Depression, Anxiety High in Graduate Students

Posted on May 22, 2018

According to a comprehensive survey of 2,279 individuals conducted via social media and direct email, the disparity between graduate students and the general population proved to be about equal for both mental health conditions- depression and anxiety. On the respective scales utilized to test anxiety and depression, 41 percent of graduate students scored as having moderate to severe anxiety while 39 percent scored in the moderate to severe depression range. This is compared with 6 percent of the general population as tested previously with those same scales.

According to Teresa Evans, Ph.D., and Lindsay Bira, Ph.D., of UT Health San Antonio, there is a growing cry for help from graduate students across the globe who struggle with significant mental health concerns. Despite increased discussion of the topic, there remains a dire need to resolve our understanding of the mental health issues in the trainee population. These issues, as identified in the study, include work-life balance and trainee-adviser relationship.

The graduate students were asked whether they agree with the statement, "I have a good work-life balance." Fifty-six percent of graduate students experiencing moderate to severe anxiety and 55 percent of students experiencing depression said they did not agree. Also, 50 percent of graduate students experiencing anxiety and depression said they did not agree with the statement that their principal investigator or adviser provides "real" mentorship.

The strikingly high rates of anxiety and depression support a call to action to establish and/or expand mental health and career development resources for graduate students through enhanced resources within career development offices, faculty training and a change in the academic culture.

Category(s):Anxiety, Depression

Source material from Science Daily

Mental Health News