Hey everyone! Thanks for coming along today.
I’m Jessica. I’m a second year PhD student and my research looks at public engagement with social sciences, specifically public health sciences. I have a background in Genetics and I love running, yoga, vegetables and going out for coffee. I also suffer from occasional bouts of clinical depression.
PhD blues and book reviews
Depression, and mental health issues of any sort, can strike anyone at any time and can be extremely debilitating and difficult to predict or control. I am currently going through a rough patch and have made the difficult decision to take a break from my PhD for a few months while I recover and get myself back on track. In my experience, mental health is not something which is widely and openly discussed in relation to PhD students, despite the potential for the stress, uncertainty and isolation experienced by most people who undertake post-graduate study to act as a trigger for mental health problems. Whether it’s due to fear of failure, falling behind or what our supervisors might think, we just don’t talk about how to promote positive mental health, or how best to support those who experience difficulties.
It would be easy for me to spend this time away from my PhD watching Star Trek in my pajamas and eating crunchy nut cornflakes while I “heal”. However, that’s not going to help anyone, least of all myself. What I want to create here is an honest account of what it is like to do a PhD while dealing with mental health issues and hopefully to inspire some discussion around how we can best support ourselves and each other. (NB. It’s possible that some of my time will still be spent watching Star Trek in my pajamas.)
I will be continuing to read about the issues related to my research and hopefully make a dent in my “learned books” shelf so stay tuned for some exciting book reviews coming your way!
A little while ago, I floated the idea on Twitter of a blog about academic fashion, born out of a frustration with seeing boring smart-casual and hiking trousers at every turn. To my surprise, a lot of people seemed interested in this idea. If you came here looking for advice on what to wear to your first conference, presentation or interview, don’t panic. You’re in the right place. While I won’t be wearing much academic fashion myself for a little while, I’m hoping some of my friends will be able to help me out with some guest posts.