Podcast

Podcast: Depression as a Warning Sign | Tonja Wright

The 11th episode of the Voices of Academia podcast is live!!! 

Listen to this episode directly at the link below, or click through to find the link to your preferred listening platform. 

Episode 11: Depression as a Warning Sign

TW: Depression

Emily chats with Tonja Wright, who opens up about how her PhD supervisors supported her when she was depressed, her discovery of the benefits of complementary medicine and the inspiration for her productivity and wellbeing business. 

Tonja opened up previously, in episode 10, about the difficult decision to leave her PhD when she was experiencing treatment-resistant depression.      

This episode covers: 

Resources:

  • Tonja’s business Design to Transform – an evidence-based, green, inclusive and vegan interior design consultancy for workplaces.
  • *Tonja’s web course to help working mums increase their productivity and wellbeing working from home (www.designtotransform.com)
  • Insight timer app – free guided meditations for anything you could imagine

*Keep on the lookout for this to be released. There is currently no business arrangement between Tonja and the podcast. We receive no kickback from mentioning her upcoming online course to help working mums increase productivity

Tonja is available on LinkedIn and Instagram

The full transcript of the podcast is available here, with many thanks to Dan Ranson 

For mental health support, please contact your GP or use the appropriate support for your country at https://checkpointorg.com/global/

If you’re interested in being interviewed, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit this brief form.

Finally, if you feel there are additional content or trigger warnings you would like us to add to our database, please contact us!

Recorded 13/05/2021.

Sound: Mindset by Ketsa is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, available through Free Music Archive.

Podcast: Withdrawing from a PhD | Tonja Wright

The 10th episode of the Voices of Academia podcast is live!!! 

Listen to this episode directly at the link below, or click through to find the link to your preferred listening platform. 

Episode 10: Withdrawing from a PhD

TW: Depression

Summary:

In this episode of Voices of Academia, Emily chats with Tonja Wright, who opens up about treatment-resistant depression, the difficult decision to leave her PhD, and how she is now grateful to have re-evaluated her life’s direction.  

This discussion includes: 

  • How Tonja and Emily met through a mutual friend at trivia and discovered shared mental health experiences during our PhDs
  • How Tonja’s experiences led her to start a business (Design to Transform) that uses evidence-based design to optimise productivity and wellbeing in workplaces
  • A few ‘getting to know you’ questions – what’s your favourite thing to do in your spare time? What were you like as a kid? What drew you to research? How has the pandemic impacted you? The answers to which really help develop an understanding of how Tonja’s experiences have led her to where she is now – if you prefer to dive right in to Tonja’s experiences in academia, most of this is covered from about 13.5 mins in.
  • Insight to the process of feeling ready to start speaking out, and how Tonja hopes others won’t delay getting support, as she did, due to feeling shame for experiencing reduced mental faculties in a high-achieving environment
  • Tonja’s first experience of depression as an academic, after having moved interstate to start her PhD
  • Acknowledgement that Tonja’s identity was tied up in intellect but that learning to see herself as more than her work was healing
  • Opening up to supervisors about experiencing depression
  • Taking 6 months sick leave off PhD
  • Mention of pharmaceuticals, getting linked up with healthcare services, and talking therapy, particularly schema therapy, which is discussed more in the next episode
  • Tips for navigating the healthcare system while depressed
  • How it felt to make the decision to leave a PhD
  • How Tonja re-evaluated her life’s direction after working toward a certain goal for over a decade

Resources:

  • Tonja’s business Design to Transform – an evidence-based, green, inclusive and vegan interior design consultancy for workplaces.
  • *Tonja’s web course to help working mums increase their productivity and wellbeing working from home (www.designtotransform.com)
  • Insight timer app – free guided meditations for anything you could imagine

*Keep on the lookout for this to be released. There is currently no business arrangement between Tonja and the podcast. We receive no kickback from mentioning her upcoming online course to help working mums increase productivity

Tonja is available on LinkedIn and Instagram

The full transcript of the podcast is available here, with many thanks to Dan Ranson 

For mental health support, please contact your GP or use the appropriate support for your country at https://checkpointorg.com/global/

If you’re interested in being interviewed, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit this brief form.

Finally, if you feel there are additional content or trigger warnings you would like us to add to our database, please contact us!

Recorded 13/05/2021.

Sound: Mindset and Hard Sell by Ketsa is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, available through Free Music Archive.

Podcast: Entrepreneurship & volunteering as healing | Dr. Mohamad Nadim Adi

The 9th episode of the Voices of Academia podcast is live!!! 

Listen to this episode directly at the link below, or click through to find the link to your preferred listening platform. 

Episode 9: Entrepreneurship & volunteering as healing

Summary:

In this episode of Voices of Academia, Emily chats with Dr. Mohamad Nadim Adi, who debunks the myth that it’s impossible to leave then return to academia. Nadim discusses the mental health benefits of starting his own business and volunteering for an organisation that made him feel valuable, before deciding to give academia another shot.  

Nadim opened up previously, in Episode 8, about perfectionism, a micromanaging Post-Doc supervisor & leaving academia for a few years.  

This discussion includes: 

  • Debunking the myth that it’s not possible to leave then return to academia
  • What it is about doing your own work that’s beneficial from a mental health point of view eg. Control over decision making, a unique skill set (as the people around you are no longer all researchers) etc.
  • Navigating starting a business when confidence is low
  • Liberation and control after the first few difficult years of starting a business
  • Performing a successful “pilot experiment” for the business before going all in
  • Continuing to volunteer at a research organisation to maintain a link to the “academic world.” For Nadim it was:
  • Volunteering can help address the isolation inherent to research.
  • Taking baby steps with commitments to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  • Seeking support systems in the midst of difficulties may blind you to what’s available.
  • Striving for a healthy lifestyle to avoid repeated burnout.
  • Highlighting to younger researchers that you might not end up in academia and that’s ok.
  • Trying to avoid always taking work home with you – focus on yourself.

Nadim is also available on LinkedIn 

The full transcript of the podcast is available here, with many thanks to Dan Ranson 

For mental health support, please contact your GP or use the appropriate support for your country at https://checkpointorg.com/global/

If you’re interested in being interviewed, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit this brief form.

Finally, if you feel there are additional content or trigger warnings you would like us to add to our database, please contact us!

Recorded 14/01/2021.

Sound: Mindset and Hard Sell by Ketsa is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, available through Free Music Archive.

Podcast: Confidence Chasm | Dr. Mohamad Nadim Adi

The 8th episode of the Voices of Academia podcast is live!!! 

Listen to this episode directly at the link below, or click through to find the link to your preferred listening platform. 

Episode 8: Confidence Chasm

CW: Weight gain, civil war, and a death in the family

Summary:

In this episode of Voices of Academia, Emily chats with Dr. Mohamad Nadim Adi, who opens up about feeling the pressure to be perfect, the detrimental health impacts of a micromanaging Postdoc supervisor & how the deterioration of his confidence led him to leave academia for a few years.  

This discussion includes: 

  • Laughing about the challenges of switching from architecture to programming
  • The pressure to be perfect affecting ability to complete simple tasks
  • Trial by fire professors
  • No prior family members having done a PhD
  • The difference between studying for/passing exams and experimentation
  • Doing reports last-minute and redoing them because they weren’t ‘good enough’
  • A micromanaging postdoc supervisor
  • Weight gain during the first year of Nadim’s postdoc that made him unhappy
  • Nadim learning to do what he could and adjusting only if necessary
  • Making the difficult mindset shift of letting go of perfectionism
  • Working in consulting for 5 years
  • Using knowledge of ‘learning by doing’ in Nadim’s company outside of academia
  • Leaving academia for a few years, missing it, and deciding to return
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Lacking confidence to write funding grants
  • The soft skills learned while doing research, like juggling a million balls in the air at once, critical thinking, and problem solving
  • Volunteering in organisations to help you feel good about yourself – if you can find a low stress environment where you receive appreciation as a volunteer. You might also see the immediate impact of your input, which can often be difficult in professional settings
  • Acknowledgement of an unhealthy ‘workaholic’ coping mechanism
  • Regret for holding the mindset that taking time off after a death in the family wouldn’t leave a good impression

Nadim is also available on LinkedIn 

The full transcript of the podcast is available here, with many thanks to Dan Ranson 

For mental health support, please contact your GP or use the appropriate support for your country at https://checkpointorg.com/global/

If you’re interested in being interviewed, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit this brief form.

Finally, if you feel there are additional content or trigger warnings you would like us to add to our database, please contact us!

Recorded 14/01/2021.

Sound: Mindset and Hard Sell by Ketsa is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, available through Free Music Archive.

Podcast: Taking Time Off | Jessica Marshall

The 7th episode of the Voices of Academia podcast is live!!! 

Listen to this episode directly at the link below, or click through to find the link to your preferred listening platform. 

Episode 7: Taking Time Off

TW: Sexual assault, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Summary:

In this episode of Voices of Academia, Emily chats with recently-minted Dr. (!!) Jessica Marshall, who touches on taking time off her PhD and the support she received from personal relationships, therapy and publicly-available systems after she experienced sexual assault. Jess opened up previously, in episode 6, about the friendship, partner, family and identity losses she experienced during her PhD. 

Key topics/resources: 

Jess doesn’t have Twitter but you can follow her on Instagram 

The full transcript of the podcast is available here, with many thanks to Dan Ranson 

For mental health support, please contact your GP or use the appropriate support for your country at https://checkpointorg.com/global/

If you’re interested in being interviewed, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit this brief form.

Finally, if you feel there are additional content or trigger warnings you would like us to add to our database, please contact us!

Recorded 23/10/2020.

Sound: Mindset by Ketsa is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, available through Free Music Archive.

Podcast: Loss during a PhD | Jessica Marshall

The 6th episode of the Voices of Academia podcast is live!!! 

Listen to this episode directly at the link below, or click through to find the link to your preferred listening platform. 

Episode 6: Loss during a PhD

TW: Divorce, sexual assault and suicidal ideation. 

Summary:

In this episode of Voices of Academia, Emily chats with recently-submitted PhD Candidate, Jessica Marshall (@JessicaMarshall), who opens up about the friendship, partner, family and identity losses she experienced during her PhD. 

This episode touches on the difficulties of finding work-life balance during a PhD, Jess’s difficult experiences with family, health and sexual assault during her degree, the impact these experiences have had on her life, why she believes she doesn’t belong in academia and how this has led to her future career goals.  

Key topics: 

  • Finances
  • Isolation
  • Some unhealthy reasons for pursuing academia
  • Trauma
  • Parental divorce
  • Family secrets – Identity collapse
  • Suicide
  • Sexual assault
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Putting on the mask
  • Choosing carefully who you open up to
  • Jess founded a science party business during her PhD, switching to developing merch during Melbourne’s epic COVID lockdown –  My Mini Scientist

Jess doesn’t have Twitter but you can follow her on Instagram 

The full transcript of the podcast is available here

For mental health support, please contact your GP or use the appropriate support for your country at https://checkpointorg.com/global/

Recorded 23/10/2020.

Sound: Mindset and Hard Sell by Ketsa is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, available through Free Music Archive.

If you’re interested in being interviewed, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit this brief form.

Podcast: Mindfulness: not some “Buddhist chant” | Daniel Ranson

The 5th episode of the Voices of Academia podcast is live!!! 

Listen to this episode directly at the link below, or click through to find the link to your preferred listening platform. 

Episode 5: Mindfulness: not some “Buddhist chant”

TW: Anxiety and a suicide attempt 

Summary:

In this episode of Voices of Academia, Emily chats with PhD Research Fellow, Daniel Ranson (@mrdanielranson), who is now a convert to mindfulness as a coping mechanism for anxiety, in addition to therapy, medication and insight from a mental health practitioner. Dan opened up previously, in episode 4, about perfectionism and OCD tendencies that progressively worsened from his undergraduate degree, onwards. 

This episode touches on:

  • Medication and its side effects
  • The principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and how Dan found his therapist
  • How to get past the negative connotations of ‘therapy’ eg. treating CBT as a gym for your mind
  • Insight from having a mental health practitioner in the home, helping Dan’s family understand how to interact with someone who is mentally ill
  • The power of company
  • Taking charge and making decisions for someone that is mentally ill and struggling to make their own eg. Let’s go get a coffee
  • Breaking down the barriers to embracing mindfulness – Dan never thought he would use this approach. He used to see it as some form of ‘Buddhist chanting’
  • Not opening up to anyone in academia
  • We are the next generation – we should model it for the way we want
  • What we think a PhD is going to be like and what it is are often very different things

Resources:

The full transcript of the podcast is available here. 

For mental health support, please contact your GP or use the appropriate support for your country at https://checkpointorg.com/global/

Recorded 03/12/2020.

Sound: Mindset by Ketsa is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, available through Free Music Archive.

If you’re interested in being interviewed, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit this brief form.

Podcast: Perfectionism & OCD | Daniel Ranson

The 4th episode of the Voices of Academia podcast is live!!! 

Listen to this episode directly at the link below, or click through to find the link to your preferred listening platform. 

Episode 4: Perfectionism & OCD

TW: Depression, anxiety, OCD and a suicide attempt. 

Summary:

In this episode of Voices of Academia, Emily chats with PhD Research Fellow, Daniel Ranson (@mrdanielranson), who opens up about perfectionism and OCD tendencies that progressively worsened from his undergraduate degree onwards. 

This episode touches on feeling pressured as a first-generation university student, overactive worrying, the two sides to perfectionism, development of OCD tendencies that impacted life, living with anxiety, depression, overwork, a suicide attempt, seeking professional help including medication and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), medication adjustments, stigma, medication overdose and recovery.   

Resources:

The full transcript of the podcast is available here. 

For mental health support, please contact your GP or use the appropriate support for your country at https://checkpointorg.com/global/

Recorded 03/12/2020.

Sound: Mindset by Ketsa is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, available through Free Music Archive.

If you’re interested in being interviewed, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit this brief form.

Podcast: Disability & The Power of Acceptance | Syreeta Nolan

The third episode of the Voices of Academia podcast is live!!! 

Listen to this episode directly at the link below, or click through to find the link to your preferred listening platform. 

Episode 3: Disability & The Power of Acceptance

TW: Sexual, emotional, and mental abuse, and medical trauma. 

Summary:

In this episode of Voices of Academia, Emily chats with undergraduate senior, Syreeta Nolan (@nolan_syreeta), about how learning to accept her disability and see it as a capability, not a liability, has shifted her life for the better. 

This episode touches on self-acceptance, self-care, disability Twitter, seeing a counselor, juggling self-care with emerging opportunities, learning to say no, asking for help, and empowering the next generation to feel like they can make it in academia. 

Resources:

The full transcript of the podcast is available here. 

For mental health support, please contact your GP or use the appropriate support for your country at https://checkpointorg.com/global/

Recorded 19/11/2020.

Sound: Mindset by Ketsa is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, available through Free Music Archive.

If you’re interested in being interviewed, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit this brief form.

Podcast: Navigating Invisible Disability | Syreeta Nolan

The second episode of the Voices of Academia podcast is live!!! 

Listen to this episode directly at the link below, or click through to find the link to your preferred listening platform. 

Episode 2: Navigating Invisible Disability

TW: Suicide attempts, medical trauma, and rape

Summary:

In this episode of Voices of Academia, Emily chats with undergraduate senior, Syreeta Nolan (@nolan_syreeta), about the mental health impacts of navigating disability within universities. 

This episode is essentially distilled down into two parts – Entering and progressing in academia after a mental health crisis, and the mental health impacts of trying to be accepted as a person with disabilities within academia. 

Resources:

The full transcript for the podcast is available here

For mental health support, please contact your GP or use the appropriate support for your country at https://checkpointorg.com/global/ 

Recorded 19/11/2020. 

Sound: Mindset by Ketsa is licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, available through Free Music Archive.

If you’re interested in being interviewed, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit this brief form.