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Manifestations of stress...

======= Date Modified 29 Aug 2010 19:54:23 =======
Hi everyone!
Thank you so much for all your responses and making me feel less alone. Ogriv, i'm sorry to hear about your eyes, i've occasionally had eye twitches too, and it's really annoying, and weird. I hope it goes away soon.
I do agree that it is probably all stress related, I already have serious IBS, but just hate that it seems to be getting worse in other areas of my health. AQ, i'm breaking out in spots too, so you're not the only spotty PhD student out there, i'm a mess! even treating myself to nice clarins things doesn't work! :(

I think i'm going to go to the docs anyway just to check everything is ok, as (sorry any males on here), my periods are all messed up too, i'm in agony, and with the nightsweats, occasional hot flashes and serious mood swings I keep worrying there is something else wrong! however, prob just also stress affecting my hormones, but would like peace of mind!

You're so right Joyce, I always feel this way. My partner is just starting final year of p/t masters, and he does work so hard and gets very stressed. But after the module is over, that's it, he gets a holiday and that's that one ticked off the list. I feel right now even though every part is written, I keep going back to each chapter over and over again, and until I submit, or more likely, after corrections, I will still keep going back to parts i've been doing and worrying about for 4 years! I see parts of my work and think 'oh god, what are they going to ask me, will they agree with my thoughts and ideas on it, will they slag off my methodology etc etc......'! Until the final day after viva and corrections and hard binding, it's not over, and even now when i'm this close it feels like it will never happen!

Anyway, sorry, i'm bubbling with stress and babbling at you all. But thank you for your support and understanding, and making me feel less alone in this.

Looking back i'm not sure I'd put myself through this again, but it has proven to me what I can achieve, although has also ruined any self esteem I had - that sounds contradictory, but it's true!

Chuff,i'm glad through it all you're glad you are doing it. I've been working full time and writing for the last year, and although I love my job and i'm glad I took it, I think it has severely contributed to the stress i'm under. So just pace yourself and don't let it all get on top of you!

AQ, I always relate the experience to a bad car crash or accident of some kind. Your brain just blocks it out cos it has to, and I think once it is over I will probably completely block it and just concentrate on fact its done. I think for my own sanity i'll have to try and forget the worst parts and pretend to myself that it wasn't so bad!! :) Lets see in 6 months whether it's true....! :)

My partner is being an angel and proofreading chapters for me right now, i'm sat with a pot of tea, my hot water bottle and come dine with me! And tomorrow night, i hope to compile final corrections from proofreading, compile the pdf's,send to sup to just check the final look of it etc and make sure he's happy with all style, and then get ready to send to printers!!! ARGHHHHH!!!
I'm going to enjoy my relaxation tonight before the final onslaught!

oh, and I start lecturing again at my local college tomorrow! A collaboration with my current job, so I'm back to kinda 3 jobs again. When I think about it, there's no wonder i'm a complete stress head!

Just keep going everyone and one day, when this is all over, our bodies will collapse in a heap before we recover and hopefully find ourselves stronger....?? am i delusional... :-x

Manifestations of stress...

======= Date Modified 29 00 2010 02:00:10 =======
Hey everyone,
I'm just wondering how everyone else copes with the stress and anxiety associated with the PhD. I don't know what's going on with me, but even as I come to the end and I am proofreading and getting ready to submit my symptoms are just getting worse and worse!
The problem is, I generally on the surface feel less stressed, but underneath I can feel anxiety bubbling up inside me. Does that make any sense?

I have always suffered from insomnia on and off, and usually when I go into a depressive episode. At the moment i'm up and down everyday I feel almost manic....! However, its not my usual depression as I have been dealing with some personal issues and for the first time in a while feel better about my life and my past. For the last few months I've been suffering from night sweats, so bad I wake up drenched and I think I almost repulse my partner :-(
I've been thinking it is stress etc, and have started getting back into exercising, have quit smoking :) and also cut my caffeine down to 1 coffee a day and then just tea (which is prob no better, but doesn't affect me the same). But it makes no difference.
The more it goes on i'm worried that it's actually a health issue, but then the internet is scary cos just tells me about illnesses related to night sweating. Which results possibly in my subconscious being more stressed about it, making it worse! I can hardly sleep and when I do, my partner says my breathing is funny and irregular and I sound like i'm being drowned in my sleep.....!
I'm going to go to my doc this week if I can, but I just wondered if anyone else had experienced anything like this, or had any other weird stress/anxiety manifestations so I don't feel completely alone in this.

Maybe we can have a wee stress relief thread, although i'm sure there's been plenty before this!

Cheers, AL

The nocturnal workers' thread

======= Date Modified 29 Aug 2010 01:43:42 =======
Hey AQ, well done, 20 tomatoes is more than enough for one day, and congrats on getting results done!

I'm not working tonight, was earlier, but just up cos complete insomniac at the moment! GRRRRRR!

I hope everything ok with your bf, he'll understand, i keep pissing off mine too but he gets it and we work our way through it.

Hope you get some good shut eye ready for tomorrow!
hugs, AL x

Getting funny things into academic work

I was very chuffed with myself the other week as I managed to get into my final discussion a line based on the "what came first the chicken or the egg" line! :)
Been wanting to put it in the whole 4 years as it basically sums up what I have been trying to find out about an area of cancer development. My second sup turned to me and just said, 'Well, Why not?', and I though - F*** it! :p

6 mths to go - count down's on!!

Thanks Sue, not quite yet tho, but we're ALL so close!!

Congratulations on the interview, like you say, just take deep breaths and be proud of yourself, think about how much you're achieving and what you're managing to cope with.
Don't worry about not being on here. I feel stupid complaining and moaning about sup when you have so much bigger things on your plate. So sorry to hear your dog is having bad days, but enjoy the good ones, and i'm sure he'll get there. I know there's nothing I can say to help make you feel better, but know that you're in my thoughts and i'm wishing you the best of news when it comes. We're here for you, so just remember where we are, and anything I can do to help, I will so just shout!

I better go, think i've just upset partner, just can't keep anyone happy at the moment, home, work, family, friends! I will be so glad when this thing is over! Think i'm gonna collapse in a melted, teary heap!!

Love and hugs, and keep smiling and the stress at bay!

AL xxx

6 mths to go - count down's on!!

Hi AQ and Rick,
Thank you for your support and guidance. I had decided that if didn't hear from him by tomorrow then was going to email, and then if nothing by end of next week email again and say i was going to start collating and get ready to send to printers. Luckily he's sent them back to me this afternoon with some corrections - but much to my relief actually not too many! Unfortunately, as per usual he has not put any comments detailing whether what I have written is good or at least satisfactory, but as per I just have to hope that it must be ok or he would have said something!?

Anyway, started on corrections, and then went for a swim to try and clear my head! when sending it all back the one thing he did manage to comment on, or make a hint at really, was about me working full time while trying to write (obviously detrimental to writing quality!) He sent me someone elses work along with me own, so I replied to let him know, this is what I received back having told me that he was working on both together:

"I'd been doing a bit here and there, instead of focusing on one bit at a time. There's a lesson for you........."

Feel like saying, well not all of us have money to spare, so unfortunately I have to juggle both, just be glad I didn't ditch the phd....! :)

Anyway, after being slightly p*ssed off by this, i've been for a nice swim and feel refreshed! I'm working tomorrow but off Thursday so have a full day at corrections! Unforts working all weekend, but hoping my boss might give me Monday morning off so I can finish tidying up, and then get to printers during week!

It's really scary though, just feel like I should read it and read it and read it until I'm confident it's as perfect as I can get it, but it's never going to be perfect, so I think i just need to bite the bullet, do corrections, get proofreads back from family, one last read and DONE!!!

Will keep you all posted about how the final stages go!

Anyway, sorry for the essay again!

AQ I know how you feel, but I have done the same thing, i've been working full time and if I thought about it all too much I just had a panic attack! I've done the same thing, stuck to my deadline plan but not actively thought about it, tricking myself into believing it would all be fine! fingers crossed it is though, i still have a month before my 4 year deadline, and i'm almost ready for submission, i'm a couple of weeks behind my planned date for submitting, but it could be worse!

Well done for almost finishing chapter, you will get there, just don't let the stress get to you, keep calm and tell yourself it will all be over soon!

big hugs to all, AL x

6 mths to go - count down's on!!

Hi Rick,
Thanks for your advice. I have considered doing this, however, this is the first full draft of final results chapter and discussion, therefore, I would not feel comfortable submitting without any feedback from sup. Although sending an email of that type would possibly push him to do it, but prob also piss him off! :(

I think I will just hang back another week as I know he is busy with grants and ethics proposals too, and if I don't hear from him will email again, and if nothing then will start to put balls in motion for submission.

Although my second sup has read discussion etc, he is not specific to my area and is more medically based than science, therefore, I really want main sup to be happy with what I have written first too.

thanks for your advice, and hope you get everything sorted soon too.

6 mths to go - count down's on!!

======= Date Modified 22 Aug 2010 11:26:40 =======
======= Date Modified 22 Aug 2010 11:12:00 =======
Also, he has my Chapter 5, last results chapter, which i sent him on 23rd July, still not got that back either!

He's always been like a petty child, and I know the more I bug him the longer he'll make my stew! But its just so infuriating when it was HIM who wanted it in mid august and now he's just not bothered to actually follow that through!!

Any advice on what I should do? I don't want to email him again and make it worse, but then there's a point where I HAVE to. so worried that he'll then get in touch with little time before my 4year deadline telling me lots of work to do!

I don't want to sound really pathetic, I know that sups are busy and he prob has a lot on, but he knew when I was likely to send it all to him and when HE wanted it submitted by, so he knew his own time line. why give me that date if he wasn't going to stick to it himself??

Anyway, any thoughts on what you would do, and how many times is normal to proofread before saying enough is enough?

Thanks folks, have a good sunny Sunday!
AL x

6 mths to go - count down's on!!

======= Date Modified 22 Aug 2010 11:26:12 =======
======= Date Modified 22 Aug 2010 11:12:36 =======
Hi folks,
Good to hear from you Rick, hope it all gets sorted soon, i'm in bit of limbo too right now it's not fun is it :(

I came back on here last night and seemed to have missed about 3 pages of chat!!!

So sorry to hear you're having a tough time Sue, i'm thinking of you and hope so much that it is not bad diagnosis, although like people have said here, it's amazing what can be done, despite these things. Keep thinking positive, stress really does make a difference to our health, so think positive thoughts, don't stress about it, and i'm sure that will contribute to your successes in the final months of phd!?

AQ, i'm sorry your sup is doing that to you, mine too, he's an absolute tool and from what i've read, yours is a TOOL too :) But at least over all feedback was positive, you will be fine!

So, right now i'm in submission limbo!!! :( BEWARE....moan to follow.....! :(

So I eventually went in to see my sup a month ago as i'd been emailing him trying to get my intention to submit form in for a month or so before that! eventually he got in touch and I went in to see him as soon as I had a day off from work. walked into his office, he basically threw form at me and told me to go find my internal to confirm he could do it and get it signed, find head of dept, sign and get to relevant office. I duly did this, however, he had put my proposed viva date of 30th sept - giving me around 3 weeks to get it submitted allowing time to get to examiners and them to read it etc!!
I tried to say this isn't possible I want a bit more time, but in his usual way he just told me to shut up, and get on with it, he wanted it in for mid august, and i could do it if i quit complaining!! abit annoying as I wasn't complaining just presenting the facts that I work full time, and was working extra hours as a colleague had tragically just died! I also had friends wedding and a city break with friends planned. However, I thought, oh well, lets get it done and then it will be over sooner than I thought and i can get on iwth life!!

I went home, and got stuck in, and have hardly left comp since whenever I am at home! I came back from our city break and got it all done, went in to see second sup, hoping to also see first, but as per he's AWOL!! second sup very kindly gave me his time and read through final discussion and summary, made comments, I changed them and sent them all by email to 1st sup. this was all done a week before he wanted it submitted!! Since then I have also put final beginning sections together, checked every ref against text, made sure all styles are in exact same format and am going through each chapter for final proofread! Also my sister has read through intro and i'm getting my couple of corrections from her over phone today! and partner is reading results chapters.

It's now almost 3 weeks since I sent this all to sup!!!! I emailed asking if all was ok, and that I had a day off for final corrections and/or getting to printers, but if not possible for then to give me a timeline and I would ask for couple days of work! heard nothing! I waited a week and emailed his wife (!), asking if he was ok, and got quite a curt email back saying he's fine and just back from couple weeks off! he then opened my email (this was last week), but not heard anything from him!! and now I don't know what to do! Normally he would get a chapter turned around in a day or two after opening email, and I get feeling he's just opened it to shut me up and not doing anything with it!


When Natassia met Phdbug!

ooh, i'm in braw ol' Scotland too :) Although it's very windy right now....!

Walminski's Writing Up Thread

Hey Wal, sounds like you've had a pretty mental week!! Well done on learning about all those different theories, that's really good!

Sometimes you've just gotta put in alot of groundwork, but once you've done that and it's in your head, it all comes together.

Keep going and you'll be there before you know it, and then we can just all just come on here for fun, and cheer up the next lot of students! :p

Take care, AL

39 days to go!!!

Thank you AQ!! I can't believe it either, doesn't really seem real as I still have to tidy it all up, do corrections, summary, and then double check everything and proofread, before submission and VIVA!!
But guess its still a major milestone!

I went to make tea and found a nice 5 year bottle of cabernet sauvignon in the cupboard so treating myself to that! :)

Hope you've had a successful day, it'll be your turn for some beers or wine (or both ;) ) soon. AL xx

help - i need to be concise!!

Hi AQ,

Thanks for replying anyway, you're reassured me that i did the right thing! :) I sat for an hour and went through all the different mini notes I had and through each chapter and noted the main points which all tied in together and put down all my thoughts and ideas for each. and then just formulated the ideas and started writing.

I'll see what it's like tomorrow when I look at it, but i don't think its AWFUL! I've taken my main ideas with the most evidence for back up, and the stuck with them, and then I'm starting to write ideas on post-its that I can stick on the relevant pages to take to my viva! Make my look clever (or maybe stupid for missing them out!), but guess its just like pre-viva prep!

Just have to see what sup says...not that he says very much!

39 days to go!!!

Oh my god, i have just finished my discussion!!!! :) I've sat and rewritten parts of it all day, and i'm sure after a wee break i'll go back to it and want to change more, but apart from my summary, I now have every section of the tomb written!!

Think its time for tea, and i might even have to have a beer to go with it!

I know its not done yet, but something inside my chest has just done a little backflip.

I send you all happy vibes......! (up)

help - i need to be concise!!

======= Date Modified 08 52 2010 16:52:41 =======
Ok, i'm trying to write my discussion, and throughout my whole thesis (5 chapters), i've had to be quite careful in not putting all my ideas out there, as my discussions are quite long for most of the chapters.

Now that i'm trying to put my final discussion together I have a large number of ideas and possible explanations for the results I have. The research I am doing is new, looking into a specific diseases aetiology (microbiology), however, only a handful of people have investigated this and no-one has looked into specific mechanisms.

What I'm struggling with is, there is a number of possible explanations for what i found, with a number of possible pathways involved.
Do I need to stick to one theory and try to back this up, or can i discuss a range of them? How can I be concise in this, as every time I start thinking about something, I think of another hypothesis!

I know people always say you walk away from your thesis with more questions than answers - and alot more than you started with, but my head is exploding with them. my thesis is long, and I now need to be concise, straight to the point, and somehow find a way to structure it all so that it is nicely presentable and won't get ripped apart!!!

Anyone been there and have any suggestions! I have 2 days to finish this at the latest!!!

Thank you, AL