I had a wonderful experience on my PhD study which was an AHRC funded PhD at an elite university in the UK. I loved my topic and the whole world of academia. I was extremely ambitious and threw myself into everything I could as well as my thesis, publishing journal articles,editing books, organising large conferences etc as well as working on my thesis. It was qualitative research in social sciences and a topic very close to my heart. MY working practices were somewhat unusual (very unmethodical and quite disorganised and chaotic) but somehow the final produce was deemed to be excellent. Sometimes I wouldn't work for weeks very much, and then write thousands of words in a day. I would often take notes and then not go back to them, they were on my computer somewhere but I would sit down to wrote a chapter and then just kind of remember which texts to go back to and use them (so I had kind of internalised the information I suppose). I analysed the transcripts but very inductively - reading over and over to grasp the main themes and then focusing on them.
During the PhD process I was dealing with a number of difficult personal issues and there were a number of difficult issues with other academics (one was with a difficult editor, one another academic betrayed my trust and abused her power), although my relationship with my supervisor was excellent.
I submitted my thesis and had a huge mental breakdown - horrific that devastated my entire life. brought up lots of personal issues I never even knew I was struggling so much with. I eventually passed my PhD with no corrections at the viva. However, I have this terrible belief that I did something wrong in my thesis and 'cheated' somehow, that I didn't do it properly. It feels beyond the usual imposter syndrome which I am sure I did have.
I have just secured an post-doc but it is hard to go back to my work when I believe there is something wrong in there. That I cut corners, or didn't analyse the data right or something. The university are adamant there is nothing wrong with my work.
Because my working practices were so strange and a lot was held in my head and worked on in my head it is hard to retrace my steps to 'check' everything.
Has anybody else ever experienced believing you did something wrong somehow and don't deserve your qualification?