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Depression amongst academics watch

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    http://www.theguardian.com/higher-ed...ure-university

    Something that I find slightly worrying as a PhD student is that in academia, hardly anyone is given sufficient training in any sort of appropriate leadership or communication skills. This is because academic staff are funded solely on the quality of their research as opposed to their ability to communicate with people. As a result, having been a university student for 4+ years, I can't help but notice unprofessional behaviour from academics and coarse social skills. On the other hand, there are some really nice and helpful staff, but the range of quality of communication from academics is very large. I've also heard stories of PhD students having domineering supervisors who stop them from having the freedom that they are entitled to.

    Furthermore, it seems as though this behaviour is just accepted as the norm in academia - and as undesirable as it may be, there is practically no support offered to academics in the form of counselling or therapy. This is a pretty vital thing to miss out because a lot of academics behave in such a way where it would be recognised that something was wrong by their colleagues (as in a non-academic job). There also seems to be this notion that if you can't handle the pressure and stress of academia then you shouldn't be doing it. Quite frankly, in this day and age I think this is unacceptable and that there needs to be more government funding towards mental health support for academics.

    TL;DR - Basically academics seem to be more prone to mental health problems and greater presence of unprofessional behaviour. What are your thoughts on the article?
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    I couldn't be bothered reading the whole thing, but how could academic people be unprofessional? I didn't know having poor social skills equated to being unprofessional, maybe if you are teaching or something I guess...
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    Academics probably do tend to be prone to eccentric personalities. First off, they are obsessed with their subject matter, which is why they are academics, and there isn't much requirement for social skills to be a good academic. So, it naturally would attract people who are high functioning but may not have the best social skills.

    I think it is just accepted, in the long run, discoveries matter more than personalities. I'm sure some of the greatest minds in the world probably aren't the type you'd have a beer with, but does that really matter when they've made such major advancements?
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    (Original post by Okorange)
    Academics probably do tend to be prone to eccentric personalities. First off, they are obsessed with their subject matter, which is why they are academics, and there isn't much requirement for social skills to be a good academic. So, it naturally would attract people who are high functioning but may not have the best social skills.

    I think it is just accepted, in the long run, discoveries matter more than personalities. I'm sure some of the greatest minds in the world probably aren't the type you'd have a beer with, but does that really matter when they've made such major advancements?
    Whilst having virtually no medical knowledge, so my comment is based purely on popular myth, there is certainly folk wisdom of a link between genius and mental instability, I understand studies have been done though how conclusive they are I have no idea.

    However if such a correlation does exist it would explain a higher than average rate of mental illness amongst academics, who are by definition a population of people with higher than average IQ.

    See below as an example of commentary on the subject.

    http://www.medicaldaily.com/why-smar...lly-ill-270039
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    the problem with being smart or having too much time to think is that some things are just a rabbit hole which you will begin to question and many moons later regret ever questioning but it is too late like Medusa witnessing her own reflection your eyes have been sewn open to reality and you still have to pretend to be a high-functioning, affable human being with utmost professionalism. The crippling solitude of the eccentric, tale as old as time
 
 
 
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