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Letter #2: The Visibility of the Invisible 

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Dear Alchemist Letters

My first year in Chemistry graduate school I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) along with some generalized anxiety issues. I had just escaped a long-term abusive relationship that involved stalking, verbal and physical assaults, and threats to myself and my family. I was plagued with nightmares and an ever-present fear that my ex-partner would find me.

I did my best to treat my condition, attending psychotherapy and psychiatric appointments, taking prescribed medications, and practicing daily mindfulness meditation. However, recovery is a tediously slow process and I struggled to balance my symptoms while maintaining my academic obligations. Being around my dog helped me calm down so I could focus on my work, improving my productivity, so I contacted the Department of Accessibility Services at my university to ask if I could bring my dog with me to campus. Since I had letters of support from both my therapist and psychiatrist stating how the presence of my dog helps me overcome my mental health limitations, the department administration agreed to allow me to have my dog with me on campus.

Nonetheless, many mental health issues are invisible, and there were some people in the department who judged me and believed I was working the system just so I could  have my dog with me. They informed me with their words and stares that they didn’t believe I could handle the stress of graduate school and that I was limited in my abilities to be a scientist, even though my issues were PTSD symptoms that had no relationship to the research I was performing. I know professors in the department who complained about me bringing my dog, even though they didn’t interact with her or know anything about my situation.

Case Study Analysis

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