I'm tired of constantly worrying, procrastinating, feeling anxious about everything.. Watch

TheStoryteller
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This is a bit of a long rant so I'll attach a TL;DR at the end.
I have a serious procrastination problem. Honestly it's getting so bad that I'm literally 100% sure that I'm going to fail my exams.

I'm an extremely anxious person and a perfectionist which go horribly when mixed together. I've had serious academic-related anxiety ever since I can remember; I used to need to have my homework be as perfect as possible, even as early as Year One (yes, I'm actually being serious). I remember teachers being concerned about it and they always used to address it to my parents but the positive outcomes of being such an extreme perfectionist always outweighed the negative ones (i.e. living with constant anxiety) so we all just ignored it.

I was always a smart learner and always got high grades. I knew I had to do well to be happy but it never put me off to the point where I couldn't do what I needed to finish to actually perform well.

But since the GCSEs, I just can't study. I want to cry. I get so much anxiety and self-hatred from realising I have x amount of things to cover and that I've fallen behind by not doing what I needed to do yesterday. The whole "I need to get these grades to get into uni" is making me want to cry even more.
I couldn't get a grip of myself all throughout sixth form (i.e. two years of post-secondary education before uni for those outside of the UK/Europe). I missed countless assignment deadlines every week because I kept leaving it till the last minute but obviously that still wasn't good enough so I would give them in two/three days later - I was lucky enough to have some compassionate lectures who might have seen the problem.

The number of tests I started to miss increased proportionally from first year to second year, so much so that by the time I reached December of my second year I just couldn't attend any tests and school in general because of the intense crippling anxiety that used to paralyse me. I even missed my Biology exam (which I had at the end of my first year - it wasn't an AS exam because I'm from outside the UK so we don't have those, just the A Level at least) because of severe panic attacks and was asked to sit for it in September, and obviously I couldn't miss that again so I ended up panicking all through the summer to study for it and in the end could barely study for it (I passed, with a 60%, which is awful ).

I was supposed to sit for my A Level exams last year actually. I managed two out of six subjects but it became so severe that I started getting suicidal and had to stop. I took a year out to sit for the rest this May but obviously my plan to get better didn't go as planned.
My whole anxiety-induced procrastination problem become much much worse over the year. I was over-sleeping and taking naps all the time because of the headaches and breathing problems. I became depressed because I couldn't break out of the cycle at all no matter how many techniques I tried (including breaking things down, timers etc).

I need to take these exams, for my own sake. I want to become a neurologist at some point in life and my uni (University of Malta) allows retakes for medicine so it's like everyone's giving me a chance but I'm ruining it for myself.

I'm so tired and fed up of living like this. I just want to achieve, not hide in fear. I don't expect myself to just get 4 As just like that and I know it requires a lot of hard work. I just want to work hard, but I cannot sort out my anxiety/procrastination problem. And I honestly feel so guilty because sometimes I think I'm using it an excuse.

I literally woke up at 12 pm today, hating myself. I start exams on April 28th, which gives me one more month. I've screwed myself over because I had A WHOLE YEAR to study. I feel like a massive loser. I tried to make a timetable but looking at all the things I have to do is making it worse.

Is there anyone who went through this and managed to overcome it?
I feel like I'm such a hopeless case because literally everyone, including my family and friends, have given up on me and fully believe I'm just being lazy. I'm really not though.

Everyone else has moved on from A Levels, studying new things and making new friends and travelling and earning money and I just feel like I'm going to be permanently stuck in this cycle of distress because of my incompetence. Since none of these techniques works I feel like it's obvious that I'm the problem. Ugh.


TL;DR I have severe anxiety which is manifesting itself as severe procrastination which is in turn ruining my life. How do I break out of this cycle, when nothing else seems to help?


(Also, I would like to add that I did see a doctor but he prescribed Seroxat which I've heard is known to make people suicidal so I decided not to take it.)
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deeeeeeeeeeej
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This seems very similar to me in some ways.

The best suggestion I can give you is to talk to your GP/ a psychiatrist, who can put you in touch with somebody for CBT, which should be tailored to your personal situation.
If, for whatever reason, you don't want/ feel able to talk to somebody else about this, there are self-help books available. One of the best (which I have used) is called 'Overcoming Perfectionism', it takes you through the different thinking styles and behaviours in perfectionism, and how to adjust them. I really recommend you buy this book and give it a read.
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TheStoryteller
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(Original post by deeeeeeeeeeej)
This seems very similar to me in some ways.

The best suggestion I can give you is to talk to your GP/ a psychiatrist, who can put you in touch with somebody for CBT, which should be tailored to your personal situation.
If, for whatever reason, you don't want/ feel able to talk to somebody else about this, there are self-help books available. One of the best (which I have used) is called 'Overcoming Perfectionism', it takes you through the different thinking styles and behaviours in perfectionism, and how to adjust them. I really recommend you buy this book and give it a read.
Thank you I'm definitely going to give the book a try. As for CBT I feel like it's a bit too late given how close exams are but I'll have to try it out in the summer.
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TheStoryteller
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As a general update on my progress:

I keep thinking about all the work that needs to be done whilst tackling a particular topic and then I seem to start to lose breath and get a panic attack every time which is putting me far behind. I wish I would just focus and stop overthinking and imagining the outcome


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deeeeeeeeeeej
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Try to remember, if at all possible, that panic attacks are only temporary and that the symptoms are due to anxiety and not actually signs of anything harmful happening (but it can be very difficult to remember this in the moment!)

What are you aiming for in these exams?
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TheStoryteller
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(Original post by deeeeeeeeeeej)
Try to remember, if at all possible, that panic attacks are only temporary and that the symptoms are due to anxiety and not actually signs of anything harmful happening (but it can be very difficult to remember this in the moment!)

What are you aiming for in these exams?
I really want to get A*AA or above for Medicine I mostly know the material tbh, it's only a matter of how I'm going to use this next month efficiently. In terms of panic attacks, I guess I did find a way to calm myself when I do get them. They're still there but it's getting a tiny bit better at least
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deeeeeeeeeeej
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And what would it mean to you if you didn't get that (or got slightly less than that)?
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TheStoryteller
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(Original post by deeeeeeeeeeej)
And what would it mean to you if you didn't get that (or got slightly less than that)?
I'd probably have an extremely long breakdown because I can't imagine myself wasting another year out. It's definitely something I want to work away from.
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