Feeling dissociated with self and PhD

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    Hi there,

    I'm new to both this forum and articulating the things flying around in my head at the moment!I am in my second year of my PhD currently, it's a point that I have worked incredibly hard to reach; I have experienced consistent lapses in faith in both my research area and my own ability to conduct the research itself. I went into postgrad education with a lot of passion and excitement about particular research areas. These were topics/theories that interested my in my early teenage years, and really were what inspired and motivated me to pursue research. Nothing significant has happened, but I currently feel so tired of it all. I cannot remember the last time I read a paper and felt enthusiastic/excited; the general response I feel now is a sense of criticism and pessimism towards a particular finding or proposition. The desire to get back into this and feel good and motivated is very much there, but actually putting this into practice, and finding new ways to find my inspiration is tough. I can't find the energy to focus on reading, see friends, or even leave my house sometimes. I am currently taking antidepressants, so my gp is aware of these issues. I realise there is no immediate fix, or general consensus for making this better. I was just wondering if anyone else has had similiar experiences, and if so, whether they can offer any advise, however substantial that may be!

    Look forward to hearing some responses
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    (Original post by helianthus)
    I can't find the energy to focus on reading, see friends, or even leave my house sometimes.
    Good you went to the doctor. I'm going to say a list of things, tell me which of these apply to you

    -Do you Exercise daily?
    -Do you eat healthily?
    -Do you take extra vitamins
    -Do you get 8-9 hours of sleep?
    -Do you socialise? Do you feel lonely?
    -Do you do our own stuff such as reading what you like or watching videos
    -Do you have a lot of coffee and/or tea?
    -Do you have any illnesses or are around ill people - trust me something like this happened to me?
    -Do you have a lot of negative stress?
    -Are your tutors and stuff in good relations with you? Are they not helping you out?
    -Do you have effective time management?
    -Are you in a clean and organised environment?
    -Have you watched any motivational videos?
    -Have you perhaps just got a bit disengaged with your passion or are atm researching something not very interesting?
    -Is it a lot of hard work?

    I really want to hear what other people have to say, but it's important to try and identify the true problem. If you can get rid of political correctness and all your responsibilites and chains to anyone, who or what is the most annoying thing in the your life right now? Maybe that's the problem.
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    (Original post by helianthus)
    Hi there,

    I'm new to both this forum and articulating the things flying around in my head at the moment!I am in my second year of my PhD currently, it's a point that I have worked incredibly hard to reach; I have experienced consistent lapses in faith in both my research area and my own ability to conduct the research itself. I went into postgrad education with a lot of passion and excitement about particular research areas. These were topics/theories that interested my in my early teenage years, and really were what inspired and motivated me to pursue research. Nothing significant has happened, but I currently feel so tired of it all. I cannot remember the last time I read a paper and felt enthusiastic/excited; the general response I feel now is a sense of criticism and pessimism towards a particular finding or proposition. The desire to get back into this and feel good and motivated is very much there, but actually putting this into practice, and finding new ways to find my inspiration is tough. I can't find the energy to focus on reading, see friends, or even leave my house sometimes. I am currently taking antidepressants, so my gp is aware of these issues. I realise there is no immediate fix, or general consensus for making this better. I was just wondering if anyone else has had similiar experiences, and if so, whether they can offer any advise, however substantial that may be!

    Look forward to hearing some responses
    Yes yes and yes to all of the above. What you're describing is perfectly normal for a PhD researcher. If your supervisors approachable, try talking to them. If not (and I know many aren't) then your uni will have a Student Support department who can provide free counselling and advice. Being familiar with the stresses inherent in uni life/work, they may actually be more directly useful than your GP.

    If your uni has an active graduate community, try reaching out to your peers, socially. Once you start talking to others in your situation, you'll find that the way you feel is much more common than you imagine.

    I went through it and my route was via the Student Support department who were abolutely invaluable. It was initially sressful to articulate what I'd been feeling, but if you've managed to talk to your GP, hopefully you'd have a head start on me. My supervisors - although very pleasant and trying to help in a limited way - were part of the problem and so I didn't go to them. I'd always felt a bit isolated from my peers (despite them being very welcoming, I somehow never really gelled with them as a group) so I didn't get that involved, but I'd spoken to them enough to know that others were going through similar (or worse).

    Basically, my advice is to talk to someone who understands uni life.

    Good luck. Been there, done that and it isn't nice.
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    Aside from the other advice here (like counselling) which will no doubt help, I have a suggestion for reigniting your passion for the subject. Read popular science books in your area and try not to get bogged down in the details (by that I mean feel free to critique the author's opinion but don't chase up all their sources or anything). They are designed to engage and excite. They are nearly always well written and opinionated which can ignite your own mind whether you agree or disagree.

    It may help you grasp the bigger picture, gain an impression of the applications of your research or spark your imagination.

    What things did you read / watch that inpired you as a teenager? Trying reading / watching those again. I'm a statistician so I subscribe to the RSS magazine and it's sort like New Scientist for stats with simplified articles describing current research. I find it really exciting and inspiring even when it isn't directly related to my work.

    Basically interact with your research area for pleasure and not just work
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    You seem to write about me. Please don't hit me for my nagging
    When I passed postgraduate exams I was full of hopes and dreams. But it was too difficult to organize myself into a home-writing and home-reading man. I read a lot of motivating articles like this one: http://degreeway.com/blog/how-to-write-a-dissertation until it helped me. I found the article which said that I need to divide the number of pages of the dissertation on the number of remaining days. You just need to to carry out daily rate, said the author, and then you'll don't see boundless amount of the work. This is a great idea! - I said to myself. And it really helped me.
    But this was only the beginning of my troubles. When I began to write, really started, then I ran across a book or article, where were expressed ideas which seemed to me my own. It turned out I was not too strong as a scientist. Although my girlfriend tells me that I'm too early to give up.
    Then I was faced with the need to speak at conferences. But I am afraid of public speaking pathologically. That's why I began to study stage speech in drama school. But it was a mistake. Because these studies have taken away from me a long time and I became less and less work on my dissertation.
    Later I realized that the scope of my scientific interests was passion. That is, something like escapism. I study the philosophy of poetry, not because I was interested in it, but because I was fond of poetry and charmed by Martin Heidegger's poetic language. The issues on which I am working, worried me so as I am just a poet. But I had to work with this like a scientist.
    And now I am on second course. I'm sitting at home, working with a tutor children of primary school and reading imaginative literature. I gave up my dissertation and now I failed and disappointed.
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    People who ever used this site http://kingcitation.com/apa/? What do you think about it?
 
 
 
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