“For me, the frustration comes from the fact that I know I should get up at 7 a.m. and start working, but I hit snooze 10 times because I technically don’t have to be in an office. Then when I do get up, I feel super guilty and behind and then I’m unproductive and the cycle continues.”
Is this familiar to you as a PhD student?
If so, keep reading!
Although having an inspirational advisor is an essential factor, for many of us (PhD student) te PhD path is often walked alone. And many PhD students suffer from psychiatric disorders, from chronic anxiety to clinical depression. Successfully gaining your PhD would be exhilarating, but it is important how much cost you are going to spend on achieving that. It is vital that you can recognize the sign of psychiatric disorders as soon as possible and look for resources which can help you deal with them. In the following recommendations are provided for research policymakers, universities, Yourself.
Faculties must hire a number of PhD students that invest sufficient time and attention to them because lack of inspirational leadership and support from the supervisor was associated with higher risk of mental-health disorders. Universities play a significant role in detecting and monitoring stressors and at-risk students and provide them with sufficient resources before the simple stress or anxiety turns into a clinical depression. More importantly, by providing clear and comprehensive information on job expectations and career prospects, both in and outside academia, the university can help the PhD students with one of the leading detriment of mental-health problems (Levecque et al. 2017).
But before waiting for these resources to help you, you (PhD student) should stand up and help yourself;
- First of all, do not be ashamed if you get depressed, anxious, or stressed in PhD In some culture, mental illness is assign of weakness but try to be open-minded and understand that the disorder is real and treatable.
- Do not be hard to yourself. You are born to live first, then to be educated. Do not compare yourself, your progress, and a number of published papers with your colleagues. Compete with yourself and try to learn a lesson from your mistakes instead of negative thinking.
- Put your health and happiness in the highest priority. Take care of yourself because PhD process requires long hours sitting on a chair, working with computers, or standing up and working in a lab, sleep deprivation and little to no time for eating well and doing exercise. Spend half an hour for yourself every day to do one thing that you enjoy.
- Celebrate your success (although small wins) and treat yourself to remain motivated.
- Attend to networking events and spending time with your friends instead of staying very late at the office every night.
- Do not ruin your day for tomorrow. You have learned/ are learning/ will learn lots of technical and soft skills during your PhD. So, the bright world is waiting for you after your PhD. Plan carefully! Be prepared! AND Seize it!
Do these or any other things help you to deal with PhD process and you will be Happy PhD graduate who is mentally and emotionally healthy, and you will have better and successful career too.
Levecque, K., Anseel, F., De Beuckelaer, A., Van der Heyden, J., and Gisle, L. (2017). Work organization and mental health problems in PhD students. Research Policy, 46(4), 868-879.