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Mon Aug 26, 2013, 03:39 AM

Huge hurdle coming up, and I'm worried...

As the coming semester comes barrelling down on me, about a week left, I find myself more and more worried. I've been depressed and moody of late and I'm pretty sure the reason is school coming up. Despite all the positive changes I've made and the progress I've seen I don't really know if it will be enough. To be honest a large part of me doesn't want to face this and just wants to hide away. It's childish and unrealistic but it's me. Last year was the first time I managed to complete a full year of university, but even then I had to drop 2 courses at the end. I have such a long history of burning my bridges with school, dropped out of SFU at least 4 times. I haven't solved my perfectionism and I've only made some small inroads at socializing better. When I talked to my current psychiatrist a few weeks back I can remember him saying specifically "I can't promise you I can save this semester for you", since he said it would take some time to get to the heart of issues and really start getting better. But I don't know if I could handle yet another failed term. *sigh* I guess I have to just take the plunge and see.

I've been obsessively doing long walks around the city to try to make myself feel better. It's working but the fact that I have to do them almost every day or else I feel bad is a sign. Did 20 km yesterday and 25km today which is a record. The camping trip I did was a big success. Lost a lot of weight which is good, these are all positives. I guess I should count the progress I've made.

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Reply Huge hurdle coming up, and I'm worried... (Original post)
Locut0s Aug 2013 OP
Neoma Aug 2013 #1
Locut0s Aug 2013 #2
HereSince1628 Aug 2013 #3
Neoma Aug 2013 #4
Locut0s Aug 2013 #5
HuskiesHowls Aug 2013 #6

Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 11:20 AM

1. Exercise is a really good way to relieve stress.

Have you ever thought that maybe you're biting off more than you chew? How many classes do you take at a time?

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Response to Neoma (Reply #1)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 06:08 PM

2. Yes that occurred to me but...

The university I'm going to is a little different you don't register for your courses they sign you up for a set course load every term, you have no electives. The idea is they want everyone to go through the courses as a group, a lot of the work is group work / assignments as well. In some ways its ill suited to me but I'm already 1/2 way through. They also emphasis piling on a LOT of work. I think I have 7 courses. Last semester I did 6 or 7. It's a shitload of work more than most universities / schools. But again I'm 1/2 through it now, difficult to change things at this point.

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Response to Locut0s (Original post)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 06:52 PM

3. Not sure where you are going to school, but US institutions must comply with the Disabilities Act.

Across the decades of my college and university teaching I found it typical for programs with prescribed curricula to make reasonable accommodations for students with authentic, validated disabilities...and they did include mental issues, including anxiety and depression.

Generally, all you need is for the licensed health professional who is treating you to write a letter to the school's disabilities office, in which the health professional validates that you have an issue that needs accommodation. It's not enough for you to tell an instructor in most US institutions, you've got to get the letter to the diabilities office. There may be a specific form that must be completed by the health professional.

Once the disabilities office at a school recognizes the validated problem they can pretty much force instructors/program directors to work to comply with the standard of "reasonable accommodation" required by disabilities act.

I've seen schools, programs, and instructors go a very long way to help students with authenticated problems. For example, I know of a blind student who took and passed an Art Appreciation course that was designed to be a VISUAL learning experience. I also know of a student who had a learning issue with foreign language...a minimum of 2 semesters of foreign language were required for an English/Modern Language degree...and an entire alternative course built around linguistic dynamics of English was created to provide a 'doable' path for the student.

I really recommend you check out how your school deals with disabilities.


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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #3)

Mon Aug 26, 2013, 08:39 PM

4. Good information in general.

Never knew that.

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 01:06 AM

5. Thanks HS1628...

Yes I'm aware that universities do have to cater to disabilities, including depression and anxiety if you get a psychiatrist to help you on that. I've always been reluctant to do so in the past though as I feel bad doing that. I know it's silly and wrong but I feel like I'm cheating or something, I'd feel bad doing that. But I really should look into it as I'm feeling awful these past few days

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Response to HereSince1628 (Reply #3)

Wed Aug 28, 2013, 11:49 PM

6. My daughter has been dealing with accommodations for several years

One of the things that they did for her was to allow her to take tests outside the classroom, under supervision. The stress of the classroom environment would get to her, and make it nearly impossible for her to think. Away from that stressor, she did quite well.

Another thing that helped her was to have a counselor that knew her conditions and had some background in mental health issues and could act as a go-between for her, talking to instructors and working out plans to help her succeed. The best counselors that she had would talk to her therapist, and find the best way to help her.

One semester when she was hospitalized, the instructor brought the course work to her in the psych ward. The instructor said later that it was quite educational to find out what it was like in there, how disorienting it could be. She had a new-found respect for mental health patients that are in college, after that.

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