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LilyRachel
Wednesday, 26 December 2018 at 12:24am
Monday, 28 January 2019 at 7:53pm
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Thread: Fish or Cut Bait? Go or No? Can 2 PhD's build a life together?

posted
05-Mar-19, 23:34
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 2 weeks ago
If you want to stay with him, and you want to get the PhD, you can make it work! :) these things can be tough but they’re only temporary. Have you had a chat with him and asked him what he wants or how he feels about it?

Thread: I Am Struggling and Don't Know What To Do

posted
28-Feb-19, 19:19
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 3 weeks ago
Quote From pm133:
Quote From lovelylisa83:
I just wanted to come here for some support from other PhD students and I feel like I am being attacked. I have not given up, I am just coming here for support - not to be judged and told that I basically need to suck it up. I want the PhD and that is what I am working hard for.


Nobody is attacking you on here. I'm not sure where you are getting that from.
You mentioned that you are having suicidal thoughts. Under those circumstances there is only one course of help and advice open to you and that is to seek urgent medical help.
Nobody on here is qualified to give you any other advice until you have dealt with your immediate medical emergency.



I’m sorry to jump in here , but to just give my personal perspective on this... When you are feeling suicidal and this is in part due to external circumastances. practical steps as to how to deal with the matter in hand (the PhD) are very helpful to alleviate some anxiety there and bring back a sense of control. Simply saying “forget the phd and get help” whilst very well meaning (and obviously it is very important to seek help of some sort!) can seem slightly aggressive and dismissive.

“Get help” - what help? Where? How?
“get help” - but there’s no available doctors appointments until next week
“get help” - I’m on a waiting list that goes on for months and in the mean time what do I do?!

I’m definitely not saying you’re wrong in any way, just in my opinion telling someone to not talk about the issues they’re facing until they have got “help” (that might not be readily available and is most likely oversubscribed and underfunded) shifts a lot of pressure back on to that person, who is asking for some support. Sorry I’m not the most articulate today, I wonder if that makes any sense ?

Thread: I Am Struggling and Don't Know What To Do

posted
28-Feb-19, 01:12
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 3 weeks ago
Quote From lovelylisa83:
I just wanted to come here for some support from other PhD students and I feel like I am being attacked. I have not given up, I am just coming here for support - not to be judged and told that I basically need to suck it up. I want the PhD and that is what I am working hard for.


Sorry I didn’t see this message until I had pressed send on my message already! It’s good you haven’t been put off by this experience , I think a PhD is such a feat of resilience and if you have a will to finish it, as I said before , there will be a way ! Can you agree to do the corrections , but ask first if you can take some time off ? I think a clear plan forward and a break might be really beneficial. During which perhaps you can see your GP and put a bit more support in place for your return? Just an idea!

Thread: I Am Struggling and Don't Know What To Do

posted
28-Feb-19, 01:03
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 3 weeks ago
This sounds really horrible! And I completely understand the gut reaction you’re having to it. Definitely have an honest chat with your supervisors , if you want to do this PhD, there will always be a a way forward! Yes a PhD can be harsh on your mental health, but if it’s what you want , you CAN do it , you might just need a bit of support. I think you need to think about what you want and what you need, speak with your supervisors and let us know what comes of the conversation. It’s not easy , but you can do this one step at a time, we are all behind you.

Thread: New Offer, and I am afraid ! How to Get rid of the ghost of Bad experience as a PhD student

posted
27-Feb-19, 19:54
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 3 weeks ago
Absolutely thrilled for you, you deserve this! And yes I agree with rest :) just wanted to say I’m really pleased for you.

Thread: My current PI is telling me that I am a very shy person and he is really pissed off, what I should d

posted
09-Feb-19, 00:46
edited about 1 second later
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 1 month ago
Hi Monkia, I’m sorry that you’ve experienced this. It is completely unprofessional and unacceptable for your PI to make these comments towards you. Your PI has no right to comment on your personality and how he feels about it, this is bullying.

I think that you need to make a record of this, or tell someone you trust (a personal tutor or some sort of student support type person) and then decide whether you feel comfortable to bring this up with the PI yourself, or with another member of staff. But definitely seek advice and let us know how it turns out.

It is ok to be shy! After what you’ve been through it is probably normal that you have lost self esteem and confidence of late. Don’t be harsh on yourself, you deserve to be safe and valued in the place you work. You deserve nothing less!

Thread: Presentations - obligations?

posted
28-Jan-19, 13:39
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 2 months ago
I also disagree with the others here, nothing is more important than your mental health. You have suffered a recent bereavement , cancelling is the most responsible thing to do if you're feeling fragile. Don't let others tell you otherwise! It's not as big a deal as some people think. It won't affect anything. Take care :)

Thread: Motivational advice

posted
17-Jan-19, 23:24
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 2 months ago
One thing someone told me last week that's helping me a lot , is to remember that actually it's good you feel this way because it means you're challenging yourself. You're not stagnant , if it was easy then we wouldn't learn anything. It helps me to be more positive to think about that sometimes.

Thread: Motivational advice

posted
15-Jan-19, 23:44
edited about 5 seconds later
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 2 months ago
Hello, I feel exactly the same way (minus culture difference). I find it totally overwhelming! I have heard that it's very common, the word imposter syndrome is used a lot. I think that perhaps for some people (including me) the first year is hardest. It takes a long time to settle in, cut yourself some slack. You will get there! May I ask how you're doing now?

Thread: Motivation advice :(

posted
04-Jan-19, 13:37
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From monkia:
@Cat123, I think it is important to share what are the symptoms that help us before joining to know whether this place is really toxic, actually, I am in the same situation and maybe others. How you can make sure the next lab is really positive as I am afraid to repeat the same experience.


I would say that talking to previous students/post docs (who have left so have no reason to lie) for their opinion on the lab and the culture/supervision is a really sensible thing to do! It's something I'll definitely do in the future :)

Thread: Motivation advice :(

posted
04-Jan-19, 13:34
edited about 2 seconds later
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From Cat123:
I've been in a similar situation and having to fight cases like this takes a lot of energy and time so you may just be in need of a bit of a break before starting the new PhD. I can relate to the feelings of hurt after being treated badly myself, being in these situations can feel very unfair and you can find yourself very much alone. I even got trolled on this forum for sharing my experience at one point and had to get my post removed, which the moderators were quick to action. I've been fortunate to experience a very positive environment at the University where I did my undergrad course, compared to the toxic environment where I am now. Hence I know that not all places are like the one I am currently at, where there are seemingly leadership issues. This stops me feeling disillusioned and helps motivate me to get my PhD finished and progress my career somewhere better. Both places I have been are in the UK Russel group but are significantly different.
Just try your best, you may need to take things easy for a while and do a bit each day to build up momentum.


Thank you very much for replying. It's terrible that you were trolled on this site, it is a really isolating experience going through the formal complaints route. I found people who were initially supportive of me going ahead with it and encouraged me to do that backed away as well once I actually did it. That's a good piece of advice that I'll definitely try to hold in my mind. I guess even if I don't regain my motivation which I hope I will, I will move on from it eventually (I'm also at a Russel group uni). May I ask how things are for you now ?

Thread: Motivation advice :(

posted
04-Jan-19, 13:29
edited about 20 seconds later
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From monkia:
Your story is like mine verbatim and I have the same syndromes, all I can say don't lose faith in yourself, I know it is hard, but believe in the end of the tunnel, there would be light. Of course, it is a battle between the human and demon to drag you down, you should be proud of yourself as you didn't accept to endure this asshole PI, and be sure you will be more successful, just imagine what you have mentioned continuing with toxic lab and PI which will end to the wall. First of all, you have to love yourself and always remember that you deserve the best, it like training. Congratulations, I am so happy for you that you found a fantastic PI, just when these thoughts come to your mind, think about what is good is waiting for, please try to forget the past and those negative thoughts, you must learn how to be persistent.


Thank you very much for your reply I really appreciate it. Especially what you said about loving yourself and telling yourself you deserve it being like "training". That's a useful way to look at it , and a reminder of what I already suspect (but find hard to believe because I'm quite depressed) , which is these things take time. Perhaps after all of this we'll have PhD's in resilience and self advocating as well as our subjects. I'm sorry that you've also been through a hard time. Are things improving for you now and do you still love your research ?

Thread: Motivation advice :(

posted
26-Dec-18, 09:39
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 3 months ago
A few people have told me I'm courageous to have done what I've done , and then even more so to show my face again in the same place it happened. Which is nice to hear l, and I do try to feel proud rather than like a fraud. However after a while I just feel sad and let down by everyone for not helping me at the time. I am angry that I was the person who had to take this on, and even though I'm aware it's complicated and scary for all involved, I don't know why people's sense of morality stops at themselves and they don't demand better treatment. I can't help but feel bitter, as if people let themselves be treated like shit, it doesn't just hurt them, it has a knock on effect on everyone. I'm I feel completely disillusioned with academia and disappointed :( and I don't know why this is hitting me so hard now I'm in a good situation. I know I need to let it go, and stop this bitterness growing even more.

I am on a long waiting list for counselling , and I know I definitely need that. Not just because of this situation, but other stuff that was going on at the same time, I had to block out in order to get through the days. I'm aware it's been a rough ride , and that I should give myself a bit of a break... my passion for my PhD may just come back in time.

I know I'm repeating myself here, but I'm just really alarmed by my lack of motivation, I know I'm fortunate to be in the situation I have ended up in now in many ways, but I worry that I'll never start feeling better and I'm so tired of it. I try to challenge my negative thoughts about my own ability and worth , but perhaps they are engrained in me at a deep level.

I suppose I'm just wondering if any of you have experienced anything like this , and whether there is any light at the end of the tunnel ? Do you think the way I'm feeling is normal perhaps ? Is there any advice you can give ?

Thank you in advance

Thread: Motivation advice :(

posted
26-Dec-18, 09:38
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for LilyRachel
posted about 3 months ago
I'm a long time lurker first time poster. I don't know if people can help me, this is more of a ramble. However it would be nice to share anyway and see what you think. I will try to keep this vague/unidentifiable where I can.

I started a PhD over a year ago, and in a similar fashion to people who have posted here I entered a toxic lab environment (concealed to me prior to joining) with a bullying PI with a notorious reputation. I lasted a few months before I got to point where I realised that I had to do something. I knew no matter what I should not complete this PhD with this person in this lab, for both my mental health and my academic career. Those before me had their lives essentially ruined by this lab and none were able to continue in the field. All knew it was unacceptable, but all were too afraid to speak out without anonymity. It was really hard but I made the decision to take a risk and formally report this person. The risk paid off in many ways , after a very long time at home waiting and waiting and I finally got assigned to a fantastic PI and I'm a couple of months in to a brand new PhD. The complaint is still progressing and my former PI is still in the same building as me.

I waited so long for this new PhD and was delighted that despite the pain I got another chance. However now I've started, I've found myself plagued with anxiety and imposter syndrome. I have read that when you've been through a bad experience your body can protect you by being numb to it , until the moment when you are "safe" again or in a better environment, and then you will process it. It feels a little like that... I feel constantly stressed and overwhelmed, to the point I've started having random panic attacks and chest pain. I've lost my motivation to read or really engage in my project (although I was beginning to get back into it, but then I ended up being involved in more meetings to discuss my old supervisor as the procedure took a step backwards - it's a year later :S ?! Anyway , I found this really stressful and discouraging). (Continued below...)
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