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Author Topic: PhD Done, Ridiculously Depressed  (Read 24975 times)
alleyoxenfree
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Posts: 4,749

Countin' all these posts as publications


« Reply #30 on: May 06, 2012, 1:17:25 AM »

Storage unit is a good idea, as is a short-term rental.  College towns are often full of sublets.  Maybe there's a fantasy college town nearby or halfway to your new place.  I have twice done this for a summer, moving somewhere I've always wanted to live with just what would it in my car, and the rest in storage.  Focusing on logistics can be a good way to occupy the mind.

About the walk/not walk in the fall - this could be a thread of its own but I encourage you to walk.  Maybe it would be possible to do so at Christmas or even next spring.  I never did - my family couldn't come and made me feel it would be a self-indulgent expense.  Considering what I went through to finish, I've always thought I would do it differently and would insist on the hooding ceremony.  Big efforts deserve big damn completion ceremonies.
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grasshopper
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Grade Despot


« Reply #31 on: May 06, 2012, 8:20:04 AM »

Ah, more liminality.

Liminality truly sucks, Usedsock.  But it gets better.  You'll come out the other side a New Person.
I effing hate liminality. Annoying space to be/be in. Everything's all ass over teakettle, and you don't know whether you're coming or going, or if there's even such a thing as forward/backward movement.

The good news is that liminality isn't forever. Thank GOD.


I'm having a break-up crisis of sorts.
It is sort of like a break up, isn't it? We devote so much energy to this one thing, and then, poof! The bed is empty.

This is the one time in our careers when we have the opportunity to put our everything into ONE basket, and then suddenly, the basket is gone. Where do you put all the everything now? It's not like we miraculously stop producing the everything. The everything is still happening, but there's no basket.
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nezahualcoyotl
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Posts: 1,221


« Reply #32 on: May 13, 2012, 1:12:39 AM »

Glad you're feeling better, OP. For me, the immediate post-submission and post-defence periods were periods of euphoria, largely because I had an advisor from hell and a certain job I wanted seemed just within reach. But when that job didn't materialize, things started to go downhill fast - the period of unemployment I went through after graduation was extremely soul-destroying, and I began to view just about every major life decision I had ever made as a mistake. Then I got rejected for an adjunct-like position I applied for - I was told I was the best of all the applicants, but that they wouldn't give me the job because of certain red-tape requirements. I managed to get three postdoc offers but they were all rather undesirable for different reasons (one of them, for example, was in a far away part of the world where I've never even set foot on and with a much higher murder rate than Detroit and in a country poorer than my own Third World country - and yes, I seriously considered taking it). I did manage to get a decent postdoc, saving me from having to choose the lesser evil of the prior offers, but by this time I was seriously depressed. All I'm saying is you're not alone - if it's any comfort, there are others that can relate to what you've been going through.
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'Education is like a venereal disease; it makes you unsuitable for many jobs, and then you have the urge to pass it on.'
-Terry Pratchett

I do solemnly swear to obey all the laws of thermodynamics.
empathy
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Posts: 27


« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2012, 8:02:22 PM »

OMG, not good at all!

Usedsock, the key problem in your message is that you have no life prospects. Why not? Get some!

Look, you have had a major accomplishment. You have something lined up, not ideal, but something.

The future is open, and what you do with it is up to you. Scary? Yeah, but you know what, it's better than having everybody else telling you what to do.

Maybe the problem is that your life has changed to a point where it does not do you good to walk around as a usedsock. Maybe put on some sandals, take a stroll on the beach, explore some other trails and wiggle those toes. You can put your best foot forward but not if it stinks, so maybe do some laundry, get a pedicure, pamper yourself a little, and let your feet take you in a new direction.

I know it stinks right now but it doesn't have to for long if you just do a few things and if you can't do many, start small. Make a few plans, get a social network of people who can hold you accountable as well as advise you and have your best interest at heart. It's not hopeless but it can look that way at times, and I'm sorry you are in a dark place right now. I really know how it is to be there but there is sunshine and joy in life; you just gotta crawl out of that darkness to see it. A major door has opened for you with your degree, or at least cracked open but you can push it the rest of the way and get out and breathe.

Good luck and *hugs* to you,
Emp

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merope
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Expert in almost nothing practical.


« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2012, 8:42:40 PM »

I didn't have the crash that many of you describe, but I did have a long period of bewilderment, which started a few months before submitting my diss. I really felt like I didn't know how to describe myself anymore, because for such a long time I had been a person writing a dissertation and working on a Ph.D, and without those things, who was I? And like the OP, I transitioned into a period of adjunct employment with some uncertainty about where I was going to be living, and deeper uncertainty about what I was going to be doing after the adjuncting ran out.

In the end, it turned out that I am the same person I had always been, only now I have a finished dissertation, a diploma, and a fancy new hat. (Baleful, you should *totally* wear your regalia on your commencement day, if you can't make it back for the actual ceremony.) OP, I hope that you are able to find a path through all your uncertainty -- sometimes taking even one small action can help enormously in giving you a sense of some control in your life.
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The most intoxicating procrastination is time spent on a deceptively busy but unnecessary task that you can do well in order to avoid what you are not sure is good at all.
chicago_48
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« Reply #35 on: July 05, 2012, 5:43:29 PM »

I've just finished and filed the dissertation.  I have some s***ty one-year adjunct employment lined up for next year. It's enough to get by for a year. But I am more depressed than I have ever been. It's difficult to make myself do anything, ever.  I wish I could sleep 24 hours a day.  I don't enjoy anything, have no life prospects, and am too much of a coward to die.

I don't really have a question.
You should seek psych counseling.  If you're an alumni of the university, see if they have a student wellness center.
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oldfullprof
Ridiculous
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Representation is not reproduction!


« Reply #36 on: July 05, 2012, 7:07:46 PM »

I've just finished and filed the dissertation.  I have some s***ty one-year adjunct employment lined up for next year. It's enough to get by for a year. But I am more depressed than I have ever been. It's difficult to make myself do anything, ever.  I wish I could sleep 24 hours a day.  I don't enjoy anything, have no life prospects, and am too much of a coward to die.
I don't really have a question.
You should seek psych counseling.  If you're an alumni of the university, see if they have a student wellness center.

Make sure they give you a medical referral, too.  Anti-depressants help.  I had a version of this when I finished grad school, where a one-year VAP awaited me also.
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