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Does you department talk about it? - December 1, 2006 at 5:26
Brigitte Ciobanu
1 Posts

I was just wondering if there are any other physics students out there that have felt depressed at least once in their life.  As depression has been a long standing difficulty for me, I would like to connect to others who have dealt with this problem. This is a very common issue among college students and yet no one seems to be talking about it.  I would like to open up the subject for discussion and find out if your physics departments or your schools are doing anything to help the students cope with depression.  Any stories, issues, concerns or ideas are welcome.

Brigitte, CSU Sacramento.

Replies to Does you department talk about it?

Re: Does you department talk about it? - June 08 2007 11:56
36 Posts

Yeah I have had some episodes of depression at times throughout my academic career.  I am an Engineering Physics major in my 4th year of studies and I have to admit there has been some pretty stressful events through those years and it is not always easy to find people to talk about it.  I've managed to get some help through the head of our academic advising.  Through some discussions with her it was found out that I was approaching a burn out level in my studies and that I would have to change my class load.  So I've made some adjustments and it seems to be working.  Kick an email my way if you would like advice and such:

Re: Does you department talk about it? - June 11 2007 5:58
4 Posts

I have been hospitalized twice for severe depression, OCD, ADD and anxiety.  I am on meds to help control these and I see a shrink every 2 months.  My problems basically were with my pursuit of perfection, I would sacrifice my health to achieve the highest grades possible and think myself a failure if I even got an A-.  
Sounds pretty foolish now. My advisor, who is the Dept. head for physics at my school, understands where I come from, as he had this when he was going through Grad school.  We talk about once a month and he is very supportive.  Between him and my shrink, I can now accept B's.  I am only a part time student, 1/2 the regular load, but I work full time.  
I find it easy to talk with him as  I am 48 years old, (yes, it took me a long time to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life), and he is concerned with the well being of all his students.
It also helps that the Physics department here, University of Southern Maine,  is very small. 3 full time and 1 part time professor.
Also, here in Maine, depression is very common due to the low paying jobs, super high taxes and many other stresses in day to day living.

Re: Re: Does you department talk about it? - June 11 2007 11:47
Society of Physics...
293 Posts

Hi, all,
I was very interested to read your posts---I thought I would mention an interesting set of articles in the SPS Observer a few issues back on this topic, "Sometimes I Feel Like Quitting"...Here's the link:

Take care

Adjunct Professor of Physics, Editor of The Physics Teacher, and GWU SPS Chapter Advisor

Re: Re: Re: Does you department talk about it? - June 12 2007 1:48
4 Posts

Thanks for posting that.  It sheds some new light on my problems.

Any experience with a person that studies and studies and can do all the homework and extra problems but when they  get to an exam, they forget just about everything they know?
It's very frustrating. I am in Calculus now and study 5-6 hours a night, I can do all the homework and talk about proofs and theories but when it's time to take an mind goes blank.   I remember a lot of the problems and do them later at home, no problem.

Just one more thing to discuss with my shrink.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Does you department talk about it? - June 12 2007 10:43
36 Posts

Thanks for the posting Gary.

Here's two more articles that I found might be of use.  One is an article on depression from "The Why Files" and  the other article is on happiness which might be of interest.

Also if your interested in additonal cool articles here is the main page for the Why Files:  Science Behind the News.  Hope these might be helpful.

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