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    Okay, so I'm seriously considering taking an interruption from my university studies until September. I was diagnosed with depression in March last year and have been taking antidepressants since. I'm currently in second year, and while I managed to do fairly well in first year, this year my work has gone severely downhill to the point where I'd estimate I've only attended around 10-20% of lectures etc. My exams are coming up fast, and I know I'm going to do terribly in them because I know literally nothing of my course, but that's not the main issue as I could potentially resit. The issue is that I don't think I can pull it back next semester. I think I'd just continue down the path I'm on, with things getting worse and worse.

    My state of mind is pretty awful at the moment. I'm very self-destructive. I feel absolutely rubbish and really scared. The thought of all the things I need to do makes me cry all the time, and makes it so I can't do anything because I'm so confused due to the pressure. People might think I sound stupid and I got myself in this position, but I hope there are people who can read this and kinda understand the way I'm feeling.

    Is there anyone that has experience of taking an interruption? What happens with my loans/grants etc? I'll need them to pay my rent as I can't get out of my contract, and on top of that, I don't actually have anywhere else I could stay (parents aren't an option). I just don't think I can carry on like this, I need some time away to just get myself together. This holiday has helped to an extent, but has also made me see that forgetting about uni for a bit would really help me to get better.

    I took time off leaving in January a few years ago and in some ways it was good, in others it was a terrible idea.

    First, the bad: I had nothing in place to replace university. I moved back with my mum far away from any friends and spent every day brooding on how **** I felt. It made me feel a lot worse.

    The good: my grades were getting worse and worse and I couldn't cope with the pressure, I probably would have done sometihng dangerous had I continued.

    I hated being at home so much that I went back to uni the next year despite still suffering from depression. My grades were still crap but I'd already experienced not being at uni so I didn't want to take another break. I spent everyday at uni loathing being there, it ended with a suicide attempt and hospitalization followed by a crappy overall degree mark because I'd been too stubborn to stop and get help. That's a good reason to take time out. BUT if you do so remember my first point - get something, anything, in place to take up your time. An easy job, volunteering, night classes, learn an instrument/language/anything just do something to take your mind off depression. Brooding on it makes it worse.

    I am on a leave of absence from a year and it was the best decision ever! The above poster is right, you can't sit around brooding, but you can't get a rubbish degree and regret it either. Take some time out and do some voulenteer work as well as some paid work, and set yourself some really positive confidence building goals. If work hard during this year you will really grow as a person and you will appreciate the ease of the student lifestyle so much more. You'll also be able to get a part time job during uni which will stop you from just sitting around worrying about the pressures.

    Please relax a bit - things are not spiralling out of control - you have you whole life and this is just a blip.

    Oh and, my loan was stopped. You could look for someone else to take on your housing contract or usually if you give notice (mine was 8 weeks) you can leave. OR if you are off-campus, get a part time job in the area and use that to pay your rent.
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