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Disclosing mental health issues to supervisor
L

Thanks for your advice everyone, it’s been really helpful. Now I just need to pluck up the courage to tell him!

Disclosing mental health issues to supervisor
L

I’m a first year PhD student and I’m 7 months into my PhD. In December, I became pretty badly depressed, in February I decided that it was time to get professional help (through the university counselling service), but because of the waiting list I didn’t have my first appointment until the end of April.

Throughout this period, my progress has been insanely slow. I’m distracted, unmotivated, and highly stressed. I’m sure my supervisor has noticed the lack of progress, but he’s too nice to say anything. We don’t have a bad relationship, but we don’t have a great relationship since COVID limits the amount of face-to-face time the supervisors can have with their students. I am starting to feel a little better thanks to therapy, but I feel like it’s going to be quite a while before I’m back to my usual productive self. I’m not sure if I should tell my supervisor about what’s going on? On one hand, I’d like him to know what has been affecting my progress, but on the other hand, I’m not sure what good that will do. I’m also quite worried that he’ll think this is a weird thing to tell him about (it is quite personal after all), or treat me poorly because he sees me as less capable.

Does anyone have any advice/actual experience of going through this? I’m leaning towards keeping it to myself, but I’d really not sure.