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    I have officially passed my second year of medical school and will be starting my third in a few days. I've always struggled with depression and self harm since I was 14, but only my closest friends know. If this year could be described in one word it would be tumultuous. I live 6 hours away from home,and only get to go home every 2-3 months.I feel worn so out and exhausted. Days before my final biochemistry exam i suffered from daily panic attacks. Maybe I'm not as strong as I always thought I was but i'm just so tired. In first year I had one break down this year I have had four. I'm just so scared of failing exams, of never feeling like I actually even know a thing. Of feeling like I'm in the bottom of my group. I fell in love for the first time and this year was just a period of more extreme lows to the point that i sat and cried in bed for more than a week. I'm aching and i'm breaking.

    I care that others will think that I'm stupid. Of seeing my year graduate before me, if I take a year out. I have emailed a private psychiatrist but he can only see me early November- I just don't know what to do.

    I don't know what i'm asking, I just feel scared but taking a year out won't exactly fix me because I'll still be the same. The work pace will still be the same. Has anyone finished medical school with mental health issues?
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    It sounds like you're struggling and I'm sorry you're feeling this way. Unis always have advice and counselling services which you can access so make sure you get the help you need. Talk to your tutors about the situation so they can help too.
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    (Original post by Lemons1990)
    I have officially passed my second year of medical school and will be starting my third in a few days. I've always struggled with depression and self harm since I was 14, but only my closest friends know. If this year could be described in one word it would be tumultuous. I live 6 hours away from home,and only get to go home every 2-3 months.I feel worn so out and exhausted. Days before my final biochemistry exam i suffered from daily panic attacks. Maybe I'm not as strong as I always thought I was but i'm just so tired. In first year I had one break down this year I have had four. I'm just so scared of failing exams, of never feeling like I actually even know a thing. Of feeling like I'm in the bottom of my group. I fell in love for the first time and this year was just a period of more extreme lows to the point that i sat and cried in bed for more than a week. I'm aching and i'm breaking.

    I care that others will think that I'm stupid. Of seeing my year graduate before me, if I take a year out. I have emailed a private psychiatrist but he can only see me early November- I just don't know what to do.

    I don't know what i'm asking, I just feel scared but taking a year out won't exactly fix me because I'll still be the same. The work pace will still be the same. Has anyone finished medical school with mental health issues?
    Sorry to hear you're feeling like this, it's not an easy place to be at the best of times and so I'm sure having pre-existing problems makes this worse a thousand fold.

    You're clearly excelling as you have passed your exams for the second time! That's pretty good going – many fail years of medical school with no mental health issues, so it's a credit to you that you've gotten this far. What's to stop you having similar success in future years? I think that your fears of being seen as inferior are unfounded: you're in the elite academically speaking already and it's easy to lose sight of this in a place where we have to work so hard.

    All that said, the quality of life that you lead is more important than the place you're at academically. If a year out is what you need to come to terms with things a little bit, and to seek help, that's perfectly fine. No right minded person is going to criticise you for that, and likely you'll discover other people in a similar position. We have one person joining our year after a year out and I don't think it's even widely known – but it's definitely not something they'd be judged on from my POV.

    I'm rambling a bit, sorry, if you want to chat I'm happy to offer a listening ear. There's a solution to almost everything, so try not to let the weight of the issue crush you
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    You need to communicate with your Personal tutor and your GP about this.

    Hiding your difficulties is a far bigger FtP issue than being open about them.
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    If I can offer you any advice from my personal situation - I took a year out after second year because I totally lost motivation for medicine after a lot of retaking exams etc through year 1 and 2 and not enjoying myself and feeling quite down too (though wouldn't say I was clinically depressed on reflection). Best decision I ever made. I didn't feel like I missed out at all by not graduating with my original year. In fact I even went on to intercalate so am in fact two years ahead (in terms of age) from most of my current year. In my final year now and really wouldn't regret the year out at all. I gained a lot of life experience from having a job, travelling and was able to reflect on why I wanted to do medicine in the first place. I would definitely consider this option if it's open to you.

    I believe it takes a brave person to decide they are burning out or that their work is affecting their mental health too much to continue for now. It allows them to take a step back - to rethink their choices, reflect, take a breather, and go again or even change direction.

    Best of luck to you!
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    I'm sorry to hear you're feeling like this I would strongly suggest booking an appointment with your university counselling service. I have friends who sought help from their uni counsellor and they said it really helped. Have you got a close friend at uni or a flatmate you can turn to?
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    Hi, I had some anxiety and low mood during the clinical years of my course. Medicine is a tough course, and having mental health problems makes things a lot tougher.

    I had to resit a couple of exams in 5th year (I had a six year course), and things had improved slightly during sixth year. I was told by my university that if I failed a resit, I'd have been allowed an extra attempt under extenuating circumstances.

    Now, my health problems obviously weren't anywhere near as serious as yours, but just letting you know that you shouldn't feel alone in how you are feeling - lots of other people struggle with such things too. So you shouldn't feel ashamed or embarrassed.

    It's maybe worth talking to a personal/welfare tutor at your medical school?
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    Thank you to everyone who took the time to reply.

    So it's official and all I've done is just sit and cry. Because today would have been my first hospital class, funnily enough at the psychiatric ward and I just bought my first stethoscope which I can't use.
 
 
 
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