response is not helpful for someone who, as treemonster pointed out, is exhibiting obvious signs of clinical depression, I am drawing on: -- What OP said to me in a private message -- What other posters said to me in private messages about this incident and other similar ones -- Discussions with mental health providers about how they provide care -- Extensive reading on how to assist people with mental illness -- Experience supporting people with mental illness in my own life -- My own experience of mental illness and knowledge of how different kinds of messages affected me Of course there are some people who need and benefit from a kick in the pants. Everyone is different. But it should not be our first line of defence with strangers, particularly when they explicitly state that responses like that would not be helpful. It is irrational to assume they are an outlier among people with depressive symptoms, and given how damaging blameful statements can be to people who are in a constant state of guilt, it is also irresponsible. If you haven't experienced mental illness, or even if you have, I recommend you read up on evidence-based constructive approaches to supporting people with mental illness, and apply those most of the time. I also recommend actually listening to people, and taking them seriously when they explicitly tell you what they need. ETA: Just as a final note, I would like to remind all of you that mental illness is a medical issue. You can't just will yourself out of depression.
  9. This is exactly right, and crucially important. I don't know why people respond so blamefully to people who are genuinely struggling and really vulnerable. It is damaging, deeply so. Maybe they haven't experienced that state, I don't know. Maybe they don't understand how hard it is to speak up when your mind is drowning. It is excruciatingly hard. Drowning is an appropriate metaphor. Like, do you care about the high rates of addiction and mental illness in our profession? Do you care whether your colleagues are mentally well? (And I'm directing this at everybody.) If you care, then do something about it. Go read up on what signs should make you concerned. Go educate yourself on what kind of responses are helpful versus harmful. My five cents on what we should aim towards: The totally wrong way to deal with these issues: Someone confides that they are not okay, and you say, "Stop wallowing and get your shit together." The pretty good way to deal with these issues: Someone confides that they're not okay, and you say, "That sounds really hard. I'm sorry. Let me know if you need to talk or if I can help in any way." The very good way to deal with these issues: Someone confides that they are not okay, and you say, "Thank you for sharing this with me. I care about you and I want to help. Would you find it helpful if I did X, Y, or Z, or is that not what you need right now? No, of course this isn't your fault. You're doing the best that you can. Are you comfortable telling me more about what's going on so I can understand how to help you?" The optimal way of dealing with these issues: Same as the very good way, except you didn't wait for them to confide in you. You reached out to them first when you saw there was a problem.
  10. Pssh, that's nothing! Our pass rate is well under 0%. Also, my dad could totally beat up your dad.
  11. Stopped back just to see if OP is all right, but I can't resist responding, briefly, to Diplock. Diplock, I strongly disagree with you, and I think the tone you are taking -- saying the OP is "wallowing," that their approach is unhealthy, that they are preventing their own recovery -- is both wrong and detrimental. Getting fresh advice and trying new things is maybe step 10. Step 2 is feeling like you're not alone and somebody understands. Step 1 is even being able to talk about what's going on in the first place. Let's try not to shame OP for not being at step 10 yet. They are not "wallowing," nor are they preventing themselves from moving forward. You imply that the fact that they're not ready for the step you happen to get your kicks out of means they are doing this wrong and are somehow at fault, their continued misery is of their own making, they are holding themselves back. Actually, OP is seeking a real human need to feel connected and less alone. And not only is that perfectly okay, but it's actually a crucially important step forward. Good for you, OP, for seeking out what you need right now. Let's try not to knock OP back a step by blaming them for feeling depressed.
  12. Okay, I was going to stop posting here, but I'll make an exception because this tugs at my heartstrings. OP, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. It really sounds like you're not doing very well right now, and that leaves me worried about you. I know how sometimes people in situations like this isolate themselves, and I just want to know if you have people in your life you can openly and freely talk to about this. It's hard to bear this burden on your own. If you need someone to talk to, please let me know. You can send me a PM, or I'd be happy to meet up with you if you're in Toronto — either to talk about what's going on or just because you need to take your mind off everything for a while. Please know that I won't judge you for this. I've been in some tough situations myself over the years. I don't know why you've had such bad luck with articling, but it sounds like you're doing your best and I expect that eventually you will find something. It's hard to keep going when you feel discouraged, though. I hope that at the same time as you are looking for articles — which it sounds like you're doing in a sensible way — you are making sure to take care of yourself and seeking medical care as necessary. Hang in there. It will all turn out okay in the end. ETA: You're not alone. I know someone who graduated last year and is still looking for articles, and I know a few others who found articles only recently. I expect there are many more, but people tend not to advertise this out of shame.
  13. I just ... I don't even know where to start.
  14. I'm glad you reacted with approval, instead of writing me off as a wingnut.
  15. I propose we leave off the personal attacks and instead focus on what's important here: making raptor puns! For example, I really do think the OP could do well applying his many talons to the field of law. (As an aside, I agree with artsydork and others who say it's a good idea to go to Canadian school to practice crim. That's an area where you're going to encounter a lot of significant jurisdictional differences if you go to school in another country.)
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