These accounts represent just a few examples of the avoidable difficulties that junior researchers in UK Higher Education are facing. The work of the late Mark Fisher offers an important critical framework for understanding these experiences in his eloquent and perceptive analysis of his own mental health issues. Fisher, a cultural theorist, wrote about “politicized depression”, arguing that the epidemic of mental ill-health in our societies cannot be fully understood as a private problem. He insisted that instead of addressing mental ill-health primarily as a pathological issue, we must focus on our diminished agency within the labour market, including the issues of precarious employment, the cult of productivity, and the decline of workplace unionism. It’s a critique that is palpably relevant to the accelerated, metrics-driven academy of the twenty-first century.