(Though I still didn’t feel that great about it, since it was a strong signal that the university wasn't taking my candidacy seriously.) Better advice: Teach!
Within academe, there’s a huge stigma around mental health issues such as depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder.
Some of the lousy advice I heard myself, and some I heard from colleagues’ horror stories. But even though that’s true, the working conditions in academia can exacerbate all kinds of mental illness.
Since I won’t ever have a tenure-track job, I feel it’s my moral obligation to put some giant, flashing warning signs around the bad advice that perfectly well-meaning people might offer to graduate students. Depression is normal among doctoral students, so you should just tough it out/exercise more/throw yourself into your work/do some yoga. Shine notes that her advisers discouraged medical leave, but that’s only one way that grad school can take a toll on students.
Better advice: If you are feeling depressed or overwhelmed, contact your university’s counseling center. Instead, I received somewhat different advice from women who’d been to grad school: Only date someone in grad school if you think you will be in a long-term relationship with them.
They may be more oriented toward undergraduates, but they can often help you find the right sources of help. Otherwise, you could get a “reputation” around the department. Better advice: Do not treat graduate school as a dating pool in which you are a shark and everyone else is a tasty tuna.
That’s probably because no one was foolish enough to think there was a freakish abundance of jobs in my field, and because my department had a required course that needed teachers.