This week I received an email from a reader who had recently been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. She was asking for resources I might know of to help her navigate her Ph.D. program in light of her mental illness. I didn’t know of any, so I put out a request on Facebook and Twitter. The response was instantaneous and big.
I compiled all the recommendations into the following list. As you can see I just cut and pasted directly from the comments on Twitter and Facebook, without elaboration. They are in no particular order, and I have not yet read most of these and can’t vouch for them. But many responders also asked to be sent any list of resources I might develop, and I wanted to share the list for the benefit of those who asked. It seems clear to me that this topic is close to the heart of many.
(I don’t know why some of the links ended up not live, but if you cut and paste them as a new url they do work).
I would like to solicit guest posts on the general theme of mental illness in the academy, and ways that people have coped with it, and challenges that they have encountered. If you are interested in writing one, anonymously or not, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also email me if you know of other resources to add to this list.
Academia and Mental Illness Resources
Dimitri Mihalas is an astrophysicist who has written fairly extensively about his experience with bipolar disorder.
Elyn R. Saks. http://prospect.org/article/professors-story;
Anne Cvetkovich: Depression: A Public Feeling
Barbara Jago “Chronicling an Academic Depression.” Autoethnography. http://www.polkfolk.com/docs/Writing/Jago.pdf
An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison. Also, Touched With Fire.
“An Inappropriate Illness” by Mark Grimsley. Deals with Acute Mania and Bipolar Disorder. http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/09/26/grimsley
Margaret Price. Mad At School. http://www.press.umich.edu/1612837/mad_at_school
Melody Moezzi is a lawyer/activist who writes for Bipolar Monthly on her experience with Bipolar Disorder; I’m not sure it’s helpful in terms of specifically an academic context, but in terms of her professional life and her background as an Iranian-American I think it’s useful. http://www.amazon.com/Haldol-Hyacinths-A-Bipolar-Life/dp/1583334688
John W. Belcher. A tenured physics professor, on his 20-year struggle with depression. http://tech.mit.edu/V133/N13/belcherdepression.html
Katie Pryal. Many excellent Vitae columns on mental illness in the academy; start with Disclosure Blues: Should You Tell Your Colleagues about Your Mental Illness?
Gerda Saunders. My Dementia: Telling Who I Am Before I Forget. From Slate.
Robert Corrington “Riding the Windhorse” http://www.amazon.com/Riding-Windhorse-Manic-Depressive-Disorder-Wholeness/dp/076182619X/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1360622600&sr=1-3&keywords=robert+corrington
Keguro Macharia, a Kenyan scholar who quit his tenure track position, on racism and depression. http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/on-quitting/
Tasha Golden. Creativity is Neither Magic Nor Madness. On depression and creativity, from the world of creative writing. On Ploughshares.
Emily Martin on Bipolar Disorder. http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8502.html (this seems to be a study of Bipolar Disorder in American culture in general.)
Esme Weijun Wang on Bipolar Disorder during her time at Yale. http://esmewang.com/2011/02/why-i-left-yale-mental-illness-higher-education/
Karen Nakamura A Disability of the Soul: An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan. (a study of Japan, but includes discussion of the author’s experience of depression).
Lisa T. McElroy. A law professor writes of life in academia with a severe anxiety disorder.
Rich McLean, on living with schizophrenia.
DoubleXScience blog: http://www.doublexscience.org/i-am-mental-illness-anorexia-biting-back/
http://www.insidehighered.com/blogs/gradhacker/perils-perfectionism Not sure this fits your request, but this article by is a powerful piece. Lots in the comments too.
On Imposter Syndrome: http://chronicle.com/article/An-Academic-With-Impostor/138231/
On Imposter Syndrome: see also the guest post on the topic on this Professor Is In site.