6: Let’s Talk About Addiction, Mental Illness & Stigma (Yes, Lawyers Have It, Too)


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By Kelly Phillips Erb. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

It's been a long and stressful tax season. Mix long hours together with COVID, and there's real worry about mental health for tax professionals, as well as taxpayers. More often than not, one of the barriers to seeking help is stigma: it is difficult for any professional to admit that they are suffering. So let's talk about stigma. This week’s episode focuses on the steps you need to take to confront personal mental struggles in the context of a real success story from a fellow lawyer, Brian Cuban, who has experienced depression and addiction.

Turning Struggles into Success as a Professional

Joining Kelly this week is Brian Cuban, a lawyer who has faced his share of struggles. Brian is a lawyer, the brother of Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks coach), and a famous author. Brian suffered from drug addiction, self-image problems, depression, and childhood trauma. Mental struggles can be a roller coaster for both people struggling, or people watching others struggle. Together, Kelly and Brian share insight on mental struggles. We have all heard, that admitting is the first step to overcoming a problem. However, the battle does not stop there. Kelly states that “the idea of hopefulness can get lost in dark times.” Let Kelly and Brian shine some light on this matter by providing stories, resources, hope, and most of all, support, to fighting mental health stigmas while continuing the battle as a professional.

Listen to Kelly and Brian Cuban talk more about overcoming mental struggles such as:

  • Brian’s History with Addiction as a Lawyer
  • How Law Firm Culture Triggers Mental Struggles
  • How Lawyers Obtain Support and Reinforcement on Bad Behavior
  • Ego and Profession Can Get in the way of Recovery
  • Finding Your way out of False Functioning Ideas
  • Identifying a Problem with Consequences and Community
  • The Hope for Generational Change
  • How Shifting Culture Changes Triggers
  • Developing and Adapting is a Must
  • Coping with the Impact of Corona Virus – Thoughts Are not Facts
  • Brian’s Steps to Recovery and Continuing his Profession
  • Responsibility, Reconcile and Resilience
  • How to Handle Being the Watcher of the Problem Rather than the Problem
  • Where & How Help can Truly be Found and Achieved
  • Self-Assessing as a Step with Stigma & What Step is Next

More About Kelly Phillips Erb:

Kelly is the creator and host of the new Taxgirl podcast series. Kelly is a practicing tax attorney with considerable experience and knowledge. She works with taxpayers like you every day. One of the things that she does is help folks out of tax jams, and hopefully, keep others from getting into them.

Links Mentioned:

Kelly’s Website – Taxgirl

Brian Cuban - LinkedIn

Brian Cuban’s Self Image Book - Shattered Image

Brian Cuban’s Lawyer Addiction Book - The Addicted Lawyer

Peter Principal


John Hopkins – Covid19 Update Site

Addiction and Depression Resources:

Alcohol Anonymous


Lawyers Assistance Program

Smart Recovery

Celebrate Recovery

44 episodes