The Student Room Group

struggling with mental health + a-levels

so i had quite a bad eating disorder during secondary school + had to take off a few months, only coming back to tack my exams. i ended up doing really well and moved to a different school for sixth form, which is a bit further away.

despite trying really hard to make friends + fit in i found it extremely difficult as everyone already knew each other and had established friendship groups. i've heard many people say that a-levels are horrible without friends by your side, and i can confirm that is infact true. i was in a friendship group at secondary school, but they constantly excluded me + spoke about me behind my back, and after gcse results day they all completely cut me off but still remain friends with each other. i don't really talk to anyone except my parents, as i don't have online friends either and my relationship with my siblings is good but they don't live with us anymore.

i have lots of hobbies, and pre occupy my time with studying, reading, running, photography, and fashion. i am also going to university in september. but most of my time at the moment is spent either in the library or at school studying for a-levels, i do take breaks and let myself rest too but it seems like my life has just become this repetitive mess.

i also have depression + anxiety and suffer badly from sensory overload, which can make the school environment quite difficult for me sometimes, but i usually manage to handle it. basically i fear my eating disorder is getting worse again and i don't really know how to seek help, i don't feel comfortable talking to my parents or any of my teachers about it, or really anyone. i was under camhs for a few months and it made things much worse.

sometimes i struggle to get out of bed to go to school, but usually it's just a motivation issue where i simply have no energy or motivation to study/do anything. i feel really hopeless as i'm living the same day everyday and have no communication so i feel really cut off from the world + disconnected. does anyone have any advice?
Really sorry to read that you are going through a difficult time. This may be useful for you to have a look at:
They run an online support group for students. It's really positive that you have a lot of hobbies and are going to University too. It may not be the type of thing that you're into, but a running club in your local area may be a nice way to meet some new people?
Take care of yourself,

I'm really sorry things are so difficult right now. I know how hard it can be seeking help, please consider talking to someone you trust and see if you can see a therapist to talk to about mental health stuff other than your ed and maybe to try medication for anxiety/depression, and then if you feel comfortable with them you can consider bringing up food struggles? ed's are so isolating and hard to get help for, but try to remind yourselves of the alternatives - missing out on uni, not having energy to do what you love. losing your identity, anxiety and depression worsening, etc.

I've also struggled a lot with not having a friendship group. Honestly what I've learned is that most people are unwilling to initiate plans, but happy to be invited. At least for me it's so much easier for mh to spiral when I'm alone, so maybe try asking a friend to coffee or to study once or twice a week, even if it's someone you don't know really well, a lot of people are much less intimidating in a 1 to 1 or small group setting and if you have a lab partner or a friend you sit with in a class you probably have enough common ground to do something together. Remind yourself there's nothing wrong with you for not having found your people yet, so many people I know who were quite shy and lonely have started uni and now have great groups of friends.

The most important thing is finding a reason to get up every day, I feel like the most helpful way to counter the ed mindset is finding a different purpose, whether that's working towards a career, or sucess in sports (it's impossible to do your best when you're not eating well), or volunteering somewhere. Yes give yourself grace, but force yourself to go through the motions because depression makes you want to do nothing, but the more nothing you do the more unhappy you become.

Anyways, sorry for this massive essay, I just want you to know there is hope. I thought I'd never recover, and now I have bad mh days maybe 1 day a month. I hope things get better for you, and if you want an online friend to chat with about random things, I'm starting uni in the fall and also love running and fashion so feel free to msg me xx

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