It is mentally exhausting to do a PhD. Why?

A completely smooth, enjoyable and fun PhD experience is only for the fortunate.  Otherwise, not many would say that they love their PhD as statistics have proven, across the world a PhD is a mentally and physically perplexing journey.  There is a large percentage of PhD scholars who would be suffering from some or the other mental problem. It is surely a challenge to the mental sanity of a person, and the reasons are:

  • It is a long and lonely journey. You have to work for a long time on a project, all by yourself. You may not find a person to discuss or argue over small or big challenges and issues as you are the only one working on the project so the challenges and the victory, both are your own.
  • There comes a phase in your PhD where you would feel like you are lost somewhere and you may be confused about your efforts going in the right direction.
  • There will be a lot of effort that would go waste in a PhD. It is all learning through experiments and you may feel that all the hard work that  you are doing isn’t of much use.
  • You get to feel and experience the fruits and of your effort and hard work only after few years of your PhD, when your work gets recognition through publication or you pass through your viva with flying colours.
  • You supervisors would be rarely bothered with your personal well-being. They would be only concerned with the fact that you are doing your research work within the stipulated time frame. You will have to become your own manager, and pull up your socks every time that you feel distraught or demotivated.
  •  There will be many situations where your work would get criticized, and it will become very difficult to not take the comments personally. This can be challenging many times because the critical comments wouldn’t come only from your supervisor but from peer, colleagues, examiners, and a lot of other sources, known or unknown.
  • Sometimes there is a scope of a strained relationship with the supervisor because of various reasons including communication gap, differences in personality etc.
  • A lot of things in your Ph.D. would unfold in a way you did not want. Most of them maybe out of  control, and you may feel stuck or handicapped, not being able to deal with the situation.
  • Ph.D. surely is a test of your persistence, and your determination.

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