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How much crying is normal?

I saw this question on Reddit under the GradSchool subreddit. 

How much crying is normal?


Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash


How to PhD response:

On the one hand, it is totally OK to cry.

On the other hand, if it is getting in your way of normal function, then it is not OK.

It is time to get help.

Mental illness is very common in graduate school.

Good news is like with many other illnesses you can take deliberate steps to get better.

Make use of your student health insurance and student health center to see doctors and counselors.

It is challenging to take time out of an overwhelmingly busy schedule to do this, but you and your health are worth it.

Typically, unless things get beyond some threshold of bad we don't go to the doctor.

I did the same thing.

Graduate school does not exactly encourage a very healthy lifestyle.

At one point my anxiety issues got so bad I could not sleep.

I thought about work literally 24/7.

I could not turn off.

So, I went to the doctor hoping for some kind of quick and easy cure.

Like Ativan.

But she did not write me a script for Ativan.

Instead, she said I should exercise.

Dammit.

I don't know if she was right or wrong to do that but I tried to follow the doctor's orders. 

I tried to incorporate swimming into my schedule.

I love water and swimming really helps to calm me down.

They say if your heart is racing, dunk your face in cold water :/

Well, swimming does that for you. 

Over time, I found the benefits of swimming to be so great that I made more effort to keep up with it.

I realized what was happening.

I was learning to be more healthy - I still am.

Graduate school is tough and poses many problems.

But I realized that these problems are opportunities to learn how to be healthier.

If nothing else, let's learn to live a better life. 

And remember that you deserve better than being miserable all the time.

Lastly, I do NOT want to imply that swimming is the solution to all mental health issues.

I am just sharing what helped to alleviate some of mine.

I am not a health professional so I really do not know the answers related to your health - I only encourage you to seek the help you need.

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