Category: Academia & Mental Health

16

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...

2

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...

4

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.

1

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?

1

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...

1

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...

0

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.

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