PhD & depression: part II

Are you doing a PhD? Do you feel miserable? Moan, misery and woe. Yup, it’s time for a PhD related post. I’m concerned to discover via google analytics that my post on doing a PhD and depression is proving a popular read. I’m sorry fellow doctoral candidates out there; I know – sometimes doing a PhD SUXSBALLS.

This is a vortex, the closest visual representation of what it feels like to be doing a PhD

A colleague posted this on my facebook page today. Love it! So true.

“There’s no laughter like postgraduate laughter, we agree. There’s nothing as dark. Nothing as knowing. It’s death-row laughter, we agree. It’s the laughter of those condemned to death. Because they are condemned to death, the postgraduates. Exposed to the greatest of thoughts, the greatest of books, they are condemned to a life without meaning, without succour, to a life of shit in a world of shit…”

— from Spurious.

Did you know if you put ‘I hate my thesis’ into Google you get about 2,610,000 results ( in 0.20 seconds)?

Personal favourites out there are a blog that’s called ‘I hate my thesis’ authored by ‘Miserable Grad Student’ I like the author’s humour and inyourfacethisisgradstufftisshit tone. Dear Miserable Grad Student you’ve savoir faire in my book. Then there’s the insightful pretty hard damnit and finally the I hate my dissertation king of procrastination song on youtube. To the artist : I salute you! But, it’s the more recent ‘vitriolic rant’ by Anna that resonates with the most with me right now. She says,

I was actually up for half the night last night worrying [...]. I think it’s coming from the twin realisations that (a) I want to write things that someone, ANYONE outside academia may want to read; and (b) my thesis does not fall into this category.

I completely concur. Some days I feel like this guy standing on a precipice all alone.

Boo hoo.

On a more serious note here is a v interesting and more recent (2011) article ‘My grief lies all within” — PhD students, depression & attrition’  by . The piece makes many salient points, but when the author talks about a thick wall of silence built around the issue of depression and post-grad study, it becomes clear what a serious yet under discussed issue it is.

1st off it is one thing to feel down, fed up or a bit on your own, but if you’re at the stage where you don’t want to get out of bed, keep crying, insomnia, or you feel panic and so on, then you should go and see your GP or make an appointment to see your counselor service at uni if you have one. You may be suffering from depression proper. In which case, there is nothing to be a shamed of in speaking up and getting some help. You deserve to be looked after and to look after your self. Remember a PhD is really really hard! That’s one of the reasons why not many people have Dr before their name. You are doing something v tough that is little understood and the process of writing a thesis takes it toll mentally on people in different ways.