The PhD is an ideal environment for mental health problems to fester.

There’s the ever-present imposter syndrome, the financial pressures you face, the uncertainty over the academic job market, constant pressure to publish and the isolation that comes from long hours of reading and writing.

No wonder anxiety and depression in graduate students is worsening.

But when you think about your priorities and goals, your mental health must come first, no matter how pressing the other concerns you have in your life are. Without a sound mental balance, everything else becomes more difficult.

Many people are finding that the coronavirus pandemic has had an effect on that mental balance and have realised the importance of prioritising mental wellbeing. It’s not a once-off task. It requires ongoing careful nurturing and soothing.

If you’re struggling, reach out for support from a friend, family member, or professional. If you’re not, keep an eye out for those around you who may be.

These are strange times we live in and never has it been more important to stay well, whether physically or mentally.

Good luck and have a great week.

P.S. On Friday, I asked whether the coronavirus has had a positive, neutral, or negative effect on your PhD. 180 people (c.10%) answered:  22.8% said that it was having a positive effect, 27.2% said a negative effect and 50% said the answer lay somewhere in between.

Hello, Doctor…

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