Andrew Lange was one of the world's leading observational cosmologists and Chair of the Division of Physics, Maths, and Astronomy at Caltech. He was the lead investigator on BICEP, the forerunner of the experiment that recently found evidence for cosmic inflation. He suffered from depression. Tragically, he committed suicide in 2010.
Lewis Wolpert FRS is a distinguished developmental biologist who has suffered through several severe periods of depression. Years ago he wrote an article about his experience in The Guardian newspaper. He says that he received more feedback than for anything he had written in his whole career. This was followed with a book Malignant Sadness: The Anatomy of Depression and an associated BBC TV program, A Living Hell.
Doris Iarovici, a psychiatrist at the Duke University Counseling and Psychological Services has just published a book, Mental Health Issues and the University Student. Some of it is depressing reading, as it chronicles the pressures students in the USA are under, and some of the poor ways they try to cope with them. There is a whole chapter on the problem of perfectionism. Although the book is mostly concerned with undergraduates it does discuss graduate students. The author also has a New York Times blog post raising concerns about over-prescription of anti-depressants.
There is a research article The impact of funding deadlines on personal workloads, stress and family relationships: a qualitative study of Australian researchers. It concerns how much time researchers spend/waste making grant applications, focussing on the case of the NHMRC [the main funding agency for medical research]. It contains the cryptic comment:
Additional impacts on mental health and well-being were identified through comments including ‘incredible anxiety’, ‘depressed’, ‘despondent’, ‘insecurity’ and ‘soul- destroying’. The mental health and welfare of researchers warrants further examination beyond this study.