March 1, 2016
There came a point for me, during my fourth year, when things just bottomed out. I wasn’t teaching or taking classes, since I had just become a candidate, which meant I had a year of fellowship to get going on my dissertation. I’d been struggling for a while with a generally manageable level of stress and anxiety and what (looking back) I now realize was depression. None of this seemed unusual though, because grad school is a stressful environment to begin with, and it’s so easy and common for anxiety to develop over 5-7 years of graduate school. When everyone around you is generally stressed and often dealing with anxiety to varying degrees, that starts to seem normal and you don’t think much of it.