Sometimes I feel like a broken record when I talk about writing a thesis: whatever you’re struggling with, I’ll probably say, “It’s not you!” Most PhD’s end up thinking that being hurt has something to do with them (which I included at one point) or what they are doing that would otherwise be so wrong.
The university environment is a difficult environment where you have to feel good and perform well most of the time. It can be a relief to realize that it’s not the fault of a character on your side that you feel stuck (or any other comforting feeling you might have): the contradictions are against the environment. Once you see how some of these mechanisms work, it becomes easier to relax: it’s not about you anymore. And at this point, it becomes easier to find ways to solve your particular problem.
Causes of stress and anxiety
There can be several reasons why doctoral students feel stressed because they are afraid of work and studies. Bazrafkan et al. (2016). , and lack of financial resources, among others.
Factors that Cause Stress and Depression in Postgraduate Students
A systematic approach is needed to deal with stress in early career researchers. However, before finding solutions, you need to know the root cause to avoid similar situations in the future.
Students are often intimidated by current research in their field and compare the progress and status of their work with other researchers.
Why doctoral students are more likely to suffer from depression
A recent study of more than 3,500 doctoral students in Belgium showed that one in two doctoral students suffered from mental stress during his doctorate. .
More than 30% were at risk of developing a psychiatric disorder, especially depression.
Feeling like an impostor
Do you feel that everyone around you is much smarter than you? In fact, 7 out of 10 people suffer from impostor syndrome at some point in their career. Scammers have a hard time accepting positive feedback, often denying that their success is tied to their own skills and thinking they are not good enough. Tip: use it as a starch. Taking the time to celebrate achievements helps to embrace our own circumstances.
During our studies, we were always surrounded by many students, but in the laboratory, we are often part of a very small team or work alone. It can be lonely especially if we move abroad for our PhD or during a writing degree. In addition, we always feel bad about the neglect of our friends and family. Conversely, when we force ourselves to go to social events, we feel guilty for not working.