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Update: Mental Health and University

Been using my other thread to vent a lot, but felt my update would be better suited to a new thread. Haven't really been posting on here as much- probably thinking I post everything on here but this time didn't really feel upto doing it all the time. I used my other thread for venting, when I felt the need to though.

Anyways, I just felt like I wanted to write an update about my situation overall. So here goes......

As you know, things haven't been great this year. I've always been generally an anxious person but also had low mood a lot too. Obviously I've had my ups and downs, like everyone. Generally, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) was helpful- especially when I was down, I'd go to therapy and it would lift my mood. Still I had ups and downs throughout the course.

So therapy ending (3 weeks ago) teamed with starting university, has been challenging for me. It's been very hard dealing with things on my own. I have been trying, tried writing, distractions and organising. Yet, I feel/ have felt things going downhill since. This time, it's just been me, no therpist to bring me back on track.

Reasons why I feel things have been going downhill:

Worrying more again
Very over emotional - simple things are triggering me to cry
As a result I've been thinking what's the point in uni
I'm back to that way of thinking - about the future, I do feel it's going to be a disaster
Contemplating my purpose in life
Been getting stressed a lot (which I know is normal) but I struggle to calm down and I usually end up crying, and my mind gets into a tangent from that where life is stupid, what's the point. Make myself more misreable
Feeling down and misreable more again

I guess things aren't at there worst, as thankfully I'm not suicidal. But I feel things going downhill like they were before so I'm worried about going back to that place. Yet, I believe it was the medication (not me) that improved things in that reterospect. (Still taking it daily).

So yeah a lots happened. I'm either worrying about the future or stressing about the present, so right now I feel there is no escape. I try to focus on the here and now but it's not helping at the moment.

So I booked an appointment with student counselling last week. At first I was reluctant to as I feel I've failed myself and that I should be doing better on my own. I know I need to cope on my own and I want to, I guess I'm just not ready yet- plus my circumstances have changed now so I guess that's bound to make things harder.

I had my first counselling appointment today. It was an assessment appointment. Brought up a lot of things. Talked a bit about my past too, which was upsetting (as there's an incident in particular that still affects me to this day) but glad I had someone to confide in. Feeling a bit low, as I have a lot on my mind currently. She's offered me counselling, which I'm taking. She said they will try to help support me.

I think I've mentioned in the past that no one has officially diagnosed me with anything (not that I have anything to diagnose, I'm just saying- I know people don't always have a diagnosis). Anyways, the reason I bring this up is- health professionals have been confusing in the past. My therpist and other CPNs (from that time I saw a crisis team) kept mentioning the phrase "it's your illness". Now my GP has never diagnosed or attempted to diagnose me, but one appointment she asked me "has the CPN (therpist) mentioned a diagnosis". I said 'no' as she hadn't said anything at that time(was very early on). Now I find this strange, it's supposed to be the doctor. I told the counsellor this, and she said sounds like something has gone wrong communication wise and your left in a grey area. She told me it's my right to know. I've never asked as been too nervous too and still am. Now thing is, if I do have a diagnosis(which I may or may not)- I would be eligible for additional support. The counsellor said that if I find out I do, they could offer me an appointment with a study advisor through the disability service. I feel that if I was eligible for that it would be very helpful as I'm finding balance hard. I also want to know the truth, so the counsellor said we could talk about it at next session (as I'm too anxious to ask).

She also said its important I look after my mental health (and that it would help me survive uni too). So she has advised that I find a balance, where I pass my first year yet keep stress levels under control. She said that since I've recently had a tough time and still finding things hard, that perhaps the best option for me is to just aim for a pass. I feel she is right, I just need to make sure I get 40% (which I feel confident I can get), instead of setting my goals high. She also said, that let me tell you a secret, the lecturers etc. only want you to get much higher to make them look good. Passing first year is the most important. No matter, what your score, a degree is a degree. If you pass you will get one. This makes me feel like I should obviously try my best, but that I shouldn't stress to much, I guess she's right. Also she said that it's not to say I don't aim for higher in later, just for the moment as I've been struggling with mental health. I think I need to make that my aim for now, anything more is a bonus. Obviously I'm not going to be lazy and will try my best, but means I don't stress myself too much (which leads to other negative things as I have experienced).

So yeah that's my update.
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Comments

  • *BananaMonkey**BananaMonkey* Lyrical Poster Posts: 5,426 Part of The Furniture
    Hey apandav *hug*s

    How do you feel after typing that all out, sounds like you have a lot to deal with at the minute. I'm sorry to hear that, we are here for you :heart:

    I wish I had something useful to say but I just want you to know we all care

    " And everywhere I am, there you'll be, your love made me make it through, oh I owe so much to you "
    " So I say thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing, thanks for all the joy they're bringing, who can live without it, I ask in all honestly what would life be? Without a song or a dance, what are we? So I say thank you for the music, for giving it to me "
    '' It's a beautiful day and I can't stop myself from smiling "
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Hey apandav *hug*s

    How do you feel after typing that all out, sounds like you have a lot to deal with at the minute. I'm sorry to hear that, we are here for you :heart:

    I wish I had something useful to say but I just want you to know we all care


    Thank you so much *hug*

    I feel its good to type things out on here, as its the only place I can be honest!

  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Just chatted with nightline, ended on the idea of booking a GP appointment. I want to know the truth, to see if im eligible for study support. I feel it would be helpful. Obviously I might not, but I could be? (I've been to scared to ask in past, but I want to and need to know more than ever now).

    How do I go about asking my doctor if I have a diagnosis?

    I mentioned earlier^^, reason to believe there may be one from what people have said. Reflecting, it seems like there has been poor communication between me and/or professionals. Counsellor agreed.

    Any advice? How do I word it?
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    It's good about the GP appointment and it sounds like a very positive step forward.

    With regards to your GP appointment I guess it's about just being honest and open with them about what you feel and think, and seeing what they think you need support with.

    Have you ever heard of DocReady, it's a brilliant resource for people who are going to the doctors about mental health worries.

    Hope the appointment goes okay, feel free to post back and let us know how you get on :heart:

    Thanks for your reply!

    I've actually used docready in the past and it did help. I'm just very anxious to ask certain things , as I said before. Hopefully, I can use it this time. Although, it's not so much symptoms as the doctor already knows, I just want to say a few things (which never had guts to do).
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    plugitin wrote: »
    hey apandav, sounds like a lot going on but that you're taking good steps to try and look after yourself and work things out.

    Since finishing CBT do you feel you have been able to use any of the techniques that you learnt to help support yourself when you are feeling depressed or anxious?

    I also don't know whether you have seen this thread on how to cope finishing counselling (a lot of the stuff will ring through from CBT too). I know you seem to be starting student counselling soon - that's a really good step to take and I hope they can help you!

    About the diagnosis (or lack of) that is probably because psychology doesn't tend to view the diagnosis as necessary (or even in some cases helpful) to the treatment. I wouldn't worry too much about a lack of one but as you say it might help for student support. I would ask what they need to know and how they may be able to help then speak to your GP - I know at my uni they could get you a mentor or someone to help you plan and prioritise work.

    The other thing I wanted to say is starting uni is really stressful - but believe me once you start to settle in, it'll help you to focus on your work and friends that you have met. Be kind to yourself and make sure you take time to look after yourself.

    Thanks Kate for the reply!

    Honestly, I'm finding it very difficult to apply techniques. I just feel things have got too out of hand, I'm in that situation where I'm not controlling my emotions how I should be. It is difficult, I have tried but I guess I need to try harder :( I just get so caught up sometimes in my thoughts and feelings!

    Yeah I think that's a good suggestion, I'm discussing it with the counsellor on Thursday. I'm sure she can give me all the info I need. If I still feel it will be helpful, I guess I just gotta book that appointment.

    Thanks for the link, I've read it before - I'll read it again!
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Hard to explain how I feel right now- overwhelmed.

    I've done shit all studying this week, as every time I try- I get panicky and stressed by either reading some content, trying questions, knowing I've forgotten stuff. Then I give up, get upset and that's exactly what's just happened :(

    I don't know what to do, now I'm more stressed as I'm weary I've got so much to do... And realised class tests are upcoming soon :( now I'm just thinking fuck uni, I've been contemplating why am I here. I keep reminding myself it's down to me, it's the truth. Then I just feel like a failure.

    Even so, what is the purpose of uni? I don't even know what I want from it :( I don't even know what I want from life. Life's probably going to be crap anyways. So I thought just give up, then if I give up I'm in same situation........ I have nothing to keep me going. Hence, what is the point in life?

    Ahhh, I'm just ....................ugh :(
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    I really don't know what to do !
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Spoke to breathing space , after talking they advised me to book a GP appointment tomorrow. Feel so sad :(
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Uni tomorrow :( need to survive it!
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Keep putting off a GP appointment but after chatting to Samaritans tonight, I've decided I'm going to book this appointment. GP surgery opens 8:15am tomorrow, I will phone early - to get it over and done with!

    I keep thinking they won't be able to help :( but after advice from helplines, I guess I have reason to see the doctor! Also, I'm going to ask about a diagnosis, if I do have one, I can get extra help from uni!

    Other than that, I have counselling on Thursday!! So much I want to discuss.....
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Phoned doctors this morning........ Made a fool of myself , I was nervous and I ended up stuttering, messed my words up and panicking on the phone. I don't know why I get so nervous phoning for an appointment. Well she told me to phone back Monday morning - as there may be appointments for Wednesday. I don't understand either there is or isn't appointments!!!! Anyways I will...... I need Dr L as I also want to ask about diagnosis (as uni may be able to help me more) and it's better seeing her as I've been seeing her about my MH.
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Other than that, I'm not feeling great this morning...., sitting on bus and I want to cry :( I just want to get away.
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    I need to go to my tutorial at 3pm as they do a register, but thinking of skipping my lecture at 11. The slideshow is online
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Think I'll read it dirt to see if I understand as I'm not in the mood to go....... plus I can have more alone time, as if I go I will end up spending time with uni friends. Don't get my wrong it's not them, I just feel horrible.
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    HELP!!! :( I'm having really bad thoughts (not had them like this in a while) about doing something dangerous. I keep convincing myself it's a bad idea but it keeps going round in my mind. Don't know what to do!!!! I feel so alone, I have no one to talk to :(
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    I'm on the bus and I feel like I'm going to break down and cry, I feel funny..... all floppy (don't know how to describe), my breathing feels weird too
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hey apandav, sounds like you've had some scary thoughts and anxious moments recently from the last few posts here. I hope you're doing okay *hug*

    Does it help to come and post here in those moments? Finding an outlet and building your support network sounds like it could really help you.

    For times when you feel alone and are having bad thoughts don't forget that the Samaritans are always there for you on their helpline - it can vary a bit depending on who you talk to but they are trained listeners and they wont judge you.

    I wonder as well if you have any games or apps on your phone that could help when you're on the bus? This one called Flowy is a game that helps you focus on your breathing and might help to give you a bit of calm in those moments: https://www.flowygame.com/

    How is uni going generally? Are you enjoying the lectures? Have you managed to meet some nice people?

    Let us know how you're getting on :)
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Thanks Jo.

    I may be annoying to everyone, as I go through phases of constantly posting. I understand, but the reason I do it as I feel it's one of my only outlets. It's not the same writing it down, I feel quite often posting how I feel, is more effective (as I'm posting online). Now I mostly use my own threads to vent, to prevent annoying other users. I just wanted to explain my reasons for doing it!

    I think building a support network would help me, Jo. But I have a lack of one. I can't tell my parents , for many reasons. Based on past experiences and their reaction towards mental health (in general). I can give reasons, but they are very personal to me and I don't feel it's relevant to what I'm saying right now. I don't have the relationship with anyone else in my family to confide. I have no siblings. With regards to friends, two of my friends know a bit about my struggles (but not everything). They are supportive but I don't like confiding in them. I feel it makes me feel 'lower' than them, it's hard to explain. Also they are quite insistant that I tell my parents. This is frustrating as they don't understand why I can't tell them. They no nothing about the incident and I don't really want to share that with them. Basically as it opens a 'whole new can of worms'.

    I have actually been using Samaritans over the past few days - it's been helpful. But it's difficult when I'm out at uni. I get free time when I could talk and need to but I have no where to go. I'll be honest, I phoned Samaritans yesterday (was so low) but I was out and about. Whispering in the microphone of my headphones and going between toilets (to get away from people and talk privately , but had to leave when people came in). I considered phoning my counsellor as she said I could- but I had no where to get privacy. I thought about going to the counselling reception and asking to phone her (as coincidently I was in same building for a lecture later on). But didn't have the guts to go down.

    Thanks for the link to the game, I'm going to try if out. I used to play a word game on my phone but got bored of it. It kept me distracted for a bit.

    Generally uni is going well in terms of friends. I have a group of friends and I feel more integrated than I was at school. People don't just ignore me and think it's Amanda the quiet girl. I feel more on par, as people talk to me just like anyone else. Even people I'm not friends with end up chatting with me eg. How did you find that lecture? What's your name? Etc. My friends are really nice. I've been feeling distant and wanting to be alone a lot thought but that's not a reflection on them.

    Lectures themselves are okay. They put all their presentations online, which helps. They lecturers are also cool with questions etc. Which is good.

    Although I'm doing a biology type course, my uni are very into 'transferrable skills'. We get computer lessons, have to do a personal folio on our skills (even non science related). Thing is we have to write a report , it's more like an argument for and against something (biology or medical related obviously)- we have to do research as a group. The group work is challenging as not everyone replies. And I'm worried about my writing of the report as they look for it to be concise and generally good English (although it's a science course). That worries me as that is not my strong point- you've probably noticed I struggle to 'get to the point'. At least I only need 40% to pass.

    So uni itself is okay, but I find it difficult when in low mood. Also I'm feeling behind on the work as I've been struggling to concentrate sometimes, so I can't study. I'm getting stressed and it's triggering me to feel low and worried.
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Got counselling today. I hav a last minute GP appointment tomorrow- as annoyingly they just told me I need to see a doctor before I get more meds. It's the doctor i don't like, but I had to take it to get meds as I'll run out.

    But I'm going to book another one, to ask about diagnosis thing as this other doctor doesn't know me well enough.
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Update: Had counselling yesterday. Spoke about various things on my mind. Another appointment next week. After explaining to her about Wednesday's situation- she has phoned the nurse at student health, as if I need like space when I'm feeling that way (like between classes or when I'm in town for uni, as I can't just go home), they may have a room for me to go. I guess it makes me feel relieved knowing if I ever feel trapped and lost like that again, I have somewhere to go.

    We also discussed my "thoughts" and how they returned. She has encouraged me to tell the doctor today. It's a last minute appointment today, as they need to review my medication before I get another prescription. I'm very nervous, as I need to admit things haven't been going great. To make matters worse it's the doctor I don't like, I had to take her as I'd run out of meds (they phoned me 2 DAYS AGO- saying they can't give me any more meds unless I have a review, I RUN OUT ON MONDAY). Coincidently I was going to book an appointment with the doctor who I've been seeing about my MH (not my registered doctor, but I always ask for her since I had her for my first MH appointment, also as I'm comfortable with her). So I'll see how today goes, and if I need another appointment I will book one. (bad family history with this doctor, serious misdiagnosis in my family, we always avoid her, coincidentally shes my dentists wife).

    My counsellor told me to bin my painkillers in her office yesterday. Don't get me wrong I put them in my bag a few days ago for period cramps, but yeah the temptation is there. I keep thinking about putting more in my bag "just in case", but not for the right reasons.
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    I feel sick with neves, I'm getting more nervous the closer this doctors appointment is - 8:40!!!
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    I just found out this week that my doctors has a drop in clinic , I couldn't go this week but it's good for future reference. You can just turn up without an appointment and see a doctor.
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Sitting in waiting area of doctors...... Nervous :(
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Doctors running late as per usual....
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Was aiming to make 01 bus but looks like I won't
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    What a f****** waste of time......... Appointment was dreadful, even worse than I though. I was accused, stupid surgery NOT INFORMING ME. I need to make a complaint.......
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    It's my fault according to them, a) nobody told me b) THERE WAS NO NOTE ON MY SCRIPT!!!!
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    I can't handle this :( I'm skipping class, off to my unis advice thing. I'm too overwhelmed, sad, annoyed , frustrated to go to class!!!!
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    Feeling 自殺 /Selbstmord /суицид
  • apandavapandav :) Posts: 2,072
    I feel the need for another post, so much has happened in the past few days and will be happening this week.

    1) Doctors appointment was awful. It was the doctor I don't like. To make matters worse, I felt more moaned at rather than listened to. Apparently I'm supposed to be having medication reviews EVERY MONTH. That hasn't been happening. I just found out Wednesday about this review I needed. She got annoyed as I saw her (as she doesn't know me well) - which I understand. But proceeded to say - I've known about this for a month. No I haven't - I'm feeling rather misinformed. She said "well it's in the notes, that they left you a note with your last prescription" - which I never got, I even checked the prescription and there was no notes. She then say well at least you know for next time. Feeling annoyed. She barley listened when I said I was struggling and getting horrible thoughts again (I didn't have the guts to use the real word).

    2) Things are getting worse. Feeling more down and having thoughts - wishing I was no longer here etc. I've basically spent my weekend phoning helplines :(

    3) I was so low, I sent my uni counsellor an email (I found her work email on my uni website). Now I'm very nervous about tomorrow, when she reads the email. As I admitted things getting so much worse and mentioned a few graphic details ( with regards to thoughts, I shall not post on here).

    4) After chatting with breathing space (MH helpline) I've decided I'm going to book another appointment with the GP I've been seeing (not the person I saw on Friday). I'm also going to ask about getting a copy of my medical records as I feel they are hiding things from me (this was suggested to me by the helpline). Feeling nervous about that.

    5) Well I see my uni work going downhill, I haven't been able to study (concentration and mood issues). I skipped lectures on Friday as I was so low. Also I just realised tonight I have an essay plan due THIS TUESDAY,!! I'm now panicking, I've been too miserable and caught up I'm my mind, I've missed the fact and just realised when I read a checklist for the subject. I've tried to do it tonight but I can't concentrate. I don't even know where to start.

    6) I'm booking an appointment with my PDA (personal development officer, coincidenltally also my tutor for one of my subjects). He asked what for- I dint want to go into details so said "managing studying- with stress/ anxiety". I'm rather nervous and I don't know how much I want to/ should say to him, (doesn't know about my issues). I was reluctant to but I feel my academic work is being affected. Plus we were told we can talk about personal issues but I'm going to try to concentrate on more the academic side. Still should I tell him about my MH issues (obviously not in too much detail) I really don't know?
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