Monday, November 18, 2019

I'm Surprised It's Not Higher

More than a third of Ph.D. students have sought help for anxiety or depression caused by Ph.D. study, according to results of a global survey of 6,300 students from Nature.
Thirty-six percent is a very large share, considering that many students who suffer don’t reach out for help. Still, the figure parallels those found by other studies on the topic. A 2018 study of mostly Ph.D. students, for instance, found that 39 percent of respondents scored in the moderate-to-severe depression range. That’s compared to 6 percent of the general population measured with the same scale.

Nature’s survey of graduate students of different backgrounds and fields is its fifth in a decade. It asked about a range of issues, from planned career paths to work hours to overall program satisfaction. But the data on mental health, including a question asked of all respondents for the first time this year, are particularly alarming -- even as they add to our vital understanding of a serious problem.

“Sadly, the findings are very in line with what we hear, and what we ourselves experience,” said Kaylynne M. Glover, director of legislative affairs at the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students, an advocacy organization.

Calling graduate education “systemically abusive,” Glover said it's “a problem that crosses cities and cultures, and it affects students from low-income and marginalized backgrounds the worst.”
Graduate students are the infantry of academia; thrust out on foot to take an objective or die (wash out). Intelligent and obsessive (at least for the most part), with a goal that's often indeterminately far in the future, and with their ability to use the degree once it's attained often uncertain, it's a wonder that any of us survived with our sanity intact.

Why, I haven't had a student dream in weeks.

No comments:

Post a Comment