Link Roundup: Grad Student Mental Health

We’ve collected some links for you from around the web. This week, our focus is on the unique challenges of mental health issues faced by grad students. Click the link in each heading and let us know what you think in the comments below!

A photo by Patrick Tomasso.
Open books lay on top of one another across the image, facing different directions with no pictures.

The Dangers Of High-Functioning Depression and Anxiety (The Odyssey Online)

“Wow, you don’t seem depressed”: Author Nicole Kordana shares the silent struggles she faced with depression and anxiety while seeming to have it all put together. As such “high-functioning” mental illnesses are quite common, she offers a few tips in coping with depression and anxiety.

Life of the Mind Interrupted (Chronicle Vitae)

Katie Rose Guest Pryal, a PhD in English, writes a series of articles on mental illness, providing an excellent discussion of the issues faced by academics specifically.  Featured on The Chronicle of Higher Education, these articles cover a wide range of topics, such as securing accommodations for one’s psychiatric disability beyond the undergraduate level, tips for navigating academic conferences for those living with depression and/or anxiety, and the tricky game of mental illness disclosure in academia.

On Depression, and the Toll Academia Exacts (Chronicle Vitae)

Graduate school doesn’t make me depressed. But being a student certainly has ways of making my chronic illness more challenging.” In this powerful personal account, a Ph.D. candidate in U.S. History shares her experiences of living with clinical depression in graduate school and calls for a conversation about what academic institutions can do to support those with mental illnesses.

Mental Health Issues Among Graduate Students (Inside Higher Ed)

A highly correlated graph of search terms”graduate school” and “problems” from the source article is shown.

This article highlights the prevalence of mental health problems among graduate students and offers several concrete suggestions for how universities/departments can help, including:

  • Open acknowledgement of the problem from graduate departments
  • Training academic advisors on preventing, recognizing, and addressing mental health issues in their students
  •  Offering wellness-based workshops

Worrying Enormously About Small Things (Slate)

In this Slate article, Lisa McElory, a law professor at Drexel University, shares her struggles as an academic with a severe anxiety disorder. Reflecting on earlier stages of her career, she discusses the ways in which pre-tenure job insecurity exacerbated her symptoms and the additional challenges she faced in an already demanding professional career. Now that she has secured tenure, McElory feels compelled to speak out in honor of other academics who live with mental illnesses and provide support to her junior colleagues.


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