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Get really stressed, anxious and ill at just the thought of university work, help! watch

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    Hi, I'm going into my final year of my undergraduate and yes I know I only have one year left but I have had anxiety for about four years. I have struggled through the past two years with uncontrollably working too much, stress, anxiety, depression and IBS and I now also have OCD. My university has given me some support that is hopefully going to assist me in my work. My course is really intensive with lots of reading and writing that is just not possible. After a while I end up not even reading most of the weekly readings because I have to do coursework instead. We have so many assignments. I am not really looking forward to this year, I just don't know how I'm going to do it. I usually find some strength from somewhere but at the moment I'm just in panic, fear and stress. I have to work on my dissertation already and I just cannot do it, just the idea of it makes me feel anxious, stressed and ill and I'm not even back into full university yet. I don't want to have to do university work so much, I'm trying to find a way that I can do the most minimal work possible whilst still doing really well. But it's still stressful. How am I going to get through everything? I can't even do my first dissertation assignment! Even through the summer I struggle everyday with everything :/ Plus I've had CBT and I really thought I was getting better so why have I started going backwards? I just want to be normal. One of my friends does really well, barely working, does lots of her hobbies, goes out lots and just gets on with things, so why do I just keep coming back to this? Why can't I just get on with things and do lots of things, workwise and relaxing/hobbies wise? I don't know how to get through this work... and to stop feeling rubbish, I can't feel rubbish everyday again, I really don't want to.
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    I found playing a game helped calm me down a bit so maybe I need to work out how to fit work between game time/ other hobby time? Although after playing a game I now have a headache so can't really work anyway :/
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    I found playing a game helped calm me down a bit so maybe I need to work out how to fit work between game time/ other hobby time? Although after playing a game I now have a headache so I can't work anyway :/ I still feel tense and stressed and on edge, I feel like it the majority of the time so how can I work and relax?
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    Take a deep breath. I think you need to visit the disability support at university and see if they can give you extensions and a strong support plan. You don't have to keep up with everyone else, you have to make exceptions and work around them. Have you considered moving into a less intense course?
    'I had cbt and it started to work but now I'm going backwards ' it's okay, recovery is a fluxuating thing that doesn't happen in a straight line but that's okay.. keep practising and going back for more!
    'Why can't I just be normal ' I have asked myself that a lot and it's a stressful thought. You are normal, but you just need to learn to ask for help. you'll never return to the time before you became anxious so instead work on creating a future where you learn to deal with it and allow it to be a manageable part of your life.
    I hope this helps
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    (Original post by Hevachan)
    Take a deep breath. I think you need to visit the disability support at university and see if they can give you extensions and a strong support plan. You don't have to keep up with everyone else, you have to make exceptions and work around them. Have you considered moving into a less intense course?
    'I had cbt and it started to work but now I'm going backwards ' it's okay, recovery is a fluxuating thing that doesn't happen in a straight line but that's okay.. keep practising and going back for more!
    'Why can't I just be normal ' I have asked myself that a lot and it's a stressful thought. You are normal, but you just need to learn to ask for help. you'll never return to the time before you became anxious so instead work on creating a future where you learn to deal with it and allow it to be a manageable part of your life.
    I hope this helps
    Thank you for your reply! I think that I can get extensions but I think I have to get a letter from the doctor each time which costs a lot. Plus extensions would not matter because where we have so many assignments I just can't afford to do any later. I have time to do this assignment but I freak out if I don't make progress early but I can't even seem to work on it at all now.

    I don't think I really have a support plan, just people I can talk to but they can't really do anything

    I'm going into my third and final year so I kind of just have to get on with it somehow. I don't want to quit and I can't really change, I am doing a different module this year that is supposed to be more fun for me but it requires more travel than my other ones.

    Thank you, it is helpful that I don't need to feel great all the time. I felt pretty good for a few weeks and then suddenly, at least physically I started to feel worse. I know that worry does not help and just makes me ill but I don't know why I keep going back to it. Anxiety, stress and pretty much depression are my natural reactions to things now, plus I feel tense and on edge every day anyway plus ill. The only thing I think I can practice is relaxation exercises which is annoying because I just want to tackle the problem and get rid of it, it's so frustrating that I keep feeling like this. I'm trying to work out how to cope with things on my own as I'd rather not go back if I don't really have to, especially because the last time I went back a man said to me that maybe it wasn't suited to me because I'd been before and was going back and things like that get to me!

    Thank you, recently I have been noticing that doing some hobbies can help me feel better but I can't do them all the time, no matter how much I want to. I'm also learning to drive and coming to the end of my lessons but still have not revised enough of the theory and I'm having the same reaction to that as the university work really.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you for your reply! I think that I can get extensions but I think I have to get a letter from the doctor each time which costs a lot. Plus extensions would not matter because where we have so many assignments I just can't afford to do any later. I have time to do this assignment but I freak out if I don't make progress early but I can't even seem to work on it at all now.

    I don't think I really have a support plan, just people I can talk to but they can't really do anything

    I'm going into my third and final year so I kind of just have to get on with it somehow. I don't want to quit and I can't really change, I am doing a different module this year that is supposed to be more fun for me but it requires more travel than my other ones.

    Thank you, it is helpful that I don't need to feel great all the time. I felt pretty good for a few weeks and then suddenly, at least physically I started to feel worse. I know that worry does not help and just makes me ill but I don't know why I keep going back to it. Anxiety, stress and pretty much depression are my natural reactions to things now, plus I feel tense and on edge every day anyway plus ill. The only thing I think I can practice is relaxation exercises which is annoying because I just want to tackle the problem and get rid of it, it's so frustrating that I keep feeling like this. I'm trying to work out how to cope with things on my own as I'd rather not go back if I don't really have to, especially because the last time I went back a man said to me that maybe it wasn't suited to me because I'd been before and was going back and things like that get to me!

    Thank you, recently I have been noticing that doing some hobbies can help me feel better but I can't do them all the time, no matter how much I want to. I'm also learning to drive and coming to the end of my lessons but still have not revised enough of the theory and I'm having the same reaction to that as the university work really.
    I don't know if it's the same but it'do be worth asking:
    I am applying for something called an inclusion plan where I get one doctor note which explains my diagnosis and how it will affect me, then I meet with a disability support and work out what we can do. You may think 'I'm not disabled though'.. neither am I but I have a long term condition (anxiety) which impacts on my day to day life.

    To me it sounds like you need to talk with a therapist about the causes of your anxiety. We are born as blank slates and all anxieties come from experiences or learnt behavior. It may be easy for you to identify the causes or it may be hard.. but they are in there waiting to be looked at, analysed and put back in a better way.

    If your hobbies help because they are a distraction then you can do smaller distraction exercises. Name all of the things in the room that are yellow. Try and say the alphabet backwards. Focus on slowing yur breathing. The brain is like a muscle, you have to train it to slow down and think what you want it to
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    (Original post by Hevachan)
    I don't know if it's the same but it'do be worth asking:
    I am applying for something called an inclusion plan where I get one doctor note which explains my diagnosis and how it will affect me, then I meet with a disability support and work out what we can do. You may think 'I'm not disabled though'.. neither am I but I have a long term condition (anxiety) which impacts on my day to day life.

    To me it sounds like you need to talk with a therapist about the causes of your anxiety. We are born as blank slates and all anxieties come from experiences or learnt behavior. It may be easy for you to identify the causes or it may be hard.. but they are in there waiting to be looked at, analysed and put back in a better way.

    If your hobbies help because they are a distraction then you can do smaller distraction exercises. Name all of the things in the room that are yellow. Try and say the alphabet backwards. Focus on slowing yur breathing. The brain is like a muscle, you have to train it to slow down and think what you want it to
    I think what I did was similar to that and there is some support but honestly I have a book out to type notes on to start working on my essay and I just can't do it! I have to struggle with this pretty much every time I have to work so from the beginning of term to the end of exams that's pretty much everyday.

    We discussed a bit about the causes of my anxiety but I don't know what that has to do with work really. For a long time I have had this obsession with spending my time productively so maybe it's something to do with that? I'm quite looking forward to after I have finished but just the thought of this year makes me feel so anxious! I've already got through two years but it must be me just not wanting to go through that again, the year is so intense.

    Relaxation exercises can definitely be helpful and I think a lot so when I can ease into a game or a book that is probably why it helps. I'm just not sure how to eliminate the stress element and how to just get on with things.

    Sorry if I am sounding annoying, I have a tendency to fixate on things and go on and on until I find a comfortable answer! Also on the making your brain think what you want it to, that would be really awesome, I think it must take a long time and a lot of effort.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I think what I did was similar to that and there is some support but honestly I have a book out to type notes on to start working on my essay and I just can't do it! I have to struggle with this pretty much every time I have to work so from the beginning of term to the end of exams that's pretty much everyday.

    We discussed a bit about the causes of my anxiety but I don't know what that has to do with work really. For a long time I have had this obsession with spending my time productively so maybe it's something to do with that? I'm quite looking forward to after I have finished but just the thought of this year makes me feel so anxious! I've already got through two years but it must be me just not wanting to go through that again, the year is so intense.

    Relaxation exercises can definitely be helpful and I think a lot so when I can ease into a game or a book that is probably why it helps. I'm just not sure how to eliminate the stress element and how to just get on with things.

    Sorry if I am sounding annoying, I have a tendency to fixate on things and go on and on until I find a comfortable answer! Also on the making your brain think what you want it to, that would be really awesome, I think it must take a long time and a lot of effort.
    When you start working what are the kind of negative thoughts and feelings you have? Perhaps 'i can't do this ' 'it's going to be really difficult '. Next time you try to work write them down and pm me with them . Negative thoughts develop and manage to change into different aspects of life. If you think 'I don't do enough work ' then approaching an essay you'll think 'if I can't do this everyone will think I'm lazy and don't work hard enough '.
    Its okay it's good to focus on the issue until it's resolved. If something is stuck in my brain I write and talk about it until I feel better. If it's really stuck I type in 'emdr' on YouTube and do that whilst thinking about the issue until I feel different
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    (Original post by Hevachan)
    When you start working what are the kind of negative thoughts and feelings you have? Perhaps 'i can't do this ' 'it's going to be really difficult '. Next time you try to work write them down and pm me with them . Negative thoughts develop and manage to change into different aspects of life. If you think 'I don't do enough work ' then approaching an essay you'll think 'if I can't do this everyone will think I'm lazy and don't work hard enough '.
    Its okay it's good to focus on the issue until it's resolved. If something is stuck in my brain I write and talk about it until I feel better. If it's really stuck I type in 'emdr' on YouTube and do that whilst thinking about the issue until I feel different
    Thank you, I think that I think things like 'I don't want to do it', 'It's going to take ages and I'm not going to get very far', 'I'd rather be spending the time doing my hobbies', 'I've got lots to do', 'I don't want to face the stress and feeling rubbish again'.

    I also end up making a big deal out of the work like it's only an assignment but things always take longer than I plan and I just don't make much progress and it takes forever and I don't really want to do it. It ends up taking up nearly all the time, when I'm not working, I'm thinking about the work! And I can't really let it go before, during or after the work.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one!
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you, I think that I think things like 'I don't want to do it', 'It's going to take ages and I'm not going to get very far', 'I'd rather be spending the time doing my hobbies', 'I've got lots to do', 'I don't want to face the stress and feeling rubbish again'.

    I also end up making a big deal out of the work like it's only an assignment but things always take longer than I plan and I just don't make much progress and it takes forever and I don't really want to do it. It ends up taking up nearly all the time, when I'm not working, I'm thinking about the work! And I can't really let it go before, during or after the work.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one!
    Okay so then you have to use your cbt skills to counteract them. I think a few of them are self for filling prophecies e.g 'I won't get very far' well that's true if you spend your time worrying. Worry impacts our ability to think, your brain sends blood to your muscles and away from the areas used for studying. This is why you are taking so long to work, it's not because you can't do it, it's because your brain hasn't got the right conditions to run.
    'I don't want to face the stress and feeling rubbish ' OK.. has every assignment you've done been stressful and rubbish? There must have been some where you felt proud and satisfied afterwards? By labelling it rubbish before you begin you're setting yourself up for failure.
    I think you need to put positive affirmations around your word station as well as a worry notepad. The positive affirmations should be things like:
    'I am intelligent'
    'I have completed all of my assignments up to now '
    'I enjoy my subject '
    'Breathing deeply will give me focus'
    Just whatever you want
    Then with the worry pad, really listen to your thoughts and if you get a negative one right it down, and underneath either challenge that thought (like in cbt) or just write the opposite
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    (Original post by Hevachan)
    Okay so then you have to use your cbt skills to counteract them. I think a few of them are self for filling prophecies e.g 'I won't get very far' well that's true if you spend your time worrying. Worry impacts our ability to think, your brain sends blood to your muscles and away from the areas used for studying. This is why you are taking so long to work, it's not because you can't do it, it's because your brain hasn't got the right conditions to run.
    'I don't want to face the stress and feeling rubbish ' OK.. has every assignment you've done been stressful and rubbish? There must have been some where you felt proud and satisfied afterwards? By labelling it rubbish before you begin you're setting yourself up for failure.
    I think you need to put positive affirmations around your word station as well as a worry notepad. The positive affirmations should be things like:
    'I am intelligent'
    'I have completed all of my assignments up to now '
    'I enjoy my subject '
    'Breathing deeply will give me focus'
    Just whatever you want
    Then with the worry pad, really listen to your thoughts and if you get a negative one right it down, and underneath either challenge that thought (like in cbt) or just write the opposite
    Thank you, that is a great idea! I have done it and I feel a little better but still anxious, regarding the stress and feeling rubbish that it is during the work. After is good but I'm always going onto the next assignment, there's so many! I do enjoy the topics but I don't know, I just don't want to do the work! I think the block is still there because I still cannot do it :/

    Have you been to CBT before may I ask?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you, that is a great idea! I have done it and I feel a little better but still anxious, regarding the stress and feeling rubbish that it is during the work. After is good but I'm always going onto the next assignment, there's so many! I do enjoy the topics but I don't know, I just don't want to do the work! I think the block is still there because I still cannot do it :/

    Have you been to CBT before may I ask?
    That's okay, unfortunately there is nothing which works straight away but you just have to perserve with coping strategies even if they don't do anything at first.
    Yes I have and I really struggled to use it at first, in fact it wasn't until 3 years after I was first introduced to it that I got it haha now I do it every day and it has really helped sometimes it's not enough so I do deep breathing in high stress situations
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    (Original post by Hevachan)
    That's okay, unfortunately there is nothing which works straight away but you just have to perserve with coping strategies even if they don't do anything at first.
    Yes I have and I really struggled to use it at first, in fact it wasn't until 3 years after I was first introduced to it that I got it haha now I do it every day and it has really helped sometimes it's not enough so I do deep breathing in high stress situations
    That's the annoying thing, if I don't see a really good improvement straight away then I don't keep up with it for very long and it seems like it's never going to work, I don't know if they will but surely they must do.

    Wow, I'm really glad that they are helping you now I had some relaxation exercises that I at first did every day but then I ended up becoming anxious and stressed about doing them so I gave up, I've found that muscle tension and relaxation helps and sometimes different breathing but it can take a lot of breathing to calm me down. Recently I have felt like I have been getting palpitations and being shaky which has made me even more anxious but I'm trying to focus on staying calm and relaxed.

    I feel tense and on edge every day, have you ever felt like that and if so, how did you stop it?
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    Oh and little things stress me out :/
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    That's the annoying thing, if I don't see a really good improvement straight away then I don't keep up with it for very long and it seems like it's never going to work, I don't know if they will but surely they must do.

    Wow, I'm really glad that they are helping you now I had some relaxation exercises that I at first did every day but then I ended up becoming anxious and stressed about doing them so I gave up, I've found that muscle tension and relaxation helps and sometimes different breathing but it can take a lot of breathing to calm me down. Recently I have felt like I have been getting palpitations and being shaky which has made me even more anxious but I'm trying to focus on staying calm and relaxed.

    I feel tense and on edge every day, have you ever felt like that and if so, how did you stop it?
    I can relate to that, breathing exercises used to make me anxious because I get a ball of energy in my solar plexus and felt like it was making that worse. But then one time I was doing a meditation and realised that breathing into my diaphragm was making me feel relaxed.. suddenly it worked! Same with cbt, I never believed it but I found doing it with my bf and listening to him challenging my thoughts in a way I never thought of made me more able to do it. Now it doesn't feel like a chore, it's a natural go to coping mechanisms that I use almost hourly haha. I had a panic attack a month ago and managed to breathe may way out of it.. it was incredible! I never thought that was possible. So I know it's hard but don't give up if it makes you anxious then do it less. I only meditate once or twice a week now at yoga otherwise I get fed up. Try 'the honest guys' guided meditations on YouTube also type in 'music for revision ' which may help relax you whilst you work ^^.

    I used to feel just like you, I felt anxious every second of every day. Id stare into space for long periods of time because I felt to awful to move. I have had extensive therapy. 1 year of emdr therapy (in the child services ), two 10 week cbt sets (adult service ) and finally 6 months talking therapy with a charity. The longer therapies helped the most, I didn't find the adult services very useful.. it's worth looking for a local charity or using 'mind' if you can.
    I also take 100mg of sertraline which I will be on indefinitely
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    (Original post by Hevachan)
    I can relate to that, breathing exercises used to make me anxious because I get a ball of energy in my solar plexus and felt like it was making that worse. But then one time I was doing a meditation and realised that breathing into my diaphragm was making me feel relaxed.. suddenly it worked! Same with cbt, I never believed it but I found doing it with my bf and listening to him challenging my thoughts in a way I never thought of made me more able to do it. Now it doesn't feel like a chore, it's a natural go to coping mechanisms that I use almost hourly haha. I had a panic attack a month ago and managed to breathe may way out of it.. it was incredible! I never thought that was possible. So I know it's hard but don't give up if it makes you anxious then do it less. I only meditate once or twice a week now at yoga otherwise I get fed up. Try 'the honest guys' guided meditations on YouTube also type in 'music for revision ' which may help relax you whilst you work ^^.

    I used to feel just like you, I felt anxious every second of every day. Id stare into space for long periods of time because I felt to awful to move. I have had extensive therapy. 1 year of emdr therapy (in the child services ), two 10 week cbt sets (adult service ) and finally 6 months talking therapy with a charity. The longer therapies helped the most, I didn't find the adult services very useful.. it's worth looking for a local charity or using 'mind' if you can.
    I also take 100mg of sertraline which I will be on indefinitely
    Thank you for all the suggestions, I really appreciate the help I'm glad that all the therapy and exercises paid off for you, I hope that they continue to really help are you managing to do normal things well, like working and going out?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you for all the suggestions, I really appreciate the help I'm glad that all the therapy and exercises paid off for you, I hope that they continue to really help are you managing to do normal things well, like working and going out?
    You're welcome, it makes my suffering worth while if I can help . When it comes to going out I don't stay out past 10/11, rarely drink and sometimes get stomach cramps.. however going out in the day doing things I enjoy more like walking and eating out and I'm 100% fine .
    With working I had to leave my last job because of anxiety so during my work based leaning (part of my course) in may I'm going to do it at the university with lots of support so fingers crossed asking for help is one of my most successful techniques.
    Its funny though cause when it comes to talking in class, presentations and assignments I have 0% anxiety! Tbh it's only working that is a major obstacle for me I have only had two anxiety attacks in the last year!
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    (Original post by Hevachan)
    You're welcome, it makes my suffering worth while if I can help . When it comes to going out I don't stay out past 10/11, rarely drink and sometimes get stomach cramps.. however going out in the day doing things I enjoy more like walking and eating out and I'm 100% fine .
    With working I had to leave my last job because of anxiety so during my work based leaning (part of my course) in may I'm going to do it at the university with lots of support so fingers crossed asking for help is one of my most successful techniques.
    Its funny though cause when it comes to talking in class, presentations and assignments I have 0% anxiety! Tbh it's only working that is a major obstacle for me I have only had two anxiety attacks in the last year!
    It's really good that you're still going out and doing these things and it sounds like a good idea to work with the university because you already know the people and the area, I hope it goes well, it's really good that you'll have a lot of support Wow, it's good that you don't feel anxious with everything and that you haven't had many panic attacks.

    Hopefully I'll find something to reduce the anxiety again
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    It's really good that you're still going out and doing these things and it sounds like a good idea to work with the university because you already know the people and the area, I hope it goes well, it's really good that you'll have a lot of support Wow, it's good that you don't feel anxious with everything and that you haven't had many panic attacks.

    Hopefully I'll find something to reduce the anxiety again
    Thank you very much it took a lot of work and sometimes I forget how far I've come so it's good to reflect.
    You certainly will actively seek it and you'll find it, just remember that anxiety isn't you, it is a part of you which can be altered.. it's just about changing the way you deal with memories and situations if you ever want to talk just message me
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    (Original post by Hevachan)
    Thank you very much it took a lot of work and sometimes I forget how far I've come so it's good to reflect.
    You certainly will actively seek it and you'll find it, just remember that anxiety isn't you, it is a part of you which can be altered.. it's just about changing the way you deal with memories and situations if you ever want to talk just message me
    You've done really well, even just going to all the therapy and asking for help is an achievement

    Thank you, I'll try! Sometimes it's hard to tell what is the anxiety and what is me, especially when I feel a bit ill and I don't want to go out, I think am I really too ill to go or is it just the anxiety making me feel like I don't want to go? Sometimes I think I put too much pressure on myself but it's difficult to know whether it is ok to not go to things sometimes because a lot of the time I feel bad afterwards for not going but it's annoying having to go against myself all the time. It's really difficult to decide.

    At the moment all I pretty much want to do is play games and I'm wondering is that bad. It's not that I'm lazy, it's just my mental state makes me not want to do anything which then makes me think a lot about the things I should be doing which in turn makes me stressed.
 
 
 
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