Leave of Absence advice

23-Oct-18, 10:50
edited about 13 seconds later
Avatar for TheatrePlode
posted about 10 months ago
Hi, I've posted before abut my severe depression and anxiety (which is getting worse) and that I was thinking of quitting. I've been thinking of taking a leave of absence instead, to give me time to get better and really think if I want the PhD, and I have a few questions:

1. Is it appropriate when only been doing the PhD for 5 weeks and had a 2 week holiday? The holiday I booked for myself because I was ill and was too ashamed to go off-sick, I actually briefly calmed down over the two weeks, but it spiked back up when I returned. I feel awful because I've only put 3 weeks into the PhD, but I'm also constantly battling with my mental health.
2. Should I apply for jobs before or after applying for a leave of absence? (Only asking because they can refuse your request).

Thank you for any advice!
23-Oct-18, 12:57
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 10 months ago
The word "appropriate" doesn't apply here. You are ill. This is not about holidays. This is about your health. If you had broken your leg, you probably wouldn't be asking about this.

The advice I gave you on the last thread still stands and you have not yet said whether you basically want to do the PhD or not. That then causes me some confusion because in your second point you talk about applying for jobs.

It is beginning to sound like you have decided to quit the PhD and that you are asking if it is OK to take a leave of absence and job hunt whilst still being paid the stipend knowing you have no intention of going back to the PhD. Am I correct about this?
23-Oct-18, 19:28
Avatar for TheatrePlode
posted about 10 months ago
You do have a point about the "appropriate" thing, I need to stop with the line of thinking.

As I understand it, I won't get paid during the leave of absence (though I could be wrong), I was asking if I should apply for jobs before getting the leave or wait till I get the leave.

Sorry if it's confusing! I feel in my head that I will probably end up quitting eventually, but I don't want to entirely close myself off, though I think that's more from a sense of duty than actually wanting the PhD.
24-Oct-18, 19:14
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 10 months ago
You are sick. I have had my fair bit of anxiety issues and I am not a therapist. But it sounds to me like you don't know what you want to do and worrying about everything in a chain reaction, that destroys your health. From personal experience, you need to focus on what you want to achieve/do. Until you decide that, you will keep worrying about what is the right decision and get depressed that you haven't got anything (when you trying to achieve everything).

I would take a leave of absence and decide if a PhD is for you. A PhD is a long long process and I don't recommend it unless you are fully committed. It is your life, live it the way you want, not what other people want.
25-Oct-18, 05:42
edited about 6 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 10 months ago
I don't understand your point about a "sense of duty".
Your only duty is to make decisions in your life which benefit you.
As rewt says, it is not appropriate to be making decisions based on what other people think.
Especially when you are in ill health.
You are trying to solve all of your problems at once when you need to be making decisions one at a time.
Your first and only goal is to decide in your head whether to end the PhD or not.
You dont need to resign but you do need to make that simple decision.
Until you resolve this, it's pointless to think about applying for jobs or anything else.
One decision at a time.


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