We’ve collected some links for you from around the web. This week features several articles dealing with the reality of very serious mental illnesses in academia (i.e.., schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder), as well as some perspectives on mental health from undergraduates and medical students.
Why schizophrenia need not rob us of a life in academia (The Guardian)
In this piece Dr. Erica Crompton, an academic, talks about how openness and public acknowledgement of her condition has allowed her to not only get the support she needs, but also use an active work life to aid in recovery. She draws from other academics’ accounts of living and working with schizophrenia to talk about the “coming out” process, the benefits to institutions in hiring and supporting professionals with a mental illness, and how to care for oneself whilst working in academia.
Elyn Saks – a tale of mental illness, from the inside (Video – TED Talks)
Dr. Elyn Saks, a legal scholar, also talks about her life as an academic punctuated with schizophrenia. In her talk, she acknowledges everything that has worked in her favour and enabled her function and thrive. She acknowledges her delayed public disclosure of living with schizophrenia, as a product of stigma and fear of prejudice. She urges us to see people with psychosis with nuance, humanity and compassion.
Women in academe should not feel pressured to overcompensate (Inside Higher Ed)
In this article featured in Inside Higher Ed, Dr. Yvette Alex-Assonsoh talks about ways in which race and gender combine to create a context where female academics of color bear an extraordinary burden of intellectual, professional and emotional labor in order to succeed and thrive. In this enlightening piece, she offers some useful suggestions for self-care.
An important read for BPD month, this article from verywell.com takes us through how Borderline Personality Disorder could play out in an academic setting. It features some realistic skills to bear in mind in trying to cope and manage one’s academic load. Be sure to also check out our earlier post, “What It’s Like to be a Graduate Student with Borderline Personality Disorder.”
This article, featured on Oxford University’s independent student newspaper Cherwell, delves into a recent incident on their Facebook community page. The writer says “what was originally intended as a means through which students could air humorous disclosures has turned into an unlikely forum for a discussion about mental health, with the posts in question ranging from topics such as social isolation and gender dysphoria to self-harm and allusions to suicide. Such accounts potentially speak volumes about the successes and failures of mental health provision available to the student body, and demonstrate how much more both the university as an institution and we as individuals can do.”
This recent piece in The Conversation talks about the grim statistics of suicidality in doctors and particularly young doctors. Doctors experience higher levels of suicide and mental distress than their non-medical peers. It also reviews clusters of factors linked to these elevated levels of risk in this group, and suggests potential points of intervention to address it. The article contributes to the emerging discussion about mental health in education beyond the undergraduate degree.