Hi, new here and just looking for advice. I have just started a 4 year funded PhD straight off the back of my undergrad and having major doubts. I suffer with anxiety and depression as it is and I just have no motivation. I'm supposed to have started this week but im already bored, anxious and tearful and just can't make myself do anything....am yet to read a single paper and my hearts just not in it.
I want to quit but also have some reservations, mainly because its such early days and also because id feel awful for messing the uni around so much. There's also the issue of going back to being unemployed with no income (graduated in June and been unemployed since so big gap already). I dont know what to do but if im bored and fed up before I even start whats the point. It might be the depression talking but I just dont care enough to try.
Hey, depression is a serious thing. I'm sorry you are suffering. It's always best to start a PhD with good mental health, but struggling is not always a barrier. It's OK to feel a bit lost and a bit unsure at the beginning, most people do. I think I spent the first month of my PhD staring at a laptop wondering what on earth I was supposed to do. It's also hard to go from directed learning to suddenly directing your own learning.
Maybe have a chat with your supervisor? You could look at some training opportunities such as lit review courses to get you in to the swing of things.
Your university should have mental health facilities for you to use, try entering counselling or CBT before you make this decision, its always best to make life decisions when you are sure they are not directed by mental health.
There's absolutely no shame in deciding a PhD is not for you, or it's not the right time to embark on one, sometimes just knowing that gives yu a sense of control.
Do take your time, remember you are worth more than a PhD, you are a whole person with many wonderful qualities
If you feel like this in the first week then that's a pretty clear sign that the PhD process is not for you. I do understand the arguments from other posters above but I think this simply won't help you at this stage. It would be different had you been 2 years into your PhD and struggling.
I wouldn't worry about the university department. They will see a lot of people in your position. The funding will be passed to someone else.
As a separate issue, you probably want to look into getting support for your mental health issues. Your GP will help.
I wouldn't worry too much right now, given the current climate maybe look at this as 4 years security of employment on a subject you wanted to work on (which I assume by you applying for the phd position in the first place).
It can easily take six months to a year before you have a grasp on the subject and start doing or even planning something of importance.
Try to give yourself time and don't put pressure on yourself that everything has to be done in the first few weeks or months, that's simply not the case. Take small steps and if you feel the same in six months, talk it over with your supervisor.
Once you quit you might never have this chance again. So think long and hard before giving yourself the chance to move forward with this.
I'm going through a period of fairly bad depression currently which I have been for a few months now, I'm in the final year so I am trying to push myself through it. I can relate to the issues with lack of interest and motivation. I find focussing on the end goal now helps a bit. When feeling depressed you can lose interest in things that normally interest you so it makes decision making very difficult.
Think about why you made the decision to do the PhD and why you chose your particular project. If this doesn't help to motivate you then you perhaps you need to think if the PhD is really for you. I have a history of depression and anxiety and have had a lack of support during my PhD and it has been quite a negative experience at times as a result. Having an understanding supervisor will help and is I think is particularly important if you are susceptible to periods of poor mental health, in my experience supervisors don't always have a good understanding of these matters and central support has been lacking for PhD students where I am. Now is a good time to engage with support services and see what the support is like where you are.
I would perhaps wait a few weeks now before making a decision to see if your mood lifts. At this early stage in my PhD I was engaging in training courses and face to face networking with other PhD students. I don't find what is offered online now substitutes for this. You are starting a PhD at a difficult time currently.
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