Category: Academia & Mental Health


A Confession

I have struggled with mental health most of my adult life. There, I said it. I am a human being, one who has worked all of my life, gained two degrees, has lots of friends, and a good family. Looking in from the outside, I appear to be well-rounded, a tad eccentric, enthusiastic, caring, with a good sense of humour, and relatively intelligent. I work in academia. I teach, train, write, blog, and give various presentations around the UK. Oh, and I suffer from panic disorder, anxiety, and depression. I am one of many. Yet, I spent a...


Surviving in Silence: Child Sexual Abuse Survivors in Academia

I remember being a young teenager and hesitatingly explaining from my school desk why – uncharacteristically – I hadn’t produced any homework. It was my favourite lesson on a subject that held such fascination for me that it would later become the focus of my academic work. All I could say was that my family had had guests visit the previous evening, and that there just hadn’t been time. My teacher said that I needed to take a long, hard look at my priorities. What I couldn’t say was that one of those family guests had sexually abused me, and that...


A Beautiful Mind

An anonymous contributors reflects on their experiences of schizophrenia during their PhD and their nevertheless successful journey to a permanent academic job.


Academia & Addiction

An anonymous PhD student discusses how Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the pressures of academia have led them to become addicted to painkillers. Are academics prone to socially acceptable addictions?


Neoliberalism, Mental Health, & Academia

One of the hardest things about hearing about a PhD student who was harassed by a lecturer, and who then committed suicide while the lecturer kept his job, was that I wasn’t surprised. It’s not that I didn’t think the story was horrendous – I did. It’s that like most graduate students I am reminded on a daily basis – in corridors and, increasingly, in the media – of the degree of suffering, neglect and abuse in academic life. It seemed natural to me, almost, that an abusive faculty member should exist and go unchallenged – and that...


Upwards, Downwards, & Onwards: Being Bi-Polar in Academia

The current focus on mental health in academia is a topic that has always been close to my heart. I suffered from bouts of depression and mania for all of my teenage years and was officially diagnosed as bi-polar in my undergraduate degree. I look back on this period and thank my lucky stars that I never have to do it again. I often found myself in extreme situations in manic episodes and then feeling suicidal in the ‘down’ periods. As I went thought up though MA to PhD (at a different institution) I gained an understanding and...


Trauma & the PhD

Vicki Adams is a PhD student in English Literature, and shares her insight into what it’s like to go through higher education as a sufferer of abuse and trauma.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: