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Talking to tutors about mental illness

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    Tomorrow (or maybe Monday) I will have a meeting with one of my tutors to discuss some "problems" I have been having at uni this term. They are aware of my asperger's, which I told them about when I came here, but this meeting would be about mental health problems. My psychiatrist told me that he thinks I have bipolar disorder although I haven't yet received any diagnosis as such (hopefully will do in July).

    I want to tell them about it so they don't think I'm just being lazy- I have missed several classes over the last week or two. But I am quite nervous as a) I don't want them to kick me out (which, based on other people's stories, seems a possibility) b) a lack of "official" diagnosis as of yet. I am also worrying about how best to broach the subject: I don't just want to turn up and be like "hey, I'm bipolar- just thought you should know!".

    There is a good reason for me wanting to tell them: I was extremely (extremely) depressed for the first few weeks of this term and did really badly in a few assignments. However, over the last week my mood has been getting increasingly "manic": I have missed four nights' sleep, haven't eaten enough (i.e. one meal a day), have become dehydrated, and concentrate. The sleeping tablets I got from my GP, which do actually help me sleep really well, are making my head really fuzzy too: my memory is awful at the moment. My general mood (i.e. how I am feeling) is pretty bad while this is going on. All of this is really affecting my work and my ability to cope with being here and exams.

    A friend suggested that I might be eligible for special consideration because of the problems, but I think not having the diagnosis might prevent that.

    Any advice? Thanks! x

    I'm afraid I have no advice for you OP, but I can understand the difficulties that you face, so good luck with the meeting

    I was really scared about telling my tutors that a psychiatrist in London thought I had psychosis in Jan 2010, when I returned for the Easter term. The way I did it was I wrote out a speech and read it out to them (instructing them beforehand to not interrupt and to save any questions til I'd finished). When I finished my speech, I gave both my tutors a factsheet about psychosis, and about the service I had been seen by, and asked if they had any questions :yes:

    Good luck!

    I would have done pretty much what Goatherd did.

    You may want to contact or should already be in contact with your Uni mental health support services. Your department, if not your lecturer will be aware of mental health conditions. Sipport of a counselor and medical professional will help add credibility.

    Just to add to what Goatherd said about a speech. You need to slighly edcuate them about the condition, then relate that to how it affects your work. You should also cover what help you are getting from professionals and how you intend to deal with it. They will wnat to assess the impact it will ahve on your future studies.
    You also need an idea of what assistance you want from them.

    Writing it down means you cna just give them the note without worrying youve missed anything.
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