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My PhD destroyed my life

I understand all too well how you feel. The stress and anxiety that comes with graduate school is too often unconscionable to others. The feelings and thoughts of suicide is the ultimate state of burnout. It's NOT selfish - in fact, the thoughts of how it would make the ones you love feel, the devastation your parents would feel, weighs most heavily on your heart. For me, it's like I no longer wish to burden others with my failures, that I want to take away the stress I lay on others by talking about my reality. Sure, you can seek help - but in my experience there is no way for others to help. For others to so easily dismiss you by saying "get help" really drives home how little others understand your situation. I do not want drugs that will dull my sense of very real feelings. The fact that prescriptions are the go to for mental health "professionals" is also dismissive of what is really going on. Like you, I experienced suicidal thoughts, and an attempt, in graduate school. Like you I feel like a failure - that I wasted my life and let other opportunities to pursue happiness pass me by because I had these noble fantasies of saving the world and curing cancer with my PhD. Now, after 12 years of schooling, a piece of flimsy paper that says I have the Dr. prefix ahead of my name, no one will hire me or take me seriously. I am unmarried after a troublesome 10 year relationship, no children, no friends, no family, no job - the list goes on. What I find that helps me is reading books for pleasure instead of study, taking a few days off of the job hunt, exercise every day with my dog (this one is so, so important), avoiding substances like alcohol and mj, and writing a journal about my feelings. Since no one except you understands how you really feel, then I think talking to yourself in writing can be very productive. It sounds tacky, but meditation can also help. I am an atheist, so it might sound weird, but going to church just to be around nice people and fun music can also be an avenue of momentary joy. I'm not sure if my words will help, since I can only speak to my own experiences. I did register an account on this forum just to reply to this post - so your words and thoughts matter, ok?