If you’re struggling with stress or other emotional health issues, you’re not alone. Law school is a difficult and demanding time. It can also be competitive, so even if you’re having a tough time, you might hesitate to seek help because you’re afraid of how this will affect your academic and professional careers.
Unaddressed emotional issues can actually worsen and create additional and more permanent problems. And they can interfere with your education. For instance, issues such as mood swings, fatigue, loss of interest and energy and difficulty thinking clearly and retaining information can jeopardize your success at law school.
These symptoms can lead to lower grades, missed deadlines and dropped classes. It’s hard to ace an exam when you can’t think clearly. Or attend class when you have trouble getting out of bed. Or write an excellent paper when you have zero energy to go to the library or you think you’ll fail anyway.
Even more concerning, untreated symptoms can trigger or worsen mental health conditions that can lead to serious consequences like substance abuse and suicide.
If you woke up one morning and your foot was hurting, you would want to see a doctor before things got so bad that you couldn’t walk. The same is true of emotional health problems. Being proactive when you first experience concerning thoughts, feelings or behaviors, can prevent things from getting worse.
That’s why it’s so important to see a counselor for an accurate assessment and effective treatment. Seeking help is not a sign of failure or weakness. It doesn’t make you any less successful as a student or future attorney. To the contrary, it’s a sign of strength and staying committed to your health like eating well and getting enough sleep.
Also, don’t hesitate to reach out and speak to a friend you think might be struggling. The competitive nature of law school can be especially isolating and make emotional struggles even worse. Talking to your friend will help them know they’re not alone and that they have your support. You also might help them research resources and call treatment providers to make an appointment with a counselor. Find our more about helping a friend here.