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Dealing with Depression & Anxiety in Grad School: Derek Lowe's Advice


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I ran across this article via ChemJobber today, and thought I'd share it around. 

It's advice thats more suited to the later years of the PhD, but I think it's really important to internalize it as early as possible, and decide how you're going to deal with stress and anxiety (and the associated imposter syndrome and depression) when they crop up, rather than having to deal with it in the midst of everything else. 


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Thank you for sharing this with us Eigen, although underestimated by advisors and even students, depression and other psychiatric conditions can lead to a decline in productivity, cognitive impairment and even more tragic situations such as self-mutilation and suicide. My master's advisor was a really nice person and helped me when I was going through a difficult time in my life, but I am aware that many professors are insensitive to students' suffering.

My advice to new grad students is to think about your mental health even if you do not show signs of any problem regarding this issue. Find an activity that is pleasant for you and DO NOT let anyone (including your advisor/professor) drive you away from that, you are always more than a paper, an assignment, a poster, a qualification or a thesis. And if you feel things are getting out of track there is always someone who can help... If you can't find someone in your friend's circle or family to talk about your problems and concerns, most universities offer counseling services and even psychological/psychiatric appointments. There is always something you can do to relieve your burden, alternatives ranging from individual cognitive therapy, group therapy, medications, meditation, therapeutic writing, yoga, sports and many other types of therapies/activities available to a graduate student going through hard times.

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