Doing a Ph.D. is difficult, and without care, it could compromise your mental health. Sadly, many graduate students suffer Ph.D. mental issues and Ph.D. depression. What is responsible for this dreadful problem, and what can be done to reverse it? Recent research has shone light on the problem. This article will highlight the cause of the problem and how to reverse it.
Ph.D. student’s mental health crisis is a serious problem in graduate education. A study revealed that at least half the number of graduate students in Belgium were suffering from psychological distress. The study also found that a third of the students were at risk of developing a psychiatric disorder. Several factors are responsible for this problem.
Possible Causes Of The PhD Mental Health Phenomenon
According to experts, this mental crisis starts when Ph.D. researchers enter the program without knowing what they are getting into. Most times, the starry-eyed students hurry into a Ph.D. program without knowing what it entails or if they need it in the future. This has also led to an increased drop-out level and worsened post Ph.D. depression. If students took time to develop a more balanced view of all challenges and joys that come with a Ph.D. program, this would reduce the mental issues that follow it. Proper management of the expectations is a great preventative measure against such health issues.
Fixing The PhD Disorder Problem
The first step to fixing these problems is acknowledgment. It should be acknowledged on a personal and cultural level. The universities can also play a large role in mitigating the problem. Experts recommend simple strategies to help such students. They include increased funding for students who require mental health services, subsidized housing, checking degree timelines to prevent exploitation by professors, streamlining graduation criteria to ensure reasonable workload as well as transparent degree requirements.
Aside from getting support from the school, Ph.D. students can also safeguard their mental health by embracing wellness strategies such as:
- Adding A Downtime To Your Calendar
- Visit friends and family
- Practice Mindfulness
- Do Not Neglect Physical And Mental Health
- Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
From advisor meetings to classes, somethings are scheduled into your calendar by design. Things can get so hectic that students forget to give themselves a break. Living on the go is a recipe for a mental breakdown. It is ideal to schedule a time for exercise, a hobby, or even a short coffee date with friends. All these activities can play a large role in reducing the pressure in graduate school.
Having a personal support network is essential for good health and happiness. It is important to create time to talk to loved ones. Being in the same environment with other Ph.D. students often may require some balance with the help of friends and family.
Do you meditate or just pause to think about how you feel? Do you often experience changes in mood or low energy levels? Do you get enough sleep? Are you withdrawn from normal activities? All these symptoms can cause problems in the future. Meditation, journaling, and guided breathing exercises can help you to answer these questions. It can teach you how to control your thought process better, and this brings a sense of peace at the end.
Your physical feeling impacts your mental and emotional health. When you take care of your body by sleeping well, eating healthy, limiting alcohol intake, avoiding drugs, and getting routine exercise, you will stay healthy.
You should not feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Those days are long gone. In the pro mental health time, you are encouraged to seek help when you need it. You cannot do everything alone, and you shouldn’t even if you feel you can. Ask for help from friends, family, and the school. It could include taking advantage of the school’s counseling resources or talking to family.
If writing your thesis is stressing your body out, you can get writing help from experts since it is quite affordable. Another thing to remember if you are mentally drained is that a Ph.D. program doesn’t last forever. Always remind yourself that what you’re passing through is temporary to maintain a healthy perspective. Think about what you hope to achieve after the program. Think about your family and how they would love to see you finish the program.
While every individual has his or her regrets and doubts at some point during the program, the result is always worth the stress. Your mental health is very important, so you should not overlook it during your program. Seek help and don’t isolate yourself. Every little support helps in its own way, and before you know it, the program will be over.