A research study done by universities of Flanders (Belgium) consider that approximately one-third of Ph.D. students are at risk of developing psychiatric disorder like depression. In this surveyed 3,659 students enrolled in Ph.D. programs. About half reported recently experiencing at least two symptoms of poor mental health and other hands one-third of student’s survey reported at least four symptoms of mental health. Mental health problems can develop into serious threats to one’s well-being and career and can have detrimental consequences in the long-term. The most frequently cited symptoms were feelings of depression or unhappiness, constant strain, loss of sleep due to rumination, and an inability to overcome difficulties and enjoy day-to-day activities. Interestingly, the greatest predictor of psychological distress was when work prevented students from meeting the needs of their families. These findings don’t allow them to draw conclusions about the exact cause of the problems. The study evaluates that mental health problems in Ph.D. students are occurred due to their negative environmental conditions. Research suggests that the work environment is partially responsible for the prevalence of mental health problems.
The results are worrying for science for three major reasons:
1-The work of Ph.D. students constitutes a major source of scientific advancement, it is, therefore, crucial to protect and support it.
2-PhD students with mental health issues may pose a considerable cost to research institutions and teams.
3-If students are not helped in an adequate manner, they may leave research altogether.
The study suggests that which people have a clear vision about their future and they are taking correct path and taking interest in their well-defined career plan with inspirational supervisors less suffered by symptoms of mental health problems. Many types of research suggest that institutes should be increasing efforts to help students achieve a healthy workload balance by train supervisors to adopt constructive leadership styles.
Article By: Dr. Himani