Counseling Resources for Stressed Scientists

Professionals who work in fast-paced, high-stress jobs often find themselves struggling to keep up with their mental health. Scientists, engineers, and physicians dedicate themselves to careers of science without always managing the personal ramifications of a demanding work life. While it benefits all of society when scientists are dedicated to their work, it is also extremely important that they take care of their own mental health both for their personal development as well as long-term, lasting professional success.

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Resources for Stress Management

If you experience struggles with your mental health, it may help to read self-help articles written by mental health professionals. For scientists, this is much akin to reading research papers and then applying the findings to your own research. After reading such articles, reflect upon their value and delve into an analysis of how their advice can be applied in your own life.

As a scientist, you may be able to think linearly and analytically, and this thought process can actually be applied to the analysis of your mental health. Try searching MyTherapist for online resources, tips, and advice on finding qualified therapists who are ready to work with you.

When available academic resources do not adequately treat your mental health, the next step in the progression of addressing mental health issues may be to talk with a friend, colleague, or significant other. It is very helpful to discuss feelings and concerns with people you trust. It may even be worthwhile to read the self-help articles with another person so that you can each brainstorm ways in which the information included in the articles can be integrated into your life.

These articles may contain actionable advice, like instructions for meditation, journaling, or deep breathing that could begin your journey to improved mental wellness.

Therapy and Counseling

If your mental state does not improve after reading articles and having discussions with trusted companions, it is likely time to pursue therapy. Therapy can help when mental health issues loom with no apparent end to the symptoms in sight.

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The stigmas surrounding therapy have fortunately been shrinking. Therapy works well for those experiencing a diagnosed mental illness, but it can work wonders for anyone. Especially for those bright-minded scientists who regard their mental strength as impressive, it may feel demoralizing to need to speak with someone to regain control of your mind. Just remember that experiencing troubles with mental health is a very common occurrence.

Just because a person is very smart, it does not mean that they can control all mental processes and emotions. Addressing and improving any existing mental health struggles through therapy could actually benefit your thought process and therefore your work.

Online Therapy

Virtual therapy is a great resource that is only growing in popularity and availability. It provides patients with a convenient and confidential way to work through issues with a licensed therapist.

For busy scientific professionals, it may be difficult to find the time to schedule therapy sessions, drive to the therapist’s office, spend an hour in therapy, and then drive home. Thanks to virtual therapy, sessions may be more flexible and can involve less commuting and associated stress.

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Scheduling therapy sessions online is a simple, quick task that provides great flexibility in scheduling. And, since everything is online, the patient need not leave the comfort of their home or office to engage in therapy sessions.

Another benefit of virtual therapy is that the cost of online sessions is typically lower than in-office visits. While some health insurance companies may not cover virtual therapy as much as in-person therapy, the overall cost is still often much lower.

In-person therapy can cost between $65 and $200+ per session, depending upon the therapist and the type of therapy needed. Luckily, there are different types of online mental health services available to patients that represent a range of price points.

On some sites, text or email options can be available for around $40 per week. Sessions with online therapists are less expensive than in-office sessions and typically run between $75 and $120 per session. This is a moderately priced therapy option that provides virtual face-to-face treatment at a lower cost.

Remember to choose the treatment options that are appropriate for your mental condition and fit well with your lifestyle. The life of a scientist is tough enough, and caring for your mental health is a vital and valuable part of one’s personal and professional success.

Is Global Warming Causing Stress Among Young Students?

Climate change is a pressing global issue and has only grown in the public eye. After many decades of suspicions and then confirmations of the negative impacts of humans on the environment, there are ever-increasing environmentalist movements that strive to bring awareness to the issue and try to stop and reverse these destructive forces.

The current generation is likely the most vocal and aware of the grave dangers of climate change. Because of the impact of the current environmentalist movement, increased education, and mainstream entrance, many young students are constantly thinking of ways that they can help the planet.

However, the weight of climate change remains heavy. Many young students report increased levels of anxiety and depression and cite global warming as a cause of their “climate anxiety”. Anxiety, especially climate anxiety, can be very harmful, and therapy or counseling as listed here may be a good option to help address it. Climate anxiety, and anxieties in general, should not be taken lightly.

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Why are young students stressed about the climate?

For people who don’t experience climate anxiety or tend to think about the environment, it can be confusing and distressing to see young folks so distraught. Many people believe that young students don’t have much at all to be worried about, except maybe for school and their social lives, and so they shouldn’t be experiencing anxiety.

However, the truth is that this stress can show up in young people for a number of reasons, and should not be discounted. The feeling of responsibility for global problems many generations in the making can be intense, especially as many of the worse consequences of climate change are getting more obvious and are only expected to increase.

1. This is the first time they are learning about the environmental crisis

For many young students, this could be the first time they’ve heard about global warming or at least the first time they are truly aware of what that means. The crisis feels very imminent and scary to them. Science does not lie to spare feelings, and indeed an understanding of the gravity of the situation may be necessary to fight it.

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2. Their brains are still in development

For any young person who is still developing, emotions may feel more intense. This does not mean that they are any less valid or that the stress is less founded in reality. This simply goes to show just how powerful the feelings of stress and anxiety can be for young students.

3. They perceive the impact on both their immediate and long-term futures

Many adults do not necessarily see the climate crisis as a large issue because the consequences seem as though they will only arise once their lives are over. This is not the case for young students who feel as though they will be personally impacted by the consequences.

What can we do about it?

Global warming and the anxiety and stress that individuals may experience surrounding it are not lost causes. Not only is it possible to develop coping mechanisms for the stress, but also to divert the negative feelings of stress and anxiety towards helpful practices that fight climate change.

1. Learn more about ways we can help in our daily lives

One major way for anyone to cope with anxiety is to learn and input concrete practices to counter that anxiety into their daily life. For climate anxiety, this may look like decreasing plastic waste, taking public transportation, or eating lower on the food chain.

2. Increase activism

Many young students look up to other youth activists, like Greta Thunberg, as role models in the fight against global warming. Allowing young students to participate safely in protests and strikes can help them to feel like they are part of the change. Parents can vocally support policies that aim to reduce the effects of global warming and may implement environmentally friendly practices and habits starting at home.

 

3. Attend therapy

Climate anxiety is a real aspect of general worry and can contribute to an anxiety disorder. Therapy can help young students establish personal coping mechanisms for their anxieties that can help them feel better in the long run. If anxiety does not seem manageable on one’s own, consider speaking with a therapist or setting an appointment for your child to do so.

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Climate anxiety is a powerful emotion for a young student, but it is also a sign that this student is a caring, empathetic person. The awareness, engagement, and leadership visible in the next generation may in fact create a better world, free from global warming, for future generations. One must just remember that taking care of one’s own mental health is just as important as the health of the Earth, and self-care will make a more effective, long-lasting activist in the long run.