Depression affecting my studies Watch

Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 12 years ago
#1
Hi,

I know depression is a subject which crops up often on here, and was wondering whether anyone anyone has had their studies seriously affected by it. I've been feeling really low for months now, but recent events pushed me over the edge and i went to see my GP. She diagnosed me with 'moderate to severe' depression. I've been prescribed prozac but haven't stated the course yet.

I'm really worried about the effect it's having. My motivation and concentration are almost non-existent. It takes me an age to read or write anything, and tutorial questions drive me to tears. Revision for the winter exams went really badly, again I found I just couldn't focus. Results were pretty low, one exam I lost it completely and got 15%. I have an exam and 2 coursework deadlines coming up this week, and i know they won't go well. I seem to spend all my time working, yet not actually getting anything done.

On top of this, I've had accommodation to worry about. I started looking in the middle of January, but my friends rejected me. I eventually found another group, and went with them for a couple of weeks. I found us a house, but a day later they said they didn't want me. A month later, and I've managed to round up another group and have arranged two viewings. But again I'm doing ALL the work. I've spent countless hours on it this term.

The easter break starts in a week, and the exams are just a couple of weeks after that. From here, I can't see how it is possible for me to pass and make it to the next year. This term just feels like a void, I have a huge backlog and very little understanding of what has been covered in lectures. And all the while I'm aware that I'm paying £3000 tuition fees plus another £3000 for accommodation. I don't want it to go to waste.

Does this sound familiar to anyone on here, and what should I do?

Thanks
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*knowitall*
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Go and see your tutor and tell them your diagnosis - then it will be out in the open that you are not well enough to get good grades at the moment.

Make an appointent with the student counselling service as soon as possibel.

Start taking the tablets! But be honest with yourself about this - are you going to take them? (loads of people don't...)

Tell your parents you're depressed so they understand your mood when you go home at Easter.
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fleur de lis
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I would definitely go and see your tutor and tell them what's going on, so they can keep an eye out for you and help where they can. Secondly, I think you can get a form for mitigating circumstances, which will be helpful with the exams coming up. Start taking your pills as soon as you can, but be aware, they may take a while to start working. I would advise telling your parents, if they don't already know, as this might make things easier. If you feel your depression is affecting you too much to be able to continue studying, then you should take some time out. Your health is more important Also, please don't struggle on your own, and don't be afraid to get the help you need
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Dalimyr
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(Original post by *knowitall*)
Make an appointent with the student counselling service as soon as possibel.

Start taking the tablets!
:ditto: on both of these points. Depression affected my studies dramatically while I was at uni, and it was too much for me in the end. I started taking prozac and seeing a counsellor, and they did help me a lot, but by the time I started (mid/late April, with exams in May), it was too late to help me. I know it can be hard for you to do it, but fight the depression and FORCE YOURSELF to take the pills - they really do help. But you need to start taking them now because they take a couple of weeks before they start to take effect.
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Ronove
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If you can work up the courage to tell your parents that would help too, since they can keep an eye on you during the first few weeks of your pills. However, it is a large step to take to ask a parent to watch you in that way, so you don't have to do it. Having to ask them might make you feel worse too so it's not *the* thing to do. You don't have to struggle through exams etc when your illness is affecting you so much. Taking a break from studying while you get through this is allowed, and definitely tell your tutor or whatever. Hang in there.

EDIT: If you're at uni then the parent thing is slightly irrelevant, so ignore it!
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hannah_dru
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I went to the doctor on Thursday and he said he thought I had mild depression. I went back on Friday and he seems to have changed his mind and have no idea, and now I don't have any meds at all and I'm not really getting any help. I can normally cope with it and study, but sixth form keep pushing me too little or too much and can make me feel really bad. So yeah I'm worried that my exams might be affected.
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fleur de lis
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(Original post by hannah_dru)
I went to the doctor on Thursday and he said he thought I had mild depression. I went back on Friday and he seems to have changed his mind and have no idea, and now I don't have any meds at all and I'm not really getting any help. I can normally cope with it and study, but sixth form keep pushing me too little or too much and can make me feel really bad. So yeah I'm worried that my exams might be affected.
Go and see your form tutor, or whoever is appropriate and talk to them about it. This might not seem very appealing, but if the school are made aware it makes things so much easier, and they will be able to help/advise you on the exams/work side of things. Secondly, if you feel you are struggling and you need help, you should be able to get it. I think you should go back to your doctor, and tell him/her that you're finding it difficult to manage on your own and could he/she re-evaluate your options for treatment. If you are not happy with the response, try and see if you can see a different GP in the practise. Like I said earlier on in the thread: don't struggle on your own and don't be afraid to ask for help if you feel you need it
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hannah_dru
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(Original post by fleur de lis)
Go and see your form tutor, or whoever is appropriate and talk to them about it. This might not seem very appealing, but if the school are made aware it makes things so much easier, and they will be able to help/advise you on the exams/work side of things. Secondly, if you feel you are struggling and you need help, you should be able to get it. I think you should go back to your doctor, and tell him/her that you're finding it difficult to manage on your own and could he/she re-evaluate your options for treatment. If you are not happy with the response, try and see if you can see a different GP in the practise. Like I said earlier on in the thread: don't struggle on your own and don't be afraid to ask for help if you feel you need it
I've told the school and I don't think they really care or know what to do because they're so lazy, and because they say I'm doing fine. My form tutor ignores me now because he knows I have it. I've told one of my German teachers who I trust, and she and the whole languages department are great, but in Media and Drama they don't support me.
I decided that I might write this doctor a letter, to ask him to contact sixth form. Otherwise, I'll ask to take early study leave, because I work really well at home. I've seen someone else before and she's been no good either. This new guy has been sympathetic, but doesn't really know what's wrong with me. He can't differentiate between my personality and the problem, because I can usally cope fairly well, and because of this, he said I need a specialist.
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fleur de lis
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(Original post by hannah_dru)
I've told the school and I don't think they really care or know what to do because they're so lazy, and because they say I'm doing fine. My form tutor ignores me now because he knows I have it. I've told one of my German teachers who I trust, and she and the whole languages department are great, but in Media and Drama they don't support me.
I decided that I might write this doctor a letter, to ask him to contact sixth form. Otherwise, I'll ask to take early study leave, because I work really well at home. I've seen someone else before and she's been no good either. This new guy has been sympathetic, but doesn't really know what's wrong with me. He can't differentiate between my personality and the problem, because I can usally cope fairly well, and because of this, he said I need a specialist.
That really sucks that the school are being so unsupportive and makes it so much more difficult, I'm sorry :hugs: It's good that the languages dept are being understanding though. Unfortunately, depression is one of these illnesses that is generally quite poorly understood, and people find it hard to imagine what it's like unless they have suffered from it themselves. People presumably find it even harder to understand what it's like for you if you appear to be managing to cope on the outside. I think getting the doctor to write a note is a very good idea, as it gives your circumstances some 'weight', and the school can't ignore it so easily if they've got something from your doctor. Early study leave might be a good idea, particularly if you work well at home, because you can take it at your own pace, and work when you feel well enough to and can cope with it, and rest when you don't. I'm sorry your doctors don't seem to be much help either. Again, because depression can be complex, it can be hard for GPs to know how to diagnose and treat you best. Seeing a specialist might be a good idea as well, even if it's just for an evaluation to point you in the direction of the help that is available to you. Perhaps you could ask for a referral?

I hope my reply has been at least slightly helpful And I hope you are able to get the help you need :hugs:
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hannah_dru
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Thanks, yeah it is helpful

The German teacher I told suffered from depression too and said she had a lot of the same symptoms as me so that helps to know that she's there.
Everyone else my age seems to suggest silly things like hot chocolate and telling me to relax. I've always been really studious though and although everyone says I'm doing enough work even when I feel bad, I don't always feel like it's enough. Thanks for the support with the study leave idea. I definitely think I'll do it when I can.
The doctor said he would refer me, but I'm quite scared. I have a disability which attributes to some of my personality (I get on better with older people and have/had an older boyfriend) and I'm worried that they'll make issues out of that whrn I don't want them to. My doctor gave off the impression that I'm quite bizarre, when both myself and my mum know I'm normal apart from al this school stress.
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pixiepeep
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I was diagnosed with moderate/severe depression about a fortnight ago, and took a medical note to my tutor to explain why my attendance had been so low this term, and why I think I'm not going to cope too well with my end of year exams. I was quite shocked by her reaction! Normally, me and my tutor get on quite well, but she seemed slightly scared by the fact that I was ill, and didn't know how to react to me Made me feel even worse Plus, she just told me off for my attendance, and didn't give me a chance to explain (I've been really tired because of the depression, and I also have an anxiety disorder which has been getting worse, giving me panic attacks and mild agrophobia, so going to uni hasn't been top of my priority list, but I have been getting the work done). Some people seem to just see it as an excuse
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hannah_dru
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I don't understand why teachers have to react like that. Surely they should be trained in this, or at least be decent about it, cos it's human nature.
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Anonymous #2
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Yeah, my teacher seemed to freak out rather a lot when I told her. Though I think she saw my scars which didn't help (there were a lot at the time).
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Mad Vlad
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I dropped out of Uni because of my depression. I'm alright now, just skint and un-educated.
My suggestions would be to seek help from a counsellor, and speak to your doctor, too. Medication, as uninviting as the prospect is, saved me. I used it as a last resort, though and I think you should do the same. I'd always recommend trying to sort things out by talking, first.
Speak to your doctor and arrange to see a counsellor, and make the decision about where to go from here, would be my advice.
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db
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(Original post by Mad Vlad)
I dropped out of Uni because of my depression. I'm alright now, just skint and un-educated.
My suggestions would be to seek help from a counsellor, and speak to your doctor, too. Medication, as uninviting as the prospect is, saved me. I used it as a last resort, though and I think you should do the same. I'd always recommend trying to sort things out by talking, first.
Speak to your doctor and arrange to see a counsellor, and make the decision about where to go from here, would be my advice.
Same, Though I'm lucky to have a place at univ for Oct and i'm seeing Psychs at the minute so I'll be better prepared this time.

Maybe sure you let your tutor or course director know that you're struggling to cope and that your doctor is aware of the issues.

Is there any reason in particular you haven't started the course yet? Is it that you don't want to or just have been told to start at a particular time? Don't feel like tablets are teh only treatment available. I've refused all tablets I've been offered so far, ask for an alternative treatment if you think it's neccessary.
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Anonymous #1
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Thanks for all the advice, and it's a shame to see other people are suffering too (though it is nice to know I'm not alone).

I went to see my tutor a few weeks ago telling him more or less what I said in my original post. He was pretty dismissive and didn't see it as a particularly big issue, saying "in a few days you'll be fine". I'll try and see him again on monday, hopefully he'll take me a bit more seriously now i have a diagnosis. It'll sure be interesting to see what happens.

I have picked up the meds, but am keen to hold off until easter in the hope that a bit of a break will be all I need. I'm prepared to take them though. I've tried to arrange to see a counsellor, but they haven't got back to me yet and I wouldn't be able to fit it in edgeways with the amount of work I've got to do this week.

I've told my parents and my friends from school how I'm feeling, as I can trust them not to judge me because of it. I haven't really got any close friends here at uni, and am wary of sounding too downbeat so I try and hide it.
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Anonymous #3
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The most important thing to remember is that you're not alone, and it's also a very good thing that you've told your family and old schoolfriends about your illness. Letting your tutor know is also a good thing, but if that hasn't worked out then you might want to talk to your head of department or the Dean of Students if you have one.
I was sent home on medical leave of absence just before the end of my first term at uni with severe depression and anorexia that were thought to be caused by various relationship problems. Now I'm back at university, but I have no idea where I'm going to be living next year, am up all night working most nights a week, and am still having difficulties with my ex and his new girlfriend. However, since I made the situation known to the department and am registered with the university counselling service, things have improved a lot.
Fortunately I made my tutor aware of the situation early on, and so I've been able to get help from my department where it's needed. Now that you've got a diagnosis and you've let your department know, things will probably begin to move in a positive direction.
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hannah_dru
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I know what you mean OP about it being hard to fit in a counsellor on top of worrk. I had 3 appointments last week- 2 at the doctors and 1 with the counsellor.
I can't see my sixth form doing much because they haven't done much for me before.
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Anonymous #4
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(Original post by Ronove)
If you can work up the courage to tell your parents that would help too, since they can keep an eye on you during the first few weeks of your pills. However, it is a large step to take to ask a parent to watch you in that way, so you don't have to do it. Having to ask them might make you feel worse too so it's not *the* thing to do.
I can only speak from my experience and it sounds like you are worse off than I was but I found telling my parents really helpful. They weren't too supportive at first - they accused me of being deluded when I tried to escape from a hospital (I was in with something completely unrelated but potentially life-threatening) though that might have been because they were upset. However, over the last week or so they have been really supportive. I can't say how my studies will be affected as I had decided to drop out of my course (that I hated) before any of this happened. But if you do have the courage (and patience!) to tell your parents it would be really good. Telling a couple of really close friends who I can trust has also been really liberating.
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Agony Aunt
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I have exactly the same problem. I have missed many seminars/lectures and didn't do too good on the essays. I'm scared that I'll fail the first year and If i do, the university won't let me re do the first year or let me back on course. Do you think the uni will just chuck me out?
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