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Should I tell my PhD supervisor that I am depressed?

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Well-Known Member
This has been my work week

Monday: AM - one tiny piece of work. PM - locked myself in the bathroom to cry.
Tuesday: AM - stared at computer screen. PM - locked myself in the bathroom to cry.
Wednesday: stayed in bed, feeling awful.

It's not that I'll be missed. I'm a reseach student so I'm supposed to be self-motivated. So long as I get the work done it doesn't really matter what hours I keep, which is why I chose that path in the first place. I have cycles of highs and lows and normally I get enough work done when I'm high that I can afford the lows.

But at the moment I've been low for so long that I'm starting to serously fall behind. I know my supervisor's beginning to worry. But I don't know what to tell him. Part of me feels like I am I just using my depression to make excuses for my laziness. I've just started a new antidepressant so I'm hoping that it'll help me pick up soon, but its effects aren't likely to kick in for another few weeks and in the meantime I've got no motivation and no energy.

What are people's experiences? Is it a good idea to tell? Or should I let him go on thinking I'm just lazy.


In my experiences most people are pretty considerate about us with depression issues... maybe try and test the waters with it.. saying something along the lines that you are having serious troubles in your home/family/friend life and if they seam to be receptive or the what not, judge for yourself wether it would be usefull goin into more depth..


Antiquities Friend
Staff Alumni
Oh I would definetly tell him, no one likes laziness but depression can be understood by most people (everyone gets blue at some point).
I would even tell him that you're on meds and won't be up to par for at least a couple of weeks. That gives him a time frame to work with.

ps hope the meds make u feel better
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