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    hello,

    So I have been suffering from anxiety and depression for the best part of a year or so now. I maintain a full time job (depressing in itself) and have recently just started my post graduate. My post graduate for me is a chance to get out of this rut job wise, get my arse into gear and get back on track with my education / career. I also need a challenge and something to focus my mind on.

    The thing is though, I am struggling already at uni. I done well in my undergraduate, but I didn't have an anxiety disorder back then.

    I have kinda kept quiet the first few weeks. Trust me, it was hard enough just to get to uni and in a new environment and getting my bearings. We have had a few field trips and no way would I have coped with the bus and social aspects so I have driven (partly out of reassurance for me, so if my anxiety is really uncontrollable, I can go), I sat at the back of lectures mainly focusing on my breathing and not freaking out so just paid attention to the PowerPoints rather than specialise. However, because of this, I have missed the click so to speak. Everyone has already settled into groups a month on and I have just become that guy that shows up now and then for lectures. Between lectures, I literally wonder around alone with no where to go or nothing to do. It's hard killing 2 hours this way!

    Has anyone got any suggestions to help manage the anxiety and get to a point where I can enjoy university and the social aspects?

    can anyone relate?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    hello,

    So I have been suffering from anxiety and depression for the best part of a year or so now. I maintain a full time job (depressing in itself) and have recently just started my post graduate. My post graduate for me is a chance to get out of this rut job wise, get my arse into gear and get back on track with my education / career. I also need a challenge and something to focus my mind on.

    The thing is though, I am struggling already at uni. I done well in my undergraduate, but I didn't have an anxiety disorder back then.

    I have kinda kept quiet the first few weeks. Trust me, it was hard enough just to get to uni and in a new environment and getting my bearings. We have had a few field trips and no way would I have coped with the bus and social aspects so I have driven (partly out of reassurance for me, so if my anxiety is really uncontrollable, I can go), I sat at the back of lectures mainly focusing on my breathing and not freaking out so just paid attention to the PowerPoints rather than specialise. However, because of this, I have missed the click so to speak. Everyone has already settled into groups a month on and I have just become that guy that shows up now and then for lectures. Between lectures, I literally wonder around alone with no where to go or nothing to do. It's hard killing 2 hours this way!

    Has anyone got any suggestions to help manage the anxiety and get to a point where I can enjoy university and the social aspects?

    can anyone relate?
    You've done well to get this far. Overcoming entrenched anxiety and depression is often a long job, so please keep plugging away at it. I'm guessing that you have some specific coping techniques (like controlling your breathing etc) for managing the symptoms, and what you need are some more ideas around socialising etc?

    With your peer group, could you try:

    - just sitting near someone to start with - close enough to smile at them as you take your place?

    - then taking a tube of Rolos and offering them round (with a big smile) before the lecture starts or during the coffee break? Next day, do it with some wine gums, then peppermints. Leave them on people's desks. Or flowers. Or toenail clippings. It'll become an easy icebreaker. Maybe not the toenail clippings

    - if the others go to a coffee bar, go with them and sit close by - near enough just to give a friendly nod at first? Once you've cracked that...

    - maybe approaching one of the other students with a request for help with a specific bit of work - "I know we haven't really met, but I'm struggling with this assignment/concept/whatever, would you mind if I talked it through with you for ten minutes so you could help me understand it?" type of thing? If that goes OK, the next day, you can go up to them again and say, "Thanks so much, that really helped. Are you going on the field trip next month....?" etc Hopefully, you are then on the way to feeling you can talk with that person without needing an "excuse".

    - if you know there is a small group who are working on a particular topic, could you approach them and say, "Would you guys mind if I hung out with you for this piece of work - I'm never going to get it right on my own?"

    - if your course has a FB or chat group, could you be active on that and use it to arrange some face-to-face discussions/meet-ups?

    Beyond your course group, can you manage any activities that require a minimum of effort on your part for social interactions to occur? I'm thinking of highly structured things like a chess club, singing group, drumming group etc? Scary the first time, but maybe do-able?

    I bet you have thought of/tried all of these. But I can't think of anything brilliant. Just keep trying and don't beat yourself up if it's all too much.
 
 
 
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