To Die For

June 15, 2018 § 10 Comments

The suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain last week are a reminder that the pain and agony that torment some to death often lie hidden beneath layers of camouflage that give the appearance of happiness, health, and well-being. We see celebrity and fame, and we imagine joy. We see success and wealth, and we infer inner peace. We see physical beauty and we assume health and healthy lifestyle. Appearances, as they say, do deceive.

It’s no secret that the law is a corrosive profession. The pressures and stress imposed by duty to client and court are enormous. Deadlines carry grievous consequences. Add to that the heavy responsibilities of family, overhead, and finances, and you have a toxic stew that can eat away at and destroy happiness.

Members of the legal profession (lawyers and judges) have a suicide rate 1.36 times greater than the general population.

When the stresses of the profession become overwhelming, it’s easy to feel isolated, to be haunted by the thoughts of failure, and to want an easy out before your weakness is exposed.

But here are three thoughts:

  1. Everyone is struggling; we just don’t see all that is beneath the surface. You are not the only one.
  2. Just because you are struggling does not make you a failure. And even if you do fail, that does not make you worthless.
  3. Silence, secrecy, and shame are seductive, but are destructive over time. Talk about what you are feeling with someone who cares and who will listen. Empathy is a powerful, healing balm. A kind word may enable you to take a first step toward the light.

Depression is a widespread phenomenon. No one is immune. There is effective treatment available for it.

And, finally, let me state the obvious: Suicide is never a tidy exit; it leaves in its wake a tidal wave of hurt, pain, sorrow, regret, and questions that can never be answered. I speak from experience.

Yes, the law is a corrosive profession. But it is not one to die for. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, seek help. Get help. Step back from the brink.

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§ 10 Responses to To Die For

  • Nina says:

    Could not have been said better. Thank you, Judge.

  • Robin Minyard says:

    Thank you Judge Primeaux, for bringing this issue to light. As a member of the bar, and survivor of our son’s suicide in 2012, and my husband David’s suicide in 2017, (also a member of the bar), I can attest to the devastation of suicide, and its precursors. If ever I can be of assistance to anyone, bar member or otherwise, I wholeheartedly offer myself to the cause of suicide prevention. Another resource I recommend is the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
    Robin Minyard

  • Mark Nelson says:

    Thank you. As a member of the LJAP committee, and, a recovering alcoholic who has lost 2 former partners to suicide, I appreciate your voice in this struggle. With best wishes,

    Mark A. Nelson
    Nelson Touchstone PLLC
    Attorneys and Counselors at Law
    18 Bellegrass Blvd.
    Hattiesburg, Ms. 39402



    Rated by Martindale Hubbell as AV Preeminent, and named as SuperLawyer, 2011-present

    This email contains confidential and privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender immediately and delete this email, all copies and attachments. Please call 601.602.6031 if you have any questions or comments.

  • Chip Glaze says:

    Judge Primeaux –

    Thank you for lending your voice / platform to this very important topic. Your assessment and guidance are spot on, and it is always so beneficial when such comments come from respected leaders in the Judiciary.

    If LJAP/I can ever offer any assistance for your messages (or for any reason) please feel free to shoot me and email or call:; 601-201-0577.

    Thanks again.

    Respectfully – Chip Glaze


    Dear Judge Primeaux, Thank you so much for this post. On your reply to Reggie, I will take the liberty to spread this message, with credit to you of course.
    Thank you,
    Sam Tucker

  • Edward Gibson says:

    Well said.

    Sent from my iPhone

  • Scott Bishop says:

    Judge Primeaux,

    Excellent post today. I have passed it along to several friends. Thank you for putting this out there.


    Scott Bishop
    Attorney At Law
    Morris Bart, LTD
    1712 15th St., Suite 300
    Gulfport, MS 39501
    Direct: 228-276-0307
    Fax: 866-354-9707


    We strive to be a paperless office. I encourage you to send all correspondence and every other transmittable item via email or facsimile instead of U.S. Mail when at all possible.
    When this form of transmittal occurs, it is not necessary to send a separate copy via U.S. mail.

  • D. Scott Gibson says:

    Great truth well spoken. Thanks.

  • Reggie Blackledge says:

    Judge do you mind if I “copy and paste” this post to send out to others?

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