Lawyers & Judges Assistance Program Self-Tests
Here are two self-screening tests developed by Dr. Douglas G. Jacobs, a key figure in National Depression Screening Day (each October). They are not intended to substitute for a professional evaluation, needed to actually make a diagnosis of depression or manic-depression (also known as bipolar disorder). You may also wish to visit the National Depression Screening site.
If you answered "yes" to 5 or more of these questions, and you have felt this way every day for several weeks, there is a good chance you are suffering from depression and should see a licensed mental health professional. If you answered "yes" to question 10, you should seek help immediately, regardless of your answer to any other question.
- I am unable to do the things I used to do.
- I feel hopeless about the future.
- I can't make decisions.
- I feel sluggish or restless.
- I am gaining or losing weight.
- I get tired for no reason.
- I am sleeping too much, or too little.
- I feel unhappy.
- I become irritable or anxious.
- I think about dying or killing myself.
If you answered "yes" to 5 or more of these questions, and you have felt this way every day for several weeks, there is a good chance you are suffering from mania or manic-depression and should see a licensed mental health professional. If you answered "yes" to question 10, you should seek help immediately, regardless of your answer to any other question.
- I have a decreased need for sleep.
- I have much more energy than usual.
- My thinking is sped up.
- I feel unusually euphoric and "high."
- I can't seem to stop talking.
- I can't keep my mind on one thing—I jump from task to task.
- I have a heightened interest in sex.
- I am irritable and short-tempered.
- I have a close blood relative who has had a serious emotional illness or alcohol use.
- I think about dying or killing myself.
This series of questions about one's use of alcohol and/or drugs is an informal inventory of "tell-tale signs" with many items tailored to lawyers. It is not a list of official diagnostic criteria and does not substitute for a professional evaluation.
A "yes" answer to any of these questions suggests that it would be wise to seek professional evaluation (at LJAP or elsewhere), but may or may not indicate that you have a diagnosable substance use disorder. Evaluations of alcohol/drug problems should be performed by a masters-level clinician with certification in the identification and treatment of substance use disorders.
*Used with permission of Lawyers Concerned For Lawyers, Inc. of Massachusetts
- Do I plan my office routine around my drinking or drug use?
- Have I tried unsuccessfully to control or abstain from alcohol or drugs?
- Do my clients, associates, or support personnel contend that my alcohol/drug use interferes with my work?
- Have I avoided important professional, social, or recreational activities as a result of my alcohol/drug use?
- Do I ever use alcohol or drugs before meetings or court appearances, to calm my nerves, or to feel more confident of my performance?
- Do I frequently drink or use drugs alone?
- Have I ever neglected the running of my office or misused funds because of my alcohol or drug use?
- Have I ever had a loss of memory when I seemed to be alert and functioning but had been using alcohol or drugs?
- Have I missed or adjourned closings, court appearances, or other appointments because of my alcohol/drug use?
- Is drinking or drug use leading me to become careless of my family's welfare or other personal responsibilities?
- Has my ambition or efficiency decreased along with an increase in my use of drugs or alcohol?
- Have I continued to drink or use drugs despite adverse consequences to my practice, health, legal status, or family relationships?
- Are strong emotions, related to my drinking or drug use (e.g., fear, guilt, depression, severe anxiety) interfering with my ability to function professionally?
- Are otherwise close friends avoiding being around me because of my alcohol or drug use?
- Have I been neglecting my hygiene, health care, or nutrition?
- Am I becoming increasingly reluctant to face my clients or colleagues in order to hide my alcohol/drug use?
LJAP Helpline (800) 996-5522