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Will I ever get through it?

Hi Cath,

I feel much the same way as you do. I'm in my fourth year, and I've been struggling with depression and anxiety basically since I started the degree. This year I finally went to a doctor and was prescribed medication. The medication seems to help a little bit — it quiets some of the inner voices that told me I was going to fail, but the thesis still feels like it's a long ways from being finished.

That being said, I'm of the opinion that I've come too far to quit. Others who started at the same time have finished the degree, but I also know of some who have struggled and had to essentially start writing from scratch. As others have said before, the phd seems to be more about stubbornness than brilliance. Of course, if its having physical effects on your health, you should do take steps to protect your health.

With regards to writing up, it's important to remember that there's no platonic 'form' that your thesis must adhere to. There are many acceptable forms that the finished product could take, and no work will ever be perfect.

Also, I know how it feels to not see a light at the end of the tunnel. I have rough versions of all my chapters written, but there's so much to do, it feels like I will never finish filling in gaps and completing revisions. I wonder if there's some way we could chart our progress to see that much of the work really is behind us, and that there really will be a point when everything is, if not perfect, at least acceptable.

Best wishes!