The most critical point in time...


Some argue that the most difficult and depressing time during a 36 month PhD is the time between month 16 and 20 (close to the "mid point"). Personally I found the first months also very depressing.

Anybody confirming the statement above or any experiences concerning this issue. Is there a point in time (for example after month 25) where the probability to quit is lower?


I remember having a blip about halfway through my second year, near the time you mention - I was basically doing too much (additional paid jobs, trying to prepare for conferences, preparing for my wedding, being academic course rep, etc). I shed several activities and got married, and for a while rode on a crest of being a Mrs.

However my worst point I think came in my third year, about month 30, I became clinically depressed and had no confidence. I didn't know where I was going with my thesis and ended up breaking down and having several weeks off. It helped, I saw my doctor and have now recently completed my PhD.

I think the overall message is try not to give up at all if you can - I was so close, so very close, but am now so glad that I didn't.


I'm nearly into month 16 and yes its the worst time right now. Feeling pretty poo about everything and even ended up in hospital today. Think I have been overdoing things a bit


Gosh, Jen. That is not good. Here is an electronic hug from me...(((((Jen))))). Hope you feel better tomorrow.


Jeez, Jen, hope you're OK! what happened?!


Apparently half of all PhD students end up clinically depressed

Only a few months in and it is a lot tougher emotionally than I thought it would be


Gosh, Jen, hope you're OK. I've been having a hard time, from month 13 till now (month 17). The first year was ace, then it all went to pot!! Hoping it will pass...


Im at the 17-month mark, and all of a sudden it's 'booosh' - sooo much to do, so many deadlines and writing to do (preparing for transfer panel). Ive found that its the sheer amount of work that kicks in at this stage that is the hardest thing to deal with.


I am 20 months in and have been quite lucky in the sense that I have enjoyed almost every minute of what I have done so far. However I had my 1st real Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr/Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh day today - just completely overwhelmed with workload + my PT paid stuff + family. I am proud to say that I ovrcame this in true research student style and ... went and had an afternoon power nap, rather than anything productive.


I meant


Feeling much better today. My vision went crazy and I couldn't see parts of things e.g. I looked in the mirror and couldn't see part of my face. I was all dizzy and nearly passed out. The hosp said it was most probably migraine type thing but I have never had migraines before. Going into uni tomorrow but I feel quite embarassed about it. They must think I'm such a drama queen!


you did the right thing - always better to check


The "afternoon power nap" is more productive than it initially seems. If I feel that I need to sleep, and I don't, then my reading and writing really amounts to nothing, regardless how long I spend doing it. 30 minites sleep and a cup of coffee sees me more focused and concentrated - the secret is getting back to work after the nap.


You guys make me feel bad for enjoying myself :(


Ah Jewel, don't feel bad. It's good that you are enjoying yourself. I an nearing the end now and can honestly say there have been many ups and downs along the way. We all need those good times to motivate us when things are more difficult.

To everyone having a tough time at the moment, I hope things pick up soon.