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195 votes
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How to deal with a student who most likely has a mental condition, and keeps arguing with me in class?

I have responsibility for students with alternate needs within a Computer Science department and thus have professional experience of the situation you describe. It is not uncommon in our subject. ...
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190 votes
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I'm afraid of chemicals. How do I handle my required uni biology class?

To further echo one of the comments: Seek professional help. This may be a trained psychologist, or even just a general medical practitioner, who may be able to direct you to another institution if ...
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  • 126k
188 votes

Two years into my PhD program, and Mom is dying of cancer. Should I tell my advisor about it?

My deepest sympathies for what you are going through. You should certainly tell your advisor. No reasonable person would believe that you are using this situation as an "excuse" for poor performance. ...
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  • 107k
169 votes

Is declining an undergraduate award which causes me discomfort appropriate?

I suggest a third way: Write a concise e-mail to whoever is handing out the award that you would prefer to receive it silently for the reasons you cited (not wanting to be reminded of your disease), ...
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  • 50.9k
159 votes
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Why would a university permit a disabled student to Gmail with university staff, in lieu of her official university email (ending in .edu or .ac.uk)?

Gmail supports accessibility features such as screen readers. Possibly those features are not supported, or not supported as well, by the university’s in-house email system. Since the directive to ...
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  • 168k
158 votes
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How can I recover professionally from being a crank?

A few suggestions: If it were me, I would be very forthcoming about the illness. Of course, no one is entitled to your private medical information, so you will have to decide what you're comfortable ...
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143 votes
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How to deal with anxiety and depression after being kicked out of PhD program?

Seek clinical help! The fact that you are here means that you are someone who believes that you need the help of others and that is very respectable. The problem is that this community, with all the ...
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  • 2,180
138 votes

Will my cancer ruin my chances of going to graduate school in math?

First of all, I’m happy you’re doing better! It would take a truly heartless committee to ignore the circumstances. In the US it’s illegal if I’m not mistaken, but from a recruiter’s perspective I ...
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  • 23.2k
119 votes

Dismissed from PhD due to disability-related misconduct: how to answer question about dismissal?

It's not easy to understand how a mental health issue can lead to plagiarism, and it's less clear still how a medical practitioner could reach the conclusion that a specific instance of plagiarism was ...
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  • 3,308
117 votes

What can be done about a disruptive classmate?

You would handle this the same way you would handle anything in class that impacts your ability to learn. You contact the instructor, and suggest that there is something disruptive going on.
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113 votes
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What can I do if my advisor wants me to keep working, even while I'm on medical leave for severe depression?

There is only one suitable course of action I recommend, as an advisor and a physician. Stop with anything that has a potentially detrimentally effect on your health and focus on your treatment (thus ...
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109 votes

Dismissed from PhD due to disability-related misconduct: how to answer question about dismissal?

You can't really hide the fact that you were dismissed for plagiarism. If you do, and it comes to light later, that can be sufficient grounds to have your admission revoked (or to be expelled). If ...
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  • 171k
108 votes

My supervisor doesn't believe in depression

Your university should have policies in place for equitable treatment of individuals with disabilities (which mental disorders like depression count as being among), which your supervisor is almost ...
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  • 9,426
106 votes

How to deal with a student who most likely has a mental condition, and keeps arguing with me in class?

As a fellow TA, I would definitely recommend that you discuss this issue with the professor in charge of the course as taking matters into your own hands without his knowledge (especially with special ...
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105 votes
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Prof's neurological health is declining rapidly. What can I (TA) do?

Let the department head know what you've observed. You can write an anonymous letter if you feel uncomfortable or are worried about burning bridges. (I've been in this situation, as a student. We - ...
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  • 107k
104 votes

Is it common for people in academia to experience prolonged lack of sleep and how to deal with it?

There are three basic approaches to handling this: Paul Erdos' approach. Pros: it worked for Erdos, after a fashion. Cons: you are not Erdos. Crack, maybe have a psychotic episode, and leave ...
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  • 180k
97 votes
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How can I avoid the embarrassment associated with needing a sabbatical for alcoholism and mental health treatment?

This is a tough question, and you have my sympathies. A sabbatical is time off from on-campus responsibilities given to enhance your long term scholarly life. It varies in its implementation from ...
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96 votes

Is a professor allowed to require me to give him permission to speak with my doctor before letting me make up an exam?

That sounds like a big no to me, but that comes from Germany with very strict rules on privacy. Your medical condition is your thing, and yours alone. If you have a document that certifies your ...
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  • 951
93 votes
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The lecturer supposed to grade my presentation fell asleep while I held it. Should I complain?

The first thing to note here is that sleeping in such situations is often not a voluntary action, but a physiologically unavoidable response to the situation the body is in - many people die every ...
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  • 30.2k
93 votes

Why does this site give different answers about leaving a bad situation compared to Workplace.SE?

I suppose I disagree with the comparison between Academia.SE and Workplace.SE and your three points in general, but there's an answerable question here. I also agree with cag51's points that we (and ...
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92 votes

What can I do if my advisor wants me to keep working, even while I'm on medical leave for severe depression?

You are on sick leave. Take it and take it seriously. You didn't take the last two sick leaves seriously, did work, and still remained sick. It's just as if you had a broken foot and kept walking on ...
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  • 39.8k
89 votes
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Handling Disruptive Student on the Autism Spectrum

"they're not done with ill intent" Although disruptive behaviours by people with autism/autistic people are not done with ill intent, they do usually respond well to clear boundaries and feedback. A ...
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  • 3,336
88 votes

Two years into my PhD program, and Mom is dying of cancer. Should I tell my advisor about it?

My mother died shortly after I matriculated to my PhD program. I actually could not finish all of my classes, and had to make up work the following semester. Everyone involved (dept. head, advisor, ...
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  • 2,435
88 votes
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Why is my mood dictated so much by how well my research is going?

Does anyone else experience this? Yes, I'm pretty sure we all do to some extent, and that it's one of the defining characteristics of being a researcher that you get so emotionally involved in your ...
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  • 168k
81 votes

What to do with students requesting deadline extension due to the death of a relative (but without a doctor's note)?

Should we just let these things go? Yes. Either the situation is real, in which you would be causing great harm in refusing and distressing the student further OR the student is lying and they get an ...
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  • 30.2k
78 votes

What can be done about a disruptive classmate?

I've unfortunately been on the other end of this as a lecturer in a very similar situation. In that case, I had a perception that it might be creating problems for the other students, but couldn't ...
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  • 5,208
78 votes
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PhD supervisor wants me to quit after break

If your advisor is suggesting that you quit, it is likely that you will have a hard time carrying on with the same advisor. You maybe need to have a discussion with them about why your performance ...
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77 votes
Accepted

Should an advisor care if their student becomes overweight?

Becoming overweight is not an issue per se. Major physical changes, however, are often a sign of an major ongoing mental or physical health event. Rapid weight gain, for example, is often associated ...
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  • 180k
77 votes
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Is talking to a professor about personal issues acceptable?

Obviously, how you approach this will depend on what your relationship with the professor is like. That they have personally asked how you're doing is a great sign that you aren't an anonymous face in ...
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  • 1,210
75 votes

How should I respond to a worrying email from an ex student?

Campus police is in charge of keeping everyone on campus safe -- both from other members of the university as well as people outside the university. They're your first point of contact, and if the ...
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