"These people are lunatics!"
They certainly are. Sometimes, we get so immersed on our own brand of crazy that we lose sight of how insane the world swirling around us has become. The frog in the pot doesn't realize the water starts to boil--or a watched pot with a frog--hell, I can't remember! Bottom line, if you are a frog, stay the hell out of pots!
Hands down, the craziest time in a PhD program is comprehensive exams. In talking to fellow grads in my department, advice given out for passing and coping is particularly revealing of the stress and crazy endemic to my graduate program. I have spoken with ten students about the comps process, and through informal survey research, and open ended interviews I can report that only two answers consistently emerge
To pass quals, you need:
1) Drugs (preferably RX) and Alcohol
2) To give yourself up to a higher power, a.k.a. God
That's right, the prescription is basically an all inclusive ticket to a 12 step program. First, you have to horribly F&5k yourself up, and then you need to give yourself over. The cycle is complete.