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Mental Health Issues and LSAT Studying

cmtywrkrcmtywrkr Alum Member
in General 40 karma
Hi everyone!

I recently had a rough year with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, most of the issues related to grieving in my family and an unhealthy relationship. I'm starting to recover from these issues though, but I have noticed that my concentration and focus has gone down because of the mental exhaustion from this past year. I'm currently scoring in the140s and planning to take the LSAT in Feb 2017.

Have other folks gone through similar issues through the LSAT process? Any tips and advice for someone who is just getting out of a very bad mental rut?


  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    edited August 2016 23929 karma

    I've been dealing with depression and anxiety for a long time. I fought getting help for a really long time, but I am so glad I did. I know it is hard, but I recommend talking to someone. There is something very odd and cathartic about talking about these private things with someone you have no real connection to. It's kind of nice to get it off your chest without feeling like you're being judged.

    My tips for getting out of a bad mental rut is to figure out if it is indeed a rut, or is it depression.

    If depression, make sure to get help, even if you think you can handle it. Even if you think you can get through it. Get help! If this has been going on for more than 6 months, likely it is depression. I'm such a strong advocate for getting help for depression because other people's words likely aren't going to fix it. Depression is a chemical imbalance; a disease; out of your control.

    If a rut... Hmmm. Well when I get into a rut what helps me is to take a break. Be with the ones I love. I am really involved in my youth group and on numerous clubs on campus. It feels good and healthy to just be around people. Sometimes it is as simple as having a fun night out with friends...

    I also thing eating healthy and exercise is important. When I was in my worst ruts I wasn't being active. When I started running again I felt more energized and it helped significantly.

    Feel free to PM/Inbox me on here if you want to talk more about specifics.

  • Zachary CarpenterZachary Carpenter Alum Member
    77 karma
    @KNasol106 said:
    I'm currently scoring in the140s and planning to take the LSAT in Feb 2017.
    I think this is the most concerning part of your post. Be very careful aiming for a date, not a score. I learned this the hard way. We'd all like to start Harvard Law tomorrow, but Harvard will still be there in a year or two. Taking the LSAT before you're ready can cause you to score lower than you're able... and that can trigger another rut/depression.
  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    @"Zachary Carpenter" said:
    Be very careful aiming for a date, not a score
    So true. Aim for a score, not a date.
  • inactiveinactive Alum Member
    edited August 2016 12637 karma
    @"Alex Divine" said:
    @"Zachary Carpenter" said:
    Be very careful aiming for a date, not a score
    So true. Aim for a score, not a date.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    @"Dillon A. Wright" You always have the best gifs. I love it :D
  • inactiveinactive Alum Member
    12637 karma
    @"Alex Divine" said:
    You always have the best gifs. I love it :D
  • BinghamtonDaveBinghamtonDave Alum Member 🍌🍌
    8699 karma
    The general consensus for anyone and everyone that is serious about this test is: achieve an understanding and comfortability of and with the concepts that underpin the test prior to actually registering or taking the exam. I’ve heard that advise repeated early and often and offer it to you. Some people on the margins might work better with having a date in mind to work towards, but I have heard that this often puts people in a position to skip over vital aspects necessary for a complete understanding of the exam and possibly waste a precious take when not fully prepared. In short: don’t sit for the exam until you are absolutely ready. A Sage on this site has even offered advise that I now consider foundational: I won’t sit for this exam until I have achieved my goal score 10 times on strictly timed, 5 section PTs.

    I have not experienced the type of struggle you have, but entirely empathize with your journey, depression has effected several close family members. If you haven’t already, pick up a copy of “Darkness Visible” by William Styron. The book is an incredible account of Styron’s journey through depression and his eventual recovery. The memoir has strong parallels to Dante’s Inferno. The last line of the memoir is a translation of the last line of The Inferno: “And so we came forth, and once again beheld the stars.” I have this line tattooed on me as a reminder to always share them with those who are emerging from the nightmare of depression. That many before you have emerged from that despair and have lived to "behold the stars.”

    Lastly, you are welcome to join us for the Blind Review calls if you can. Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8pm Eastern! PT 56 this coming Wednesday. We have a growing group of some really helpful people and last Saturday together as a group we cracked an incredibly difficult parallel flaw question that I couldn’t have done on my own.
  • 7SageKindness7SageKindness Alum Member
    edited August 2016 58 karma
    All the best!
  • AlejandroAlejandro Member Inactive ⭐
    2424 karma
    I went through a similar situation. If you try to think about LSAT studying as your "happy moment" during the day as opposed to more work you have to do, you can abstract everything else that is going on in your life, focus better, and even find therapeutic benefit from it! I tried it and it worked so it might be worth it to give it a shot!
  • AlejandroAlejandro Member Inactive ⭐
    2424 karma
    Just get lost in the games and the world of logic. Think of the LSAT as your friend and your trusted companion. It's cheesy but it really worked for me!
  • lenelson2lenelson2 Member
    523 karma
    @Alejandro, that's awesome advice! @KNasol106 im sorry to hear about your struggles. I also struggle with anxiety. I manage through meditation, yoga and a vegetarian diet. If you need other help, then please seek out what you need.

    With that being said I think having your long term goals posted literally on your wall above your desk and figuratively in your heart is a great motivation. Reframing the mind is critical, hence I really like Alejandro's advice above. I do 4 games before work and it is a time of meditation.

    How do you think you can get out of your mental rut? Maybe start an exercise schedule and cook your own meals (if you don't already). Good habits is what works for me.
    Good luck with everything!
  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    @Alejandro said:
    Think of the LSAT as your friend and your trusted companion. It's cheesy but it really worked for me!
    I really like this idea! :D
  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Inactive ⭐
    2086 karma
    OP, first off I'm sorry to hear about your rough patch. First, understand that time heals all wounds. That said, don't rush the LSAT, and don't rush studying for it. Your primary goal right now is to work on your happiness.
    Have you seen a therapist? You may want to speak with one. He or she may prescribe you medication that could potentially help with your studies.
    Take it slow, do some light studying for now. When you're feeling ready, crank up the pace. Then, when you're in a good place in life, go full speed with your studies.
    Bear in mind that you can always ask us for advice, so, don't be afraid to post here if you ever need a helping hand or a group of incredible people to listen.
  • cmtywrkrcmtywrkr Alum Member
    40 karma
    Hi everyone,

    Thank you for the incredible support! The camaraderie at 7Sage has really helped, and definitely really like the advice of aiming for a score versus a test date and seeing the LSAT as a form of wellness haha!

    To answer folks' questions about my life style right now, I'm not currently taking medications but I am starting to exercise regularly, eat healthier, have a set schedule, and to see a therapist at least once a month. :) And same for anyone here, if you ever need someone to talk to, feel free to reach out! What's funny is that I'm a mental health educator haha and so if you're in a mental rut or going through depression and anxiety, I'm always here!
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