How to Ruin your Mental Health as a PhD Student

How to Ruin your Mental Health as a PhD Student



I have been a student since 2009 moving from undergraduate degree to masters and now PhD with no break in between not once during this time has my mental health become an issue so here is a guide so that you two can share in my success pay is equal to effort it is important to remember that what you are paid is directly proportional to how hard you should work your current grant is twice what you received during your previous degree you should be working twice as hard then oh you were already working eight-hour days five days a week that's rather unfortunate I guess you'll get weekends again in oh four years and you'd better feel incredibly guilty if you don't keep to that standard forget about your hobbies you're far too busy now to make time for any of your old hobbies that's a luxury for people who aren't post grad students the only joy that you are permitted is the satisfaction of reading a new journal article hold yourself to other student standards believe other post grads when they tell you how hard they've been working there's no way that they could be exaggerating to avoid looking like they're even slightly slacking oh I've been working 12-hour days that the last month same here I can't even remember what a weekend is Dave hasn't even left his desk for lunch or a week and I think he's been sleeping in the office I had to do that a few months ago I just had so much to do what about you Jules oh god I'm not working hard enough I'd better stay in the office until 10:00 tonight at least agree with everything your supervisor says your supervisor is all-knowing and should never be questioned in any circumstances the fact that completing a PhD is about you becoming an expert in your topic is besides the point they know more than you so quash those doubts and agree free will is no longer allowed say yes to every opportunity there are lots of new opportunities available to you now that you're a postgraduate student and you shouldn't miss out on any of these experiences a member of staff needs someone to mark undergraduate papers there's only 200 students in the class it'll be fine oh and it's their first University assignment that they have ever done so they're probably all quite awful there's also a side project that you should do it should only take a few weeks to complete that course demonstrator position is a great chance to get some teaching experience you haven't studied that topic in a few years there so you'd better read all these books first to never talk about how you're feeling feeling stressed don't talk to anyone about that bottle it deep down inside until it festers into an anxiety disorder we are British we just don't do that sort of thing I hope this advice has been helpful to you and remember time off and a good night's sleep are for people who are less determined to succeed than you are now go out there and work yourself past the point that is humanly possible because the rules of human physiology just don't apply to you

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Comments

  1. You forgot to mention that part where you took a bunch of adderall and took too much in one day that you burned out…foolishly as embarrassing as an embarrassing act.

  2. Wow, Im 4 months into my PhD, and in the first month I used to do 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, and on the weekends I would feel like Im not doing enough work. I started taking 3 hobbies, I have no social life and no friends but that is okay, I have cut down my hours because I don't want to age prematurely, just doing a 9-5 and still feel I'm not hardworking.

  3. Your video has helped me feel a little better in one of my ultra-nihilistic PhD breakdowns. Thank you love

  4. A lot of it is B.S. to filter people. I am a practicing doctor, and you never use anything you learn. Majority is repetition on basic symptoms or a technical field like surgery. 90% of what you are doing can be taught in a month. The rest is specilaizations. Which, again, could be done in a semester.The worst part is there is no measure on how good a doctor is later on life due to this filter process, you either have no choice or one or two choices. This has left most western states in high demand, people without care, and just creates a class system so more people feel incentives to be a doctor.

  5. Nice video! I know this is unrelated, but in your experience do you think it is wise to go into "the world of work" and then apply for a PhD ? (Maybe 2 to 3 years in a relevant employment position). I am currently awaiting my masters results and I'm stumped whether to persevere with studying, or to have a break.

  6. "I am just going outside to grade papers and may be some time". I love the dryness of British emotional expression.

  7. Needed a moment to understand the aim of this, but spot on! Hobbies are most important than ever, don't compare yourself to others and work with your supervisor as an equal, "tame" them if needed 😉

  8. Great video. I'm attending my PhD and, indeed, what you said is in agreement with what I consider can destroy your mental health.

  9. Funny and concise, that's what I like the most! I recently wrote about similar issues, some cheeky advertisement (feel free to delete 😉 – https://wwwf.imperial.ac.uk/blog/student-blogs/2017/11/18/phd-patiently-headed-downhill/.

  10. What bothers me most about this topic is that every official solution is for students to get more mental health care or to use better work strategies. Like when 40% of grad students are clinically depressed and 10% are contemplating suicide, it's their fault. It's totally not a systemic workplace issue. I guess they just really need that cheap student labor.

    On the other hand it's not exactly slave labor. Nobody is forcing us to be here. So why do we do it? Why do we sacrifice so much energy and pride to get this piece of paper that they tell us we're a failure without? Oh…

  11. This is worldwide. I live in the United States and it's not different. Then again, our university system comes from Europe.

  12. Waw I like it, nobody can imagine how much the Phd journey needs patience.
    But I have a remark regarding the hobbies, believe me at the moment that I returned back to my hobbies I've started to be very productive in my PhD work. My field is electrical engineering and as you know it is sooooooooo solid, abstract, and BORING. Therefore, drawing (my favorite hobby) gives a very nice and vital touch to my days.

    BTW, the motto of our office is that the PhD student doesn't need any proof for the craziness, it's already proven!

    Good luck

  13. So funny, I love this video ? it cheered me up, to see a light approach to this topic! Very relatable in case of many grad students in different fields I'm sure ?

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