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OCD

I have OCD which I feel has affected my studies and mental health over the last 2 years of A Levels. I had a 6 week block of therapy which didn’t go down well - I didn’t really feel that my therapist understood me and my OCD hasn’t improved massively. I am in a position where ideally, I would like to defer my university entry until 2025. I have 2 offers for medicine (2024 entry). I have requested a deferral for both unis. My reasoning avoiding me telling them that I have OCD because I didn’t want them to see that as a weakness and withdraw my offer. One of them had already rejected my request and are only letting me start the course in 2024. Medicine is obviously a very mentally challenging 5 year course and I’m not sure if my summer off studies will be enough of a mental break for me before I start. Should I follow up both unis and tell them about my concerns with my OCD to try and get a deferral, or will it work against me?
Original post by a.kennedy2005
I have OCD which I feel has affected my studies and mental health over the last 2 years of A Levels. I had a 6 week block of therapy which didn’t go down well - I didn’t really feel that my therapist understood me and my OCD hasn’t improved massively. I am in a position where ideally, I would like to defer my university entry until 2025. I have 2 offers for medicine (2024 entry). I have requested a deferral for both unis. My reasoning avoiding me telling them that I have OCD because I didn’t want them to see that as a weakness and withdraw my offer. One of them had already rejected my request and are only letting me start the course in 2024. Medicine is obviously a very mentally challenging 5 year course and I’m not sure if my summer off studies will be enough of a mental break for me before I start. Should I follow up both unis and tell them about my concerns with my OCD to try and get a deferral, or will it work against me?

i don’t know anything about how deferral works so take any deferral stuff i say with a grain of salt but considering you already have an offer for them i HIGHLY doubt they’d be able to retract that offer based on OCD. it’s illegal for them to discriminate offers based on stuff like that it’s a legally protected characteristic under the equality act so it’s my understanding that they cannot disadvantage you in any way because of a mental health condition. even if they don’t let you defer entry (i don’t know how they decide whether to let people defer or not) they can’t retract your offer just for asking. so i’d say it definitely was worth asking for deferral and if they ask/have asked for a reason i think you should mention your ocd if it’s relevant to why you want to defer entry. especially if you highlight that you’ll be spending that time trying to work on your ocd or get support or whatever you plan on doing they should understand and they cannot disadvantage you because of it. as far as i’m aware the worst case scenario is they don’t let you defer entry and you start in 2024, and if that does happen i really do wish you the best over that summer! i know how hard it is to get good quality support for mental health issues that isn’t a six-week round of cbt but i really hope you manage to get some really beneficial support! slightly unrelated but if you can afford to go private id suggest looking at bupa’s therapist finder bc they have lots of specialists in areas like ocd and you can then contact that therapist individually rather than actually through bupa. in most areas i’ve seen, they aren’t quite as ridiculously expensive as you might expect but it might be different in bigger cities and it is still a regular payment not everyone can afford. it’s unfortunate that it’s so hard to get quality help on the nhs but if you can get a specialist helping you it’ll be hugely beneficial i’m sure. when you do go to university most universities have mental health services and support too but i cant say how good or bad they are bc it varies so much. as you’re still in college it might be worth asking your progress tutor (or whatever your college calls them) about it as well. i hope that’s somewhat helpful? it might also help to check your unis policy on deferred entry if you can find it on their website- it’ll explain what they’re allowed to refuse deferral over and what they’re not allowed to, and a bit more on how they decide who can defer and who can’t. it might be on the same page as their admissions policy (admissions policies are easier to find on the websites usually)

sorry for the huge post, wishing you all the best!
Reply 2
Original post by a.kennedy2005
I have OCD which I feel has affected my studies and mental health over the last 2 years of A Levels. I had a 6 week block of therapy which didn’t go down well - I didn’t really feel that my therapist understood me and my OCD hasn’t improved massively. I am in a position where ideally, I would like to defer my university entry until 2025. I have 2 offers for medicine (2024 entry). I have requested a deferral for both unis. My reasoning avoiding me telling them that I have OCD because I didn’t want them to see that as a weakness and withdraw my offer. One of them had already rejected my request and are only letting me start the course in 2024. Medicine is obviously a very mentally challenging 5 year course and I’m not sure if my summer off studies will be enough of a mental break for me before I start. Should I follow up both unis and tell them about my concerns with my OCD to try and get a deferral, or will it work against me?


Did you get a contextual offer as part of your OCD?
Original post by dom05
Did you get a contextual offer as part of your OCD?

No, just a standard offer… can I ask for lower a level requirements?
Original post by hazza939
i don’t know anything about how deferral works so take any deferral stuff i say with a grain of salt but considering you already have an offer for them i HIGHLY doubt they’d be able to retract that offer based on OCD. it’s illegal for them to discriminate offers based on stuff like that it’s a legally protected characteristic under the equality act so it’s my understanding that they cannot disadvantage you in any way because of a mental health condition. even if they don’t let you defer entry (i don’t know how they decide whether to let people defer or not) they can’t retract your offer just for asking. so i’d say it definitely was worth asking for deferral and if they ask/have asked for a reason i think you should mention your ocd if it’s relevant to why you want to defer entry. especially if you highlight that you’ll be spending that time trying to work on your ocd or get support or whatever you plan on doing they should understand and they cannot disadvantage you because of it. as far as i’m aware the worst case scenario is they don’t let you defer entry and you start in 2024, and if that does happen i really do wish you the best over that summer! i know how hard it is to get good quality support for mental health issues that isn’t a six-week round of cbt but i really hope you manage to get some really beneficial support! slightly unrelated but if you can afford to go private id suggest looking at bupa’s therapist finder bc they have lots of specialists in areas like ocd and you can then contact that therapist individually rather than actually through bupa. in most areas i’ve seen, they aren’t quite as ridiculously expensive as you might expect but it might be different in bigger cities and it is still a regular payment not everyone can afford. it’s unfortunate that it’s so hard to get quality help on the nhs but if you can get a specialist helping you it’ll be hugely beneficial i’m sure. when you do go to university most universities have mental health services and support too but i cant say how good or bad they are bc it varies so much. as you’re still in college it might be worth asking your progress tutor (or whatever your college calls them) about it as well. i hope that’s somewhat helpful? it might also help to check your unis policy on deferred entry if you can find it on their website- it’ll explain what they’re allowed to refuse deferral over and what they’re not allowed to, and a bit more on how they decide who can defer and who can’t. it might be on the same page as their admissions policy (admissions policies are easier to find on the websites usually)
sorry for the huge post, wishing you all the best!


thanks for your advice!! Much appreciated

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