This is the third installment of the series: What can I do if my advisor wants me to keep working, even while I'm on medical leave for severe depression?
So, many months were gone and I'm still clinically depressed. Medication helps just a little bit, but I don't know how could I live without it. I had a very bad day at the lab a couple of weeks ago, and I posted on my personal profile in a social media that "life sucks, I can't take this anymore, my life is a failure, I wish I were dead".... that stuff. I was on my personal profile, and I wrote something like this before when I got really stressed. Nothing out of this world.
However, some of my lab mates and grad colleagues saw my post and went to the Head of the Program (faculty and staff too) "worried about a suicidal student".
It didn't end well. The HoP called my adviser and asked her about "a troubling student" that she may be dealing with. My advisor tried to save my back saying positive things about me. But the HoP said if I continue causing trouble, my adviser should send me to her and "she will take care of this mess".
This is not a good thing. I heard rumours that the department thinks about getting reasons to kick me out of the program, because if I leave - and never come back - the program itself would be penalized with less government funding. That wouldn't happen if I get expelled. Apparently, they don't want to take that risk.
But I want to stay. So, how to deal with this kind of environment? My professor got my back (after all problems that we had, so I happy for that), but the "Witch Hunters" are lighting up their torches. How to deal with a department that wants your head??
Even if I stay, how to deal with the stigma about depression and suicidal thoughts in academia? Everyone here thinks I'm about to star the second season of the Netflix's series 13 Reasons Why. I am now the "crazy psycho guy."