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Within academe, there’s a huge stigma around mental health issues such as depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder.
Katie Rose Guest Pryal’s regular column on Vitae gives a lot of excellent advice on how to treat your colleagues fairly if they have psychiatric disabilities.
Since I won’t ever have a tenure-track job, I feel it’s my moral obligation to put some giant, flashing warning signs around the bad advice that perfectly well-meaning people might offer to graduate students. Depression is normal among doctoral students, so you should just tough it out/exercise more/throw yourself into your work/do some yoga. Shine notes that her advisers discouraged medical leave, but that’s only one way that grad school can take a toll on students.
my list of the top (or bottom, depending on how you look at it) five worst pieces of advice you hear in grad school. Really, the list could be endless—there’s an unfortunate number of people who are spouting terrible things on this subject, all the time.
Some of the lousy advice I heard myself, and some I heard from colleagues’ horror stories. But even though that’s true, the working conditions in academia can exacerbate all kinds of mental illness.