Ph.D. students face significant mental health challenges

Ph.D. students face significant mental health challenges
Image from: Science

In a 2017 survey, more than half of Ph.D. students reported experiencing at least two symptoms of poor mental health in recent weeks:

Read More: Science


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  1. Your advisor has total control of your life and future. There's no better way to affect a person's mental health than to take away their sense of control over their own life.

  2. I can't decide if the photo is a grad student going back to the lab at 10 pm to finish an experiment, or leaving at 11 pm after it failed.

  3. I find that if I work in my Ph.D. like a regular job i.e. 9-5 or 8 hour days, that I'm more likely to be mentally stable. I take vacations like a normal person etc. I actually drink less if I treat myself this way. Does that mean it will take me longer? Will I be less successful? Maybe. But I'm not willing to sacrifice my quality of life for a piece of paper.

  4. The system for getting a Ph.D. needs to be revised because right now, it is a ridiculous indentured-labor system governed more by personality politics than by ability. If people are suffering from mental illnesses because of these programs, then the programs need to be thoroughly scrutinized and revised.

  5. There's a bit more accomplishment in a doctorate than to go to work every day. We know doctors go through a lot to earn that title. Much of the challenges we face during growth will come from within.


  7. depends on the PhD program and the PI you choose at the end of rotations. Make it clear to your PI that you need a work-life balance and that you need to take breaks when needed. Honestly, you shouldn't be working in lab from 8 am to 10 pm every single day. Yes, there will be weeks you have to push your schedule to meet deadlines but this shouldn't be every single day and every single week. Find hobbies you enjoy, go out with friends, & make sure to take breaks and pace yourself. You don't want to burnout or be mentally unstable. This is an extremely challenging marathon not a short sprint.

  8. As a PhD, these sort of questions really drive on your nerves.
    - How is your research going?
    - How many papers have you published so far? (Especially this one)
    - Have you confirmed your candidature?
    No body asks how you are? !!!

  9. I experienced that... I had the luck that my advisors and family were extremely supportive, I know others don't have this luck. I was only able to go back after medical advice and therapy. I don't blame the PhD for all, I was already going through other problems, but it was the spark that started it all... I think the universities should pay more attention in what happens within their departments. It's not going to end the problem (as its roots are in how we do research... in all levels), but it's a start.

  10. Not surprised at all. And with today’s technology people are expected to be even more productive putting more and more people in danger. This isn’t going to stop until they find out what causes mental health problems and how the can be treated. At the moment we’ve got three fundamental treatments and we don’t know how they work, why they work and why In some and not others. Electric convulsive therapy (very effective for some diseases but scary and used as a last resort) medication (try this see how you feel then we’ll mess around a bit more to see if we can find something that works) and finally talk about it (again works In many cases but not all, still no idea how it works) 😞

  11. I like the science that says because humanity is transitioning away from oir tribal roots and disconnect from our groups we are experiencing significant trauma to our instincts. Makes a lot of sense really.

  12. Working in a hospital is HELL , as an employee, you are not allowed to get sick. I will never do it again. Worst anxiety every day!!!!

  13. Supervisors treat their students how they are treated by funding agencies and journal editors. It is a game of stress that trickles down all the way until it settles on the head of the most vulnerable member, the one shown in the picture and his poor fellows 😢.

  14. This is a fairly recent phenomena, and probably related to the well docunted millennial cohort mental health developmental problems we see in high school and college where mental health usura have skyrocketed. Parenting and educational practices impact on our children and students.

  15. ....stress,maybe for fear trump's illiteracy related to the world affairs/science and other important research is endangering the welfare of the people?!

  16. It's not only Doctoral programs, but residency programs as well. The doctors in training work long hours in a highly stressful environment and do not get enough time off.

  17. That's why science done now is so unimaginative and crappy. The neurotic people that do the best work are weeded out by all this ridiculous pressure.

  18. Given the overpopulation of PhD's in some fields and by consequence have difficulty finding jobs, we should expect mental health issues.

  19. The real Ph.D headache, stress, and general health problems start after completion and starting real academic or research life!

  20. It would happen for sure.. studies system has make us dumb insted of being smart.. It should be revised very soon.. Our education system Is making us a degree labeled person ....

  21. What did they expect knowing that PhD stands for "permanent head damage" better not try that degree son..

  22. This story was posted several times by Science and different other journals throughout the year. Each time when I read the comment section, I realize that the scientific community is full of people normalizing the toxic work environment and poor management. It is upsetting because we -as intellectuals- were supposed to be the ones who offered the progressive and supportive approaches to make life better. Academic system should be revised. In fact, we can be more productive than we are today if we have more balanced, healthier and stable options in our life.

  23. That’s why we’ve got to drink drink drink, to preserve our mental health! #AlcoholicsinNano Albert Xiao Pablo Quijano Velasco Antonio Acapulco Jr.

  24. That’s part of training for a stressful job. If they can’t take it, they are in the wrong field.

  25. The less you know, the better life is

  26. okay stop making many of them teach undergrad courses there's a step

  27. Are the non-tenured professors doing any better?

  28. Giulio Delama mentre gli ingegneri hanno il 30% di probabilità di trovarsi ricchi sfondati

  29. Striving creates stress ! ( social conditioning ! " status " " peer approval " " grades " ! Study it as a hobby ! no stress . )

  30. With the kind of performance pressure, it is not surprising

  31. Selim Jb pote mate comme on dirait toi sur la photo 😮 c'est toi non ! Mdr j'trip a fond la

  32. So what else is new? Having small children is stressful. Being a cop is stressful.

  33. Slowly everbody is facing mental health challenges.

  34. Shawn I'm here for you, buddy.

  35. I'm far away from Ph.D. But I'm in mental disorder. what'll be happened in that time🤔🤔

  36. Don't worry. It persists after the PhD as well.

  37. Se na faculdade eu já tenho problema imagina qdo eu fizer doutorado João Victor Mey Marina Moraes

  38. One I knew attempted suicide..his marriage was ending & trying to write his dissertation. Rough time.

  39. Tahana Tasmeea I think I have a Ph.D

  40. Probably stressing about their student loans

  41. Not good for my daughter who wants to get a PHD.

  42. Hishaam aprE p rod vine doctor :)

  43. PhD plus 40 hours/class per week plus praxis. Bang your head!

  44. have to be half-way crazy to be in grad school in the first place.

  45. I’m not even close to my bachelor degree and I’m having a mental breakdown 😂😂

  46. How many yrs it takes on an average ? Also are we speaking of US here, it's not the same evwhere

  47. A strange phenomenon to effect a certain group solely.

  48. I agree with this article, that's what we are facing in school, limited resting time