Depression, OCD and A First Class Degree?

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byakuya kuchki
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(Original post by shreyaa02)
Nope, I stopped over at DXB (Dubai). Wow, Sri Lanka? You must've been pretty jet-lagged !
Haha yea I get that. I think I signed up for everything and now my inbox is flooded with emails from societies really! Last night I had to run around and go to 3 different society socials.. that was something I guess. Also, another down side of meeting so many people, the dreaded freshers flu. Now not only am I running empty on time, I also would like to die. I guess Carpe diem? 😂. Also, have you had your formals yet? I have mine tomorrow and I am quite excited for that. Tbh, It's the only reason why I applied to Cambridge.. the swishier Gowns! (and the supervisions which is unparalleled in any other institution). No offense but I personally think that the Oxford gowns are worse than the Cambridge ones 😂. Well, as long as you don't get too homesick really, I am sure there is a Indian society or something in oxford? Mind you, I have only moved from Birmingham and I am already missing it really. Especially the food, don't get me wrong the food here is great but I am missing paneer. I think I am going to get my mother to drop off some biriyani and paneer for the long nights. Yea, just keep talking with people really. Oxbridge for all its pomp and splendour can be a lonely and sometimes stressful place really! Do keep in mind the fact that the tutors choose you for a reason, so just trust in the process. Also, what college are you in? I have a few friends going to oxford and if you want I can put you in contact with them.
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Update 3: Thurs 10 Oct
So freshers week is in full swing. And boy has it been a busy one. On the one hand, it means my depression and anxiety barely has time to make itself felt. On the other, its extra busy and that makes it difficult to ensure self-care and mental peace. So here's my attempt to give you guys a rundown of what has been a wild dragon back ride of a week.

The best parts of freshers week were getting to know new people and meeting the tutors. The whole fanfare of the welcome into being an Oxford student really gave me a wonderful sense of purpose about being here to study. Its such an opportunity and Oxford has the kind of ambiance that makes the realisation almost surreal.

I did though have a couple of difficult days during the week. One annoying thing (of course) was my depression induced drowsiness. There was one morning where I just sort of slept through all my commitments until my family just gave up trying to get me to leave my room, and just showed up to mine. The solution is just the same as usual - breathing exercises and possibly a shower, then to go straight into a routine task with set objectives. I do allow myself a nap in the afternoon but not longer than 20 minutes. This kind of thing can snowball and become a total waste of time.

I've met my tutors and they've given us a short spiel on the course, our upcoming classes and tutorials, plus a brief reading list. That's when a bit of trouble started: I spent an hour last night running around to different welfare people in the college wanting help with sorting it out. Naturally this is not the best way to go about your first reading list. I got really frustrated because half the people weren't available because they were out of office while others were simply not picking up the phone, even if it was their job to attend to student welfare out of hours. It so happened that my family called me at just the right time (i.e. as I was having a anxiety attack and pretty much crying publicly) and somehow talking over the phone about what's troubling you can help you calm down - at least when it's with someone who truly cares about you and who won't worsen your situation by making unhelpful comments.

Effectively, the lesson learnt was this - I have got to be self-reliant. I can't run around pleading for help, that too out of office hours, forever. It ultimately comes down to me and what I'm willing to do to help myself.

Speaking of which, I am really struggling with self-hatred for what I know to be rather trivial issues. I think that's just classic OCD - knowing that something's not worth getting worked up about and getting worked up anyway. Recent examples: a staff member at a museum 'telling me off' for making a request at closing time; getting distracted in the middle of studying by a male friend (whom I was messaging *cough* flirting with) - both of these sent me into a short but profound sense of guilt and depression. I really want to do well academically + be a good person. So of course OCD loves those topics with me - even the smallest deviance from my standards gives me an intense pang of shame and the feeling that I'm somehow the worst thing that could have ever come to exist on the Earth.

It's a difficult journey, but I'm glad that I have the opportunities that I do, and that my family never put pressure on me to "stop being sad" even though I 'feel bad about feeling bad' around them - who likes to have a perpetual Debbie Downer for a daughter? Anyhow, I think the way to recovery lies in pushing myself to do what is possibly the most difficult task for me, day in day out, but also the most remedial: to keep studying, because that's how I'll empower myself and therefore others.

GYG Love to y'all,
shreyaa02 x
Hey,

Sorry for the very late reply! That does sound very frustrating about the welfare people not being available/not responding, so sorry that happened. I'm glad your family phoned you and I hope things are feeling a bit more manageable now.

Huge hugs about the OCD, that sounds really difficult. It sounds like your family are very supportive, which is great. If it would ever help to bounce ideas off someone else, you're always welcome to PM me

Loads of hugs to you! :jumphug:

PS. Yeah, 12 hour direct flight on Sri Lankan Airlines! Not my idea of fun, doh. Though the worst flight I've ever taken was Dubai to Melbourne, Australia. It went on forever. Even once we actually reached Australian west coast, it still took 3 hours to go round the whole bloody thing and get to Melbourne :bawling:
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shreyaa02
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Hey,

Sorry for the very late reply! That does sound very frustrating about the welfare people not being available/not responding, so sorry that happened. I'm glad your family phoned you and I hope things are feeling a bit more manageable now.

Huge hugs about the OCD, that sounds really difficult. It sounds like your family are very supportive, which is great. If it would ever help to bounce ideas off someone else, you're always welcome to PM me

Loads of hugs to you! :jumphug:

PS. Yeah, 12 hour direct flight on Sri Lankan Airlines! Not my idea of fun, doh. Though the worst flight I've ever taken was Dubai to Melbourne, Australia. It went on forever. Even once we actually reached Australian west coast, it still took 3 hours to go round the whole bloody thing and get to Melbourne :bawling:
Yeah, I feel much better now. I think I learnt a lesson there; there isn't going to be anyone who can look out for me better than myself. It's easy to sink into self-hatred when things don't go "perfectly", and that's when it's easiest for OCD to prey on me. If I don't turn against myself, the disorder can't make me. Thanks for being such a friendly person! I really look forward to reading your replies on TSR - it means so much to me that there is someone who is willing to read all the boring struggles that I have on my way to getting a good degree! And goodness, I've lived in Dubai for a while - coming from there to the UK was long enough, never mind Melbourne...

(Original post by byakuya kuchki)
Haha yea I get that. I think I signed up for everything and now my inbox is flooded with emails from societies really! Last night I had to run around and go to 3 different society socials.. that was something I guess. Also, another down side of meeting so many people, the dreaded freshers flu. Now not only am I running empty on time, I also would like to die. I guess Carpe diem? 😂. Also, have you had your formals yet? I have mine tomorrow and I am quite excited for that. Tbh, It's the only reason why I applied to Cambridge.. the swishier Gowns! (and the supervisions which is unparalleled in any other institution). No offense but I personally think that the Oxford gowns are worse than the Cambridge ones 😂. Well, as long as you don't get too homesick really, I am sure there is a Indian society or something in oxford? Mind you, I have only moved from Birmingham and I am already missing it really. Especially the food, don't get me wrong the food here is great but I am missing paneer. I think I am going to get my mother to drop off some biriyani and paneer for the long nights. Yea, just keep talking with people really. Oxbridge for all its pomp and splendour can be a lonely and sometimes stressful place really! Do keep in mind the fact that the tutors choose you for a reason, so just trust in the process. Also, what college are you in? I have a few friends going to oxford and if you want I can put you in contact with them.
Well done for "running around and going to those 3 society socials" - I hope it was worth it! Oh dear, I got the flu just before freshers (getting sick earlier than everyone else, yay...) and it is such a nuisance having to blow your nose AND make your way from one event to another AND try to be sociable with the other freshers. I had one formal dinner for freshers which was very fancy, very Oxford, really a nice experience altogether. Oxford has a rather odd gown even I have to admit - I just looked up Cambridge's and I agree with you there, much swishier and more satisfactory indeed 😂. I signed up to the Indian society and South Asian Dance too (that should be fun). Paneer is delicious too - you're making me hungry in fact, since I've been surviving tonight on an omelette and cake (both a bit on the bland side). I agree with you that Oxford can get lonely sometimes. But it's going to be okay on that front I think, given there's so many chances to meet people and socialise. I'm in Hertford College btw
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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(Original post by shreyaa02)
Yeah, I feel much better now. I think I learnt a lesson there; there isn't going to be anyone who can look out for me better than myself. It's easy to sink into self-hatred when things don't go "perfectly", and that's when it's easiest for OCD to prey on me. If I don't turn against myself, the disorder can't make me. Thanks for being such a friendly person! I really look forward to reading your replies on TSR - it means so much to me that there is someone who is willing to read all the boring struggles that I have on my way to getting a good degree! And goodness, I've lived in Dubai for a while - coming from there to the UK was long enough, never mind Melbourne...
You sound mature well beyond your years, I wish I was as mature as you are (and I'm 30, lol :shakecane: ) You're very welcome! And your blog is not boring in the slightest, so please don't feel like that or put yourself down. I'm very excited to follow your journey!

Yeah, I've basically decided to never visit Australia again :lol:
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byakuya kuchki
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(Original post by shreyaa02)
Well done for "running around and going to those 3 society socials" - I hope it was worth it! Oh dear, I got the flu just before freshers (getting sick earlier than everyone else, yay...) and it is such a nuisance having to blow your nose AND make your way from one event to another AND try to be sociable with the other freshers. I had one formal dinner for freshers which was very fancy, very Oxford, really a nice experience altogether. Oxford has a rather odd gown even I have to admit - I just looked up Cambridge's and I agree with you there, much swishier and more satisfactory indeed 😂. I signed up to the Indian society and South Asian Dance too (that should be fun). Paneer is delicious too - you're making me hungry in fact, since I've been surviving tonight on an omelette and cake (both a bit on the bland side). I agree with you that Oxford can get lonely sometimes. But it's going to be okay on that front I think, given there's so many chances to meet people and socialise. I'm in Hertford College btw
Yes, it was. I meet some interesting people? I guess as they say never judge a book by its cover (although, you would think that I would have realised that by now). Its very weird as I find myself comparing myself to my father's time at Oxford. Let's hope I can become half the man he was . Oh no! well, at least you could help other people get through it now! I had packed a lot of paracetamol before coming here and now I find myself handing people some. I came here to study but i find myself becoming a drug dealer 😂😂. My parents will be so proud! Tbh, with the flu I have put the socialising on hold, people can wait for a bit before they get a daily dose of my greatness😂. Aww, I am glad you enjoyed your formals, are you going to go again? Yep, say whatever about cambridge but we have you beaten on style! omg the south asian dance society? man I want to go! we don't have that.. well there always another life.. do you want to switch? 😂. what else have you signed up for? Well, if you ever want some paneer you know where I am Yep! just got to go outside and face people and talk. Omg Hertford? damn, that's where I probably would have applied if I had applied to oxford. Well, either that or Christ Church. How's your reading coming along? looking at my reading list, I don't think I will ever get through this 😭.
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shreyaa02
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
You sound mature well beyond your years, I wish I was as mature as you are (and I'm 30, lol :shakecane: ) You're very welcome! And your blog is not boring in the slightest, so please don't feel like that or put yourself down. I'm very excited to follow your journey!

Yeah, I've basically decided to never visit Australia again :lol:
Haha, well, maturity has different aspects, surely. I'm lucky in a way that my illness has made it necessary for me to think more about mental wellbeing than the average teen, but many experiences at university still make me feel like a helpless child.

(Original post by byakuya kuchki)
Yes, it was. I meet some interesting people? I guess as they say never judge a book by its cover (although, you would think that I would have realised that by now). Its very weird as I find myself comparing myself to my father's time at Oxford. Let's hope I can become half the man he was . Oh no! well, at least you could help other people get through it now! I had packed a lot of paracetamol before coming here and now I find myself handing people some. I came here to study but i find myself becoming a drug dealer 😂😂. My parents will be so proud! Tbh, with the flu I have put the socialising on hold, people can wait for a bit before they get a daily dose of my greatness😂. Aww, I am glad you enjoyed your formals, are you going to go again? Yep, say whatever about cambridge but we have you beaten on style! omg the south asian dance society? man I want to go! we don't have that.. well there always another life.. do you want to switch? 😂. what else have you signed up for? Well, if you ever want some paneer you know where I am Yep! just got to go outside and face people and talk. Omg Hertford? damn, that's where I probably would have applied if I had applied to oxford. Well, either that or Christ Church. How's your reading coming along? looking at my reading list, I don't think I will ever get through this 😭.
You're lucky to have family who went to Oxbridge before you! (at least in my opinion, 'cause I'm the first person from my family to study outside of India and I guess I'm the guinea pig.) But your father was your father, and you are you - the stories are different and so I'm sure you'll succeed to the fullest in your own way, if you give it your best shot. And in terms of the flu, gosh, we've had the classic 'symphony of coughs' at lectures at Oxford in the first week after Freshers. Get well soon too! Btw, on societies, I've also signed up for a mindfulness course (90 mins each week of meditation and such like) - given the state of my mind, I kinda have to do everything I can to keep myself mentally healthy. I'm just staying afloat with my reading - panic attacks and all that suck a lot of time out of my day so I barely just scrape through the reading set for the week. Let's see where I get this time, I'm trying to make some small lifestyle changes so I don't get so low in the evenings.
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shreyaa02
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Update #4: Weds 16 Oct

Onwards with my first *normal* week at uni! This week has been quite a novel and fun experience on the whole, with the opportunity to go to lectures, classes and keep on top of our new reading lists. Aaand of course there were quite a few anxiety/depression blips i.e. struggling with a sudden deep sense of sadness engulfing me in the evening, and making the whole word seem grey and painful; compulsions to self-harm; avoidance of the source of my stress (studying.)

Last night, I was deeply upset (crying for 2 hours non-stop - that's how upset) that I couldn't do any work. It was just that I felt so empty when I got home that I wanted to anything but study, so I decided, very innocently, to watch a video or two on YouTube to cheer me up. Of course, 2 hours later, what have I done? Nothing, except binge-watching videos. You can guess what comes next: the whole cycle of self-loathing, guilt, anger, regret etc. etc.

* Trigger warning, please read the next part at your own discretion *
Spoiler:
Show
Another night, I just got out the knife and tried cutting myself. I felt like I had momentarily crossed that line between normalcy and that surreal state when you're fixed on doing something absurd. Anyway, as soon as I realised the danger of what I was getting myself into, I picked up the phone and called family. There was another episode of crying for an hour or so but thanks to their support, I calmed down, did around 10-20 mins of breathing exercises and went to sleep. Please if you are reading this and you find a similar urge in yourself, call your local mental health helpline, family or just about anyone who would be likely to help. Being brave enough to make that one call home, even when I felt like I didn't want to, saved me on countless occasions from doing something that could have more worrying consequences.

All this aside, I'm now feeling a bit better. My family is helping me to organise my schedule more efficiently (since the last time I tried was a bit of a mess, as I had clashing appointments and all sorts of nonsense happening). I was very mopey tonight too, and pretty much just crawled out of bed and dragged myself to dinner. That was an important move though, since I only feel better now because I went out and spoke to a friend, ate some food, got some fresh air. And now...*drumroll please*

My first essay is HERE! (And also my first class in Old English.)

[To be updated.]
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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I'm sorry it's been such a tough time for you. Loads of hugs! :jumphug: Well done for reaching out for help, not always easy to do but it's important :yes:

Oooh essay :afraid: Good luck and hope it's not too stressful to do/think about

:hugs:
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byakuya kuchki
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(Original post by shreyaa02)
You're lucky to have family who went to Oxbridge before you! (at least in my opinion, 'cause I'm the first person from my family to study outside of India and I guess I'm the guinea pig.) But your father was your father, and you are you - the stories are different and so I'm sure you'll succeed to the fullest in your own way, if you give it your best shot. And in terms of the flu, gosh, we've had the classic 'symphony of coughs' at lectures at Oxford in the first week after Freshers. Get well soon too! Btw, on societies, I've also signed up for a mindfulness course (90 mins each week of meditation and such like) - given the state of my mind, I kinda have to do everything I can to keep myself mentally healthy. I'm just staying afloat with my reading - panic attacks and all that suck a lot of time out of my day so I barely just scrape through the reading set for the week. Let's see where I get this time, I'm trying to make some small lifestyle changes so I don't get so low in the evenings.
Well, I guess I am lucky! Tbh, yours is a bigger achievement!! plus who cares where one comes from? we all made it though our merit. Omg the coughing is so annoying.. I went to library and all I could do was cough and everyone was staring daggers at me. so I just walked out. I have no clue what to do about the cough, I habe tried everything!! a mindfulness course? sounds really cool! I am sure you will be fine. I have suffered from mild depression before so I can understand how hard it can be. Oh no, I hope it's not getting worse? Have you spoken to your tutor about this? I am sure something can be worked out. it creates a constant cycle tbh of not doing enough work, hating yourself for it, and so on. Best thing I found when I was going through it was keeping myself busy? not giving my mind to think about which helped but then again not everyone is same and it might for you.

Sorry I can't do anything about this. it's something you have to figure out yourself really. At least your parents are understanding, most indian parents I know are a bit weird around it really. My friend was depressed and his mother just didn't understand it/ refused to believe it really

if you ever need someone to talk to I am always here to listen! I am sure time difference thing can be bit stressful.

*edit* just saw your post. are you okay now? there are people who are there who will listen. so there is the Oxford nightline? I am sure you know this. Shreya (I am guessing that's your name) if it gets tough just talk to your tutors. Most of them are very understanding and trained to deal with issues. Best wishes .
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
I'm sorry it's been such a tough time for you. Loads of hugs! :jumphug: Well done for reaching out for help, not always easy to do but it's important :yes:

Oooh essay :afraid: Good luck and hope it's not too stressful to do/think about

:hugs:
Thank you. It is surprisingly hard to ask for help, you really have to swallow your pride and think about the bigger picture to convince yourself to do it! At least that's what I find. You'll be pleased to hear I've now got through not just one but two essays. Woo! Thanks for your support x

(Original post by byakuya kuchki)
Well, I guess I am lucky! Tbh, yours is a bigger achievement!! plus who cares where one comes from? we all made it though our merit. Omg the coughing is so annoying.. I went to library and all I could do was cough and everyone was staring daggers at me. so I just walked out. I have no clue what to do about the cough, I habe tried everything!! a mindfulness course? sounds really cool! I am sure you will be fine. I have suffered from mild depression before so I can understand how hard it can be. Oh no, I hope it's not getting worse? Have you spoken to your tutor about this? I am sure something can be worked out. it creates a constant cycle tbh of not doing enough work, hating yourself for it, and so on. Best thing I found when I was going through it was keeping myself busy? not giving my mind to think about which helped but then again not everyone is same and it might for you.

Sorry I can't do anything about this. it's something you have to figure out yourself really. At least your parents are understanding, most indian parents I know are a bit weird around it really. My friend was depressed and his mother just didn't understand it/ refused to believe it really

if you ever need someone to talk to I am always here to listen! I am sure time difference thing can be bit stressful.

*edit* just saw your post. are you okay now? there are people who are there who will listen. so there is the Oxford nightline? I am sure you know this. Shreya (I am guessing that's your name) if it gets tough just talk to your tutors. Most of them are very understanding and trained to deal with issues. Best wishes .
Yeah you're very right, sometimes I'm sat in class listening to my classmates almost wanting to pinch myself to check it's not all a dream - I mean, what other time in my life am I going to be surrounded by this many intelligent people? Get well soon. I'm not sure if the mindfulness course is helping though - it seems to make me feel worse if I have to spend an hour or so focussing on how I feel (since bad/sad is how I feel). I did have a minor blip in the middle of the past week where I couldn't do the reading for one of my classes, but my tutor was really understanding about it and made no demands of me. You're totally on point about the vicious cycle of not doing work - I pretty much find that the best way to calm myself down is to push myself into doing some work even if that means having my parents online on Skype watching me and making sure I don't get off track. I wish Indian parents didn't have such a bad reputation for mental health issues - since they're so involved, it only makes sense for them to care about their children's physical and mental wellbeing! Maybe you should talk to your friend's mum...it can be risky for someone to have depression and not receive treatment.

I have rung up Nightline once or twice already so yes, I am getting help from wherever I can. Thank you so much for your support!
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Update #5: Tues 29 Oct

Okay, so successfully got two essays down, six more to go. A quick recap of what's happening in the 10 days I've been away:
- I now have a mentor - the Oxford Welfare services run a mentoring programme for people who have declared a disability (i.e. long term diagnosed mental health condition). Essentially what happens is I have 20 hours of mentoring time per year where I go speak to a trained psychotherapist - not solely for counselling purposes though, much more like holistic support for getting through academic work at Oxford and emotional support if needed)
- I've joined in with fun LGBTQ+ events happening around Oxford (i.e. pumpkin carving!)
- Slightly got my medication increased because boy, was I depressed in these first few weeks

Now for this week's agenda -
First thing's first, I have to complete an essay plan on the Battle of Maldon and a bunch of other Old English poems for Thursday. Steps to complete this:
a) Choose a question. I've decided to plan to answer this one: ‘Old English literature shows Anglo-Saxon heroic values to be haunted by the fear of failure.’ Discuss this comment in relation to The Battle of Maldon. You can include another text, such as The Battle of Brunanburh or The Fight at Finnsburh (Fragment) in your essay.

b) Do some further primary reading. I'm going to go for 'Battle of Brunanburh' and the 'Fight at Finnsburh' as the other two heroic poems that I focus on.

c) More secondary reading! The list is huge so I have to decide which ones will be most relevant to my question. Some of them are general reads around the topic, of which I've selected these two:
1. Rolf H. Bremmer, Jr., ‘Old English heroic literature’, in Readings in Medieval Texts: Interpreting Old and Middle English Literature, ed. David Johnson and Elaine Treharne (New York, 2005), pp. 75-90.

Then some more specific reading on the Battle of Maldon:
2. D. W. Frese, ‘Poetic Prowess in Brunanburh and Maldon: Winning, Losing, and Literary Outcome’, in Modes of Interpretation in Old English Literature: Essays in Honour of Stanley B. Greenfield, ed. P. R. Brown et al (Toronto, 1986), pp. 83-99.

Finally, for the Battle of Brunanburh and Fight at Finnsburh:
3. Alice Jorgensen, ‘Reading Emotion in The Battle of Brunanburh’, Neophilologus 100, issue 4 (2016), 663-76.
4. Donald K. Fry, ‘The Hero on the Beach in Finnsburh’, Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 67 (1966), 27-31.

I'll have to follow all the above with the final part of the task: writing up an essay plan, where I have to do my best to quote in Old English even if I'm not too well versed with the language. Let's see how this goes...off to the library now!

GYG love,
shreyaa02
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Well done on 2 essays down already! Not an easy feat at all. I found first term such a struggle at Oxford, but it sounds like you're keeping your head above water much better than I did That said, am not underestimating at all how challenging these first few weeks have been from you :console:

Am pleased that you have a mentor, that sounds very useful. I hope you get on well with your mentor and that they become a great help to you. I have similar at my uni (am doing a PhD at one of the University of London colleges :eek: ), but for 30 hours per year because our terms are so effing long compared to Oxford's, doh I had one during my MA at UoL, and I don't think I'd have got through that degree were it not for my mentor keeping an eye on me

Heroic poems sound interesting, though not entirely clear on what they entail. I'm not sure I studied any Old English for my A Level English Lit. Chaucer isn't Old English, is he? :ninja: Hope you're getting to grips with the language OK

Glad you are utilising support like Nightline and that meds have been increased :yes: And LGBTQ+ events sound great too! I'm not sure I've ever carved a pumpkin :getmecoat:

Hope you're doing OK :penguinhug:
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byakuya kuchki
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(Original post by shreyaa02)
Thank you. It is surprisingly hard to ask for help, you really have to swallow your pride and think about the bigger picture to convince yourself to do it! At least that's what I find. You'll be pleased to hear I've now got through not just one but two essays. Woo! Thanks for your support x


Yeah you're very right, sometimes I'm sat in class listening to my classmates almost wanting to pinch myself to check it's not all a dream - I mean, what other time in my life am I going to be surrounded by this many intelligent people? Get well soon. I'm not sure if the mindfulness course is helping though - it seems to make me feel worse if I have to spend an hour or so focussing on how I feel (since bad/sad is how I feel). I did have a minor blip in the middle of the past week where I couldn't do the reading for one of my classes, but my tutor was really understanding about it and made no demands of me. You're totally on point about the vicious cycle of not doing work - I pretty much find that the best way to calm myself down is to push myself into doing some work even if that means having my parents online on Skype watching me and making sure I don't get off track. I wish Indian parents didn't have such a bad reputation for mental health issues - since they're so involved, it only makes sense for them to care about their children's physical and mental wellbeing! Maybe you should talk to your friend's mum...it can be risky for someone to have depression and not receive treatment.

I have rung up Nightline once or twice already so yes, I am getting help from wherever I can. Thank you so much for your support!
Well, one must use intelligent sparingly :/ I am kidding . Yea, the fever is gone but the symphony of coughing hasn't died down you will be pleased to know XD. Yea, tbh that does sound like a bit of a catch 21, but I think you should weather it out and see where it takes you. You can always quit if you see no improvement in a month? It's quite hard to get in grips with ones feelings but maybe as time goes on it might help to point out early signs of when you might be not okay which in turn would help you to take preemptive measures. Well, your tutor seems nice! mine's very shouty :/ although truth be told its mostly my fault why he is so shouty. I feel like I am drowning in work tbh, I am really looking forward to get out of here! Hmm, I think doing even a little bit of work would help to get you on track and its nice to see your parents are very supportive of this! Hope it goes okay for you. Yea, I mean I feel like she should her it from her own child before someone else. I just don't know how to convince my friend that they can open up to their parent. But, if it gets worse than I probably will speak with their parents... Anyway, How is your social and academic life coming along?
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Well done on 2 essays down already! Not an easy feat at all. I found first term such a struggle at Oxford, but it sounds like you're keeping your head above water much better than I did That said, am not underestimating at all how challenging these first few weeks have been from you :console:

Am pleased that you have a mentor, that sounds very useful. I hope you get on well with your mentor and that they become a great help to you. I have similar at my uni (am doing a PhD at one of the University of London colleges :eek: ), but for 30 hours per year because our terms are so effing long compared to Oxford's, doh I had one during my MA at UoL, and I don't think I'd have got through that degree were it not for my mentor keeping an eye on me

Heroic poems sound interesting, though not entirely clear on what they entail. I'm not sure I studied any Old English for my A Level English Lit. Chaucer isn't Old English, is he? :ninja: Hope you're getting to grips with the language OK

Glad you are utilising support like Nightline and that meds have been increased :yes: And LGBTQ+ events sound great too! I'm not sure I've ever carved a pumpkin :getmecoat:

Hope you're doing OK :penguinhug:
Now I'm five essays down, three more to go. I have to tell myself to be proud and get over the 'so apparently, I did all this work?' disbelief. This is getting ever so slightly easier - I say that knowing I'm tempting fate, and that Term 2 will probably be a lot more difficult. We shall weather it out :rolleyes:...btw, 30 hours a year sounds so much more sensible. I only have 12 hours like I mentioned above and that is just far too spaced out to be of any significant benefit. However, I'm not complaining - it does help to be able to talk to someone who is a trained psychotherapist and able to help out with organisation etc.

Chaucer is Middle English so you're not far off. Old English though is a completely different language, actually rather close to German.

Nightline can be very variable in how helpful it is so I'm doing my best to look after myself on my own. I have a really angelic tutor (so lovely that it's hard to even express how kind she is unless you meet her) and whenever I feel like being harsh to myself, I think...what would she say? That automatically makes it easier to get back into self-compassionate voice. Speaking of which, you should totally carve a pumpkin next Halloween. I wasn't too adventurous, but some people made wonderfully creative and spooky designs on theirs!

Thank you for the support

(Original post by byakuya kuchki)
Well, one must use intelligent sparingly :/ I am kidding . Yea, the fever is gone but the symphony of coughing hasn't died down you will be pleased to know XD. Yea, tbh that does sound like a bit of a catch 21, but I think you should weather it out and see where it takes you. You can always quit if you see no improvement in a month? It's quite hard to get in grips with ones feelings but maybe as time goes on it might help to point out early signs of when you might be not okay which in turn would help you to take preemptive measures. Well, your tutor seems nice! mine's very shouty :/ although truth be told its mostly my fault why he is so shouty. I feel like I am drowning in work tbh, I am really looking forward to get out of here! Hmm, I think doing even a little bit of work would help to get you on track and its nice to see your parents are very supportive of this! Hope it goes okay for you. Yea, I mean I feel like she should her it from her own child before someone else. I just don't know how to convince my friend that they can open up to their parent. But, if it gets worse than I probably will speak with their parents... Anyway, How is your social and academic life coming along?

Oh goodness, are tutors allowed to shout at students? They really shouldn't be (maybe you should grab hold of him/her by the shoulders, give them a shake and say ARE YOU AWARE THAT OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM HAS CHANGED FROM THE 19TH CENTURY? Would teach them a very valuable lesson on how not to be a silly teacher.) I recall you said you were starting at Cambridge so you're only a fresher, and keeping up with work is obviously going to be tricky at first (as I know from experience). See my next update for more on my social and academic life . As always, thank you for your support!
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study beats
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Turned 25 years old last week and my dark past is still traumatizing me.

I graduated in November 2017 and since then I have done nothing with my life.

Last year in 2018 I was living at a supported accomodation, at the accomodation I was abused by the staff and residents, it was a terrible time.

Some months later I was feeling suicidal and my father took me to the hospital, there I met a mental health nurse. The nurse said "you can harm yourself if you want to, your an adult and it's your choice". After she said that I was in tears , none of the other doctors asked me what's wrong whilst I was in tears. My father was with me and he did nothing .

Some months later I attempted suicide , I was taken to hospital .

2018 was a terrible year and it was wasted because I was mistreated by the NHS and other humans . I was once blamed for emotional blackmail.

At the beginning of 2019 I tried to get back on the path of recovery , but it didn't work, I spent most of my time in bed.

In July 2019 I was admitted into hospital for my mental disorder, I spent the first week crying on the phone to my parents because I didn't want to be there , a grown man crying. I felt really guilty for crying.

Fast forward to November 2019 , here I am, still in pain and traumatized because of my past.

Why is the world such a cruel place ?
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(Original post by shreyaa02)
Now I'm five essays down, three more to go. I have to tell myself to be proud and get over the 'so apparently, I did all this work?' disbelief. This is getting ever so slightly easier - I say that knowing I'm tempting fate, and that Term 2 will probably be a lot more difficult. We shall weather it out :rolleyes:...btw, 30 hours a year sounds so much more sensible. I only have 12 hours like I mentioned above and that is just far too spaced out to be of any significant benefit. However, I'm not complaining - it does help to be able to talk to someone who is a trained psychotherapist and able to help out with organisation etc.

Chaucer is Middle English so you're not far off. Old English though is a completely different language, actually rather close to German.

Nightline can be very variable in how helpful it is so I'm doing my best to look after myself on my own. I have a really angelic tutor (so lovely that it's hard to even express how kind she is unless you meet her) and whenever I feel like being harsh to myself, I think...what would she say? That automatically makes it easier to get back into self-compassionate voice. Speaking of which, you should totally carve a pumpkin next Halloween. I wasn't too adventurous, but some people made wonderfully creative and spooky designs on theirs!

Thank you for the support
Yaaaaaaaay, go you! You're doing really great, you def ought to be proud of yourself

Ah 12 hours per academic year isn't much at all Yeah I'm very lucky to have 30 hours I missed my session this week just ending though because I just couldn't get out of bed, the depression was so strong

Ah, OK, so if Chaucer is Middle English, then Old English is like... Beowulf? :dontknow: :ninja: :holmes: Oh wow about it being a completely different language. I dunno how anyone can even begin to read that, in that case. Kudos to you! :adore:

Ah yes, that can be the case with these kinda helplines (Nightline) - I found the same with the Samaritans :sadnod: I'm so pleased though that you have such a wonderful tutor and that you are able to somewhat internalise her and what she would say, to help with self-compassion. That's truly great

Hope you have a good week :penguinhug:
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(Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
Yaaaaaaaay, go you! You're doing really great, you def ought to be proud of yourself

Ah 12 hours per academic year isn't much at all Yeah I'm very lucky to have 30 hours I missed my session this week just ending though because I just couldn't get out of bed, the depression was so strong

Ah, OK, so if Chaucer is Middle English, then Old English is like... Beowulf? :dontknow: :ninja: :holmes: Oh wow about it being a completely different language. I dunno how anyone can even begin to read that, in that case. Kudos to you! :adore:

Ah yes, that can be the case with these kinda helplines (Nightline) - I found the same with the Samaritans :sadnod: I'm so pleased though that you have such a wonderful tutor and that you are able to somewhat internalise her and what she would say, to help with self-compassion. That's truly great

Hope you have a good week :penguinhug:
Thank you, I'm actually now done with my first term! So happy I made it out alive :cool:.
Apparently I can apply for more mentoring hours but I don't really feel like it's helpful anyway tbh, I need more specialised help than just being able to "talk" about my problems - though that's also helpful now and again.
You're absolutely spot on about Beowulf being Old English. It sounds a bit like German (it is a Germanic language). We have the loveliest tutor ever who really eased us into learning the language, so it's been not too difficult so far.
I called Samaritans a few more times since I wrote my last post too. At least they're around to listen when nobody else is (E.g. the night-time) so that can really help when I'm having a panic attack / in crisis.
Appreciate your support so much!

(Original post by study beats)
Turned 25 years old last week and my dark past is still traumatizing me.

I graduated in November 2017 and since then I have done nothing with my life.

Last year in 2018 I was living at a supported accomodation, at the accomodation I was abused by the staff and residents, it was a terrible time.

Some months later I was feeling suicidal and my father took me to the hospital, there I met a mental health nurse. The nurse said "you can harm yourself if you want to, your an adult and it's your choice". After she said that I was in tears , none of the other doctors asked me what's wrong whilst I was in tears. My father was with me and he did nothing .

Some months later I attempted suicide , I was taken to hospital .

2018 was a terrible year and it was wasted because I was mistreated by the NHS and other humans . I was once blamed for emotional blackmail.

At the beginning of 2019 I tried to get back on the path of recovery , but it didn't work, I spent most of my time in bed.

In July 2019 I was admitted into hospital for my mental disorder, I spent the first week crying on the phone to my parents because I didn't want to be there , a grown man crying. I felt really guilty for crying.

Fast forward to November 2019 , here I am, still in pain and traumatized because of my past.

Why is the world such a cruel place ?
First of all, I am so sorry to reply so late and to hear that you're feeling that way. I can say I've been to a similar place, even though I can't say it's the same because every person's experience of depression is different. When I'm feeling that low I try to remind myself that we just have to go on, no matter what, because that's how life goes. It would be an abuse of our autonomy as humans to take our own lives. You're still alive writing this so you still have hope. Please just hold on! I would also love to talk to you, please send me a PM so I know you're okay with that.
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shreyaa02
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Update #6: Thursday, 12 Dec 2019

So much has happened in these 4 weeks that I've been away.
The main highlights have been
- Getting through a whole term - that was hard work! I had about 3 essays due for the last week as well so I really had to power through and do my best, but also keep my perfectionist demon under control so that I could hand in all the work on time. I got a very positive report at the end of the term too, especially from my Old English tutor and Paper 3 (Victorian literature) tutor. Also, I'm quite happy I've handed in all the work on time - with a bit of nagging / inspiration from my family (who are my most helpful mentors, fortunately).
- Making new friends - one of the girls on my course proved to be so supportive when I was going through my worst low this term - sending me a little handmade card under the door reminding me that she was there to listen to me if I was going through a tough time.
- Learning to live alone / learning to enjoy things by myself. Oxford is a very happening place so there's always something to do or somewhere to go. It's been a new and wonderful experience to take the responsibility of organising my social calendar, showing up to all sorts of weird and wacky events (I went to a ceilidh one day, which is definitely a first that I really loved!) etc.

And some of the lows (trigger warning):

- quite a lot of suicidal thoughts. I've learnt that I have to avoid alcohol at all costs because that really makes them worse. Also, I've been using an app called Woebot to practise CBT to challenge my negative thinking, speaking to Samaritans, doing breathing exercises and speaking to family to manage it. One evening I was having such a bad day I couldn't even get out of bed and show up to class. Anyway, I'm going to make sure that never happens again by doing breathing exercises as soon as I feel like I'm going to have an argument with my family (which happened to be the trigger for one of my worst days). On a sidenote, songs that motivate me to keep living - 1-800-273-8255 by Logic and Alessia Cara's 'Scars to your Beautiful'. Would highly recommend both artists!

- I also cut off all my hair at one point out of frustration and anger at myself (then proceeded to splurge £95 on getting it fixed at a salon). Another day I accidentally spent £80 on a one month unlimited yoga pass even though I would be leaving within the next two weeks - luckily, the staff member I spoke to was very helpful and extended the expiry date of the pass till after I returned to Oxford. Have to be careful with money next term, make a budget perhaps?

- Some pretty bizarre obsessive thoughts. At one point I was obsessed with trying to figure out my gender identity for around an hour, because I find that I don't fit into any of the labels that have become more commonly used in the past few years (other than maybe the general term 'queer'). There was another point where I got obsessed with trying to become a spiritually pure person, and attempted to sanctify every aspect of my life (e.g. I decided all of a sudden that I didn't want to go to Zumba because it wasn't 'holy' enough - I looked into ways I could spend my time doing something that would be religiously "legitimate"). With OCD, you always have to keep an eye out for these obsessive patterns. I personally find it helpful to share with a non-OCD person; usually if they think it's not worth worrying about then I know that I'm being obsessive-compulsive.

But all is well, it's ended well, and now I'm finally home to enjoy Christmas with my family. Will be in touch again for Hilary term (January)! I also have to get up to some holiday reading so I'll keep you guys updated on that. Most importantly please, if you take anything from my blog, then just remember to keep living, even when things get hard. Let's stick it out and see where this pain takes us - it might be somewhere that's worth waiting for.

GYG love,
shreyaa02
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study beats
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(Original post by shreyaa02)
Update #6: Thursday, 12 Dec 2019

So much has happened in these 4 weeks that I've been away.
The main highlights have been
- Getting through a whole term - that was hard work! I had about 3 essays due for the last week as well so I really had to power through and do my best, but also keep my perfectionist demon under control so that I could hand in all the work on time. I got a very positive report at the end of the term too, especially from my Old English tutor and Paper 3 (Victorian literature) tutor. Also, I'm quite happy I've handed in all the work on time - with a bit of nagging / inspiration from my family (who are my most helpful mentors, fortunately).
- Making new friends - one of the girls on my course proved to be so supportive when I was going through my worst low this term - sending me a little handmade card under the door reminding me that she was there to listen to me if I was going through a tough time.
- Learning to live alone / learning to enjoy things by myself. Oxford is a very happening place so there's always something to do or somewhere to go. It's been a new and wonderful experience to take the responsibility of organising my social calendar, showing up to all sorts of weird and wacky events (I went to a ceilidh one day, which is definitely a first that I really loved!) etc.

And some of the lows (trigger warning):

- quite a lot of suicidal thoughts. I've learnt that I have to avoid alcohol at all costs because that really makes them worse. Also, I've been using an app called Woebot to practise CBT to challenge my negative thinking, speaking to Samaritans, doing breathing exercises and speaking to family to manage it. One evening I was having such a bad day I couldn't even get out of bed and show up to class. Anyway, I'm going to make sure that never happens again by doing breathing exercises as soon as I feel like I'm going to have an argument with my family (which happened to be the trigger for one of my worst days). On a sidenote, songs that motivate me to keep living - 1-800-273-8255 by Logic and Alessia Cara's 'Scars to your Beautiful'. Would highly recommend both artists!

- I also cut off all my hair at one point out of frustration and anger at myself (then proceeded to splurge £95 on getting it fixed at a salon). Another day I accidentally spent £80 on a one month unlimited yoga pass even though I would be leaving within the next two weeks - luckily, the staff member I spoke to was very helpful and extended the expiry date of the pass till after I returned to Oxford. Have to be careful with money next term, make a budget perhaps?

- Some pretty bizarre obsessive thoughts. At one point I was obsessed with trying to figure out my gender identity for around an hour, because I find that I don't fit into any of the labels that have become more commonly used in the past few years (other than maybe the general term 'queer'). There was another point where I got obsessed with trying to become a spiritually pure person, and attempted to sanctify every aspect of my life (e.g. I decided all of a sudden that I didn't want to go to Zumba because it wasn't 'holy' enough - I looked into ways I could spend my time doing something that would be religiously "legitimate"). With OCD, you always have to keep an eye out for these obsessive patterns. I personally find it helpful to share with a non-OCD person; usually if they think it's not worth worrying about then I know that I'm being obsessive-compulsive.

But all is well, it's ended well, and now I'm finally home to enjoy Christmas with my family. Will be in touch again for Hilary term (January)! I also have to get up to some holiday reading so I'll keep you guys updated on that. Most importantly please, if you take anything from my blog, then just remember to keep living, even when things get hard. Let's stick it out and see where this pain takes us - it might be somewhere that's worth waiting for.

GYG love,
shreyaa02
You seem to be doing well, why the suicidal thoughts ?
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(Original post by study beats)
You seem to be doing well, why the suicidal thoughts ?
Good point. I have a lot to be grateful for. I wish my depression thought the same! I feel like its just the only thought that remains when life is a constant pain and you just can't switch off the chaos in your head.
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