The rigors of graduate school are undoubtedly challenging for any student, however, these challenges are often exacerbated in students who suffer from mental illness. In some instances, graduate school can also be a breeding ground for developing acute mental health issues that had not presented themselves previously. Recent studies have revealed the prevalence of mental distress and the development of psychiatric disorders such as depression amongst graduate students and postdocs (Tsai and Muindi, 2016; Gisle et al., 2017; Gloria and Steinhardt, 2013). These issues are not only detrimental to the health of academics but they are also negative influences on the quality of scientific work and the perception of science as a career in academia. Additionally, those that suffer the most from mental distress are often the underrepresented populations that already find themselves under-supported and isolated in the graduate school environment.
In this episode, we discuss the intricacy of the issues and how they present themselves as they intersect with a variety of unique identities. Our guests tell their stories struggling with mental health issues and how these problems both evolved and intensified over the course of their graduate school career.
Music: jBlanked – Been on
For Immediate Help
Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals. If the situation is potentially life-threatening, call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room.
Tsai, J. W. and Muindi, F. 2016. TOWARDS SUSTAINING A CULTURE OF MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS FOR TRAINEES IN THE BIOSCIENCES Nature Biotechnology 34, 353-355
Gisle, L et al. 2017. WORK ORGANIZATION AND MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS IN PHD STUDENTS Research Policy 46, 868-879
Gloria, C. T. and Steinhardt, M. A. 2013. FLOURISHING, LANGUISHING, and DEPRESSED POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS: DIFFERENCES in STRESS ANXIETY and DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS Journal of Postdoctoral Affairs 3, 1-9