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No matter which side you are on, a lawsuit is stressful. Lawsuits are so stressful that the Multi-axial Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders includes litigation as a stressor. Studies have shown that litigation stress will cause both physical and emotional responses. Physical responses include, but are not limited to, trouble sleeping, headaches, chest pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, and exacerbations of pre-existing conditions or illness. Emotional reactions include anger, anxiety, depression, guilt, and paranoia. Marital and family conflicts are also widespread consequences of litigation stress.

So what can be done to alleviate some of this stress? First, you need to get to the source of the problem. Why does litigation cause such anxiety? Often people feel disconnected from the process. Their concern arises from the unpredictable and alien nature of civil suits. Therefore, receiving information from someone acquainted with the process, rules, and terminology will go a long way to helping you deal with stress. That person should be a Board Certified Attorney who practices exclusively in the area of law that is the subject matter of your lawsuit. They should also be someone that you have met with, preferably in person; someone with whom you feel comfortable; someone who freely answers your questions; someone you feel confident in keeping you informed and protecting your interests.

Do not allow the physical and emotional issues you are experiencing to fester. Seek help from medical and mental health providers. Consider meditation or other relaxing modalities such as massage, mindfulness, adult coloring, and reading. Take a time-out from thinking about your lawsuit and spend time with family and friends. Keep perspective; do not allow the lawsuit to consume or define you. Remember a lawsuit is just one relatively small period in an otherwise long life.

There is no way to completely eliminate stress from a lawsuit but retaining a qualified attorney as soon as possible goes a long way towards reducing your anxiety.

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