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Sophie Prosolek

From Academia to Activism: Why Grad-School Made Me Speak Out

When I started grad-school I was full of optimism. I was 21 years old and I had just graduated with a strong first class honours from a good university; I skipped the MSc, easily securing a place straight onto a prestigious PhD programme where I was to spend 4 years studying the scientific art of molecular biology. However, behind a thin veil of success I was locked in a constant battle with (then undiagnosed) bipolar(II) disorder.

Sophie Prosolek

My name is Sophie, I’m a research scientist from Mansfield, England and I live with bipolar (type II) disorder. I decided to start speaking out about mental health after realising how little my condition was understood in some professional circles. When I first got diagnosed I thought my career was over; I didn’t see anyone else ‘like me’ represented in my field and didn’t know how to make mood management work around my job. I decided that visibility was important so I chose to open up about my mental health.