How To Prepare for Litigation
The following habits aid in maintaining physical and emotional health. They complement other sources of support by helping to control and modify the development of overwhelming anxiety and other symptoms.
- Balancing the time allotted to one's personal and professional life - Too often the demands of and absorption in work erode the time that should be devoted to personal interests and family life. Even the healthy balance we have achieved can be disrupted when a lawsuit occurs. A cushion of supportive relationships and non-medical interests can prevent tensions from multiplying.
- An awareness of the sources of stress - The key to managing stress lies in identifying and recognizing what stressors can and cannot be controlled.
- A capacity for self-observation - An ability to observe and monitor one’s self facilitates a quick and appropriate response when we experience changes in our behavior and feelings.
- A capacity for intimacy - Nothing fortifies individuals to face significant life stressors better than relationships that are comfortable and safe.
- The awareness of one’s personal vulnerabilities - Each person comes into life with vulnerabilities that they cannot completely control. These may affect their ability to respond to stressful life events. An early childhood loss either through death or divorce may render us highly sensitive to such later events as the threatened loss of financial stability and reputation that may accompany a medical malpractice lawsuit. A family history of mood disorders or other psychiatric illness or our own personality traits may influence our response to overwhelming stress. A medical malpractice lawsuit may occur when there is already significant stress from a marriage that is in jeopardy or a partnership that is tenuous. We must perceive and assess the impact of a lawsuit in the context of our own life history and circumstances.
- Having a personal physician - A relationship with a personal physician who knows us well increases the opportunity to maintain physical health, obtain appropriate consultation when indicated, and diminish the risk of destructive behaviors, such as self-medication.
- A program of regular exercise or leisure time activity - Physical activities, such as running, swimming, or golfing are natural stress-reducers. When we are in the midst of a lawsuit, our ability to summon the energy to enter into these activities may wane dramatically. To help with this, we can engage a personal trainer, listen to music, or take walks until we can resume more strenuous activities.