Depressed 5th yr


So its been five years of highs and lows writing my phd and changing supervisors more times than i can remember. Now I look at my friends who went to industry, all have jobs, spouses, some even children and i feel like i've wasted my golden years in the library and the lab! I'm so desperate to finish and get my life in order more so now that I have met an potential mate who I don't have time for because of this phd and can't dress up or go for dates as often as we'd like because I simply can't afford it. Funding has already run out and my savings can only last two months. No job prospects, three publications, juggling job applications and writing up. I get so anxious about this situation, at times I feel like am forgoting the content of my phd or that its going out of date. I haven't written anything for the last two months because i've been super depressed! I'm just so tired of this lack of human dignity and I've decided to give up my life for two months and see if I can see the end of this!

Is anyone in a similar situation? What is working for you?

Avatar for Batfink27

Hi there. I'm not in the same situation because I only started my PhD 8 months ago, so I can't offer any real suggestions and advice - other than to say, hang in there! You're almost at the end, and what an achievement to have got so far already! Once you're over these final hurdles and can look back on it all from a more comfortable place in your life I'm sure you'll feel proud for having achieved so much. And judging from other threads on this board, you're definitely not the only one feeling these pressures - other people come through it so there's no reason why you can't too! Good luck with it all!


I was in a similar situation last year. Due to massive problems with the Uni (which I will leave to rest in peace) I started to completed re-write the whole of my PhD on the 20 April 2009. The re-write included completely changing my methodological stance and reading about 10 books and over 20 articles. I sent the whole thing on a memory stick to my prof on the 22 July. During this time, three months, I was also working full time. Basically I had lists for everything, the paragraphs, the pages, the chapters, the books, the articles, the washing! I cut back on everything, sleep, wine, going out, checking forums and just focused. People thought I was mad. However my prof thought it was okay, I had my viva in December and the minor revisions took about five days. I graduate this year, much to the delight of my parents and husband. It is a horrible situation to be in, and I can totally understand your fustration, but it can be done. Keep us all informed!


Regrets are like dumbbells chained together which we all sort of drag in our lives. I have not been able to do so but the best is to get rid of these by learning from mistakes not just remembering em! That will make someone more efficient I suppose...?


I am totally with you! I'm five and half years in, although I have spent about a year and a half of that being ill (although only suspended for 6 months).

When I look at it, yes ok, so I've spent my youth (from age 25 to 30), but I also know that I could've not done it any quicker. I needed that time to read, think, learn, reformulate. I don't think I could've started writing my thesis any sooner than I did. In fact, if I had started any earlier, I would probably have taken the whole thesis down the wrong direction!

Things happen when they are suppose to, and you can't fight it :)


Hi Depressed

I'm in a similar situation, although am starting a non-academic job in a few weeks out of sheer necessity. I'm also in my fifth year, have used up almost all of my savings, and yes, other friends' careers have taken off, they've had families etc. I'll end up with a doctorate that won't be necessary or appreciated in my job, and also feel as if I'm doing this for no reason and no reward.

I spent a good couple of months earlier this year not doing as much work as I should've (even tho I still put in 8 hours a day, every day) as I just couldn't see the point of working really hard. I've now realised however, that if I don't get a full draft to my sup in 2 months, I won't graduate until November next year, and the thought of this not being over until another 18 months is making me work. I have to finish, I want to get on with my life, so I'm pushing myself. You can do it. We can't stop now, so we have to keep going. So - keep going!!! You're not alone. This horror will end some day....


I'm also in the last stage of my PhD, my funding went out months ago and my saving will only last me for another few months. I can totally relate to what you said - most of my friends who went on to a "proper" job straight from uni seem to all enjoy a good career (and all the material gains that came with it), and a few got married and have children. It's not constructive though to compare with other people as everyone has different aspirations. You may not think it but what you've done in the last 5 years is a pretty huge deal, and is not something that everyone can do. PhD is hard work, so don't discount what you've done/are doing. Three publications are really good - not everyone have publications out before they finish their PhD.

It's great that you've met someone and are feeling very motivated to finish and get your life back. Personally I found setting small tasks and using timer like really help. Taking real breaks - get away from the computer and the thesis - help too.

Good luck. You're almost there!