Link Round Up: Grad School is Depressing

We’ve collected some links for you from around the web. This week features several articles about depression in grad school, and a few ideas on how to approach an academic career while taking care of your mental health.

On a top-down view of a bed is an assortment of magazines and books, with a person’s foot and hands visible in the frame.

“My Grief Lies All Within”: Ph.D. Students, Depression, and Attrition (University Affairs)

In this University Affairs essay, Melonie Fulick, a Ph.D. candidate at York University, discusses aspects of the academic environment that undermine graduate student mental health, such as poor job prospects, intense competition with peers, and lack of academic structure. She highlights the oppressive silence surrounding mental health in academia and calls for more research and advocacy efforts.

Up for Tenure, Facing Depression (Inside Higher Ed)

Monica Coleman reflects on how she achieved academic success while dealing with severe depression. Describing both the difficulties she experienced as a result of her mental illness and the social support she has received from friends and mentors, this honest essay highlights the importance of allies for academics living with mental illness and demonstrates that, despite all the challenges, professional success is possible for those of us who struggle with our mental health.

Things to Know Before the Ph.D. (Stylish Academic)

In this blog post on Stylish Academic, an international Ph.D. student in UK shares perspectives on a number of issues that students should consider before, or at, the start of their Ph.D. studies. The post covers a wide range of topics relevant to graduate student mental health, including mental illness disclosure, professional  development, social support, and coping with unforeseen circumstances.

Agoraphobia and the Telecommuter (The Atlantic)

Although the ability to work from home on many days is often touted as a “perk” of academia, this lack of structure in work schedule can be difficult for some who live with mental health conditions. In this intriguing Atlantic article, Lenika Cruz explores a rarely-discussed down side of telecommuting by sharing how working from home has exacerbated her anxiety disorder and contributed to the development of agoraphobia.

What Nobody Tells You about Self-Care (The Mighty)

“Self-care sometimes means making tough decisions which you fear others will judge. Self-care involves asking for help; it involves vulnerability; it involves being painfully honest with yourself and your loved ones about what you need.” In this insightful article, the author shares practical advice on how to take care of oneself while living with a chronic mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety.


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