Buffalo lawyer teaches new UB Law School class on mental health and wellness | Health

Clinical depression is a debilitating illness that can strike anyone, at any time, from childhood to old age. Chronic illness, to be respected and taken seriously like other chronic illnesses, can break out at any time. People wouldn’t tell you to ignore your cancer or your diabetes – or get rid of them. This happens all too often when it comes to mental illness. The conditions differ, but all involve physical changes in the body – and some people may forget that the body includes the brain.

Depression will endanger one in three Americans at some point in their lives – and one in five in any given year. In half of these cases, it is accompanied by anxiety. In many cases, drug addiction is part of its evil force.

The main symptoms include an unusually sad mood that persists for at least two weeks; abandonment of interests and activities; fatigue and lack of energy; unwarranted but intense feelings of worthlessness and guilt; difficulty concentrating and making decisions; moving more slowly, becoming easily agitated, or both; sleeping too little or too much; and feel numb.

Counseling and other forms of support, sometimes combined with medication, often lead to recovery.

“I don’t discourage anyone from going to law school,” said Lukasik, whose daughter, Iliana, is a freshman at UB. “I think it’s a fantastic profession. Some of my best times have been as a lawyer, but at the same time it’s fair to say, and it’s important to say, there are risks and unique mental health issues associated with the profession. We’re getting somewhere by talking about it and giving students good information.”

Nancy I. Romero