Graduate school and mental illness problem

Earlier this year, the University of California, Berkeley, released a graduate student happiness and well being report. They found that 47 percent of doctoral students and 37 percent of master’s students surveyed met the clinical criteria for depression based on their responses to a widely-used depressive symptoms inventory. Arts and Humanities students were most vulnerable, with 64 percent meeting the criteria, while Business students reported the lowest levels.

Other studies have raised similar concerns. In a 2009 American psychology association survey, 87 percent of psychology graduate students reported symptoms of anxiety, 68 percent reported symptoms of depression, and 19 percent reported suicidal thoughts. 

It is really a bad result. When we try to put some burdens on the students shoulder just to make them carried it with pride. But, we do not realize how foolish our acting to them.

According to graduate students’ reports and the finding from Braines (2015) in her article, here are some of the factors that will consider as the causes of this terrible condition.

Uncertain career prospects.

The Berkeley survey found that career prospects was the biggest predictor of student well-being. Sometimes we found that most of the student are not having their prospect in life, especially after they graduated. Now, it is difficult to look for a job and you must work really hard to find one.


Long hours spent on solitary work can be tough on anyone, but it can be especially difficult for students who feel disconnected and alone in a broader sense.

Financial difficulties.

We know this, not every student is come from rich family. Most of them must work really hard just to pay their tuition.

Chronic failure.

In academia, failure is common and inevitable experiments fail, manuscripts are rejected, and grants are not funded—and these repeated disappointments can wear on even the most resilient students. Someone may spend years working on a study, only to find that the data is unpublishable or their findings have been “scooped” (similar findings published by someone else). Chronic failure can be tough to adjust to, especially for students who were used to getting good grades in college as long as they worked hard. In graduate school, the relationship between hard work and success tends to be more complicated. But we do know that the way people respond to failure is a major determinant of success.

Poor work-life balance.

Can you imagine what is student life ?. Yeah, for me it is really hard to imagine. Everyday is the assignment day. You can not run from it, and you must face it bravely. Sometimes, you even forget how to make a fun with your family and friends. Student will forget to eat something during their busy time. They will put their concentration just on their assignment or their concern.

Thank you for Juliana Braines, Ph.D for an amazing essay about Graduate School and Mental Illness: Is There a Link? which gives me inspiration to wrote this article.


Thanks for your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s