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I am approaching the edge of collapse...

Hey Sabrina,
Hang in there honey. Its natural to feel overwhelmed sometimes and sitting on your own at 3am in the morning is a very sad and lonely place to be BUT nothing, especially not a phd is worth ending your life over.

You are clearly a very articulate and sensitive person and have been very brave and strong in trying to deal with these feelings on your own but the time has come to let someone in. Please go and talk to counsellors or your GP, they are the experts at this sort of stuff and can help you find the way forward.

A further expression of the strength you've been showing so far is to tackle this stuff head-on and start sorting it out, you can climb out of that dark pit but you might need someone else to help you understand how - there is no shame or embarrassment in this, you would seek help, probably without question, if it were a physical illness making you feel this way.

You can get well and this is the most important thing.


PhD failure

I really feel for this person. Whilst I haven't exactly failed having been given a year to rewrite and told that I have to re-viva, my viva experience was utter hell and left me feeling completely destroyed, demoralised and terribly upset. This experience was four months ago and I am still in the position of feeling rage towards the external examiner and being completely overwhelmed when I look at the pages of negative comments from her.
My situation: excellent university, great supervisors, enjoyed my subject, mature student having worked in research prior to and since my thesis was submitted, confident, happy-go-lucky sort of person.
I was a funded student, met monthly with my supervisors, underwent successful annual progress reviews, presented at various universities (on my thesis) etc etc - but, I got a complete ego-maniac of an external examiner whose first words were "I don't like anything that you've done and I'll tell you now that you are not getting a pass out of me today...". there then followed three hours of negative comments and very aggressive questioning. She also made frequent comparisons between myself and her own phd students.
When I was told that I would get a year to make amendments and re-submit I didn't feel too bad but she then followed this decision up with 'If I had had my way you would have been failed and make no mistake you have a mountain of work to do prior to re-submission', she then told me she would also be making me re-viva, this she seemed to take great delight in. She was still talking away at this point and I just picked up my stuff and walked out of the room - I tried not to cry until I got out of the room to hang onto what tattered dignity I had left.
In essence, she hated what I'd suggested and decided that because it wasn't done the way she would have done it that it was not worthy. The internal barely said a word and I have since found out that my department (where I was based during my funded phd time) is busy trying to make some commercial links with her department (which is in a top university).
All of this was months ago and I am still reeling from it all and am wondering if it is even worth continuing. My supervisors are trying to encourage me but I feel like I've had any strength and power beaten out of me when it comes to the thesis. I have nightmares about being back in the room with her and have been having panic attacks since the viva. It all sounds really pathetic but my god its incredible how much this can affect you.