Shhh, We Can’t Talk About That: Is Mental Health an Academic Taboo?

There aren’t very many taboo subjects when you’re a scientist. As an anthropologist, at some point I’m likely to have a very serious discussion about body decomposition, lemur poop, primate sperm competition--you name it. As researchers, we’re able to set aside some of our social or personal discomfort in the name of asking relevant scientific questions, and that’s as it should be. Otherwise, we end up ignoring potentially rich bodies of evidence. But there’s at least one topic that we still have some trouble addressing with frankness: our own mental health.

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