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Topic: How will I make it through next semester?

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. llamalover23
    llamalover23 avatar
    4 posts
    4 February 2019

    Hi everyone.

    i start my second year of uni at the end of feb and I am terrified. Last year during the semester my depression got really bad. It would take me 5-6 hours to fall asleep at night, up to an hour to eat a piece of toast, 4-6 hours to get ready to go out. I didn’t shower for weeks, ate terribley, didn’t brush my teeth etc etc... I woke up each day in utter misery, wanting to sleep everytime I opened my eyes. I honestly do not think it could have got more severe, I nearly got hospitalised.

    i tried everything I possibly could to improve my mood. Increasing pleasurable activities, exercising, doing things for others, changing my diet, meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, art etc etc. i filled out dozens of worksheets, read books, downloaded all the apps, used all the e-therapies. None of it has made any changes to my mood, even after implementing these techniques for the better part of a year.

    i visited my local GP a few times, he prescribed a medication that did not work for me. I went back after a month because I was at a crisis point, he upped my dosage and told me to ‘take a walk in the sunshine’. Didn’t work.

    i visited my university counselling service 4 times, but I could only get an appointment once a month. I deteriorated so much during this time I was essentially told to leave because I was so bad and I needed more treatment than they could provide.

    i visited a university gp, but he didn’t really have any suggestions apart from taking a different medication. I would like to note that any physical cause of my depression has been ruled out through multiple blood tests.

    I struggled to find a good match for a local psychologist so I am now using the betterhelp app. I like my counsellor however as it is with online chat, progress is very slow and she hasn’t really made any new suggestions.

    i live in a beautiful house with a loving family, and I have little to no obligations or outside stresses, so that’s not the problem.

    please, I need some help. I’m not an idiot, if I don’t change SOMETHING, I’ll go back to the stress of uni and become a human slug again, or worse if you catch what I’m saying.

    Unfortunately I can’t do my degree online or part-time so that isn’t an option. Thanks

  2. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    geoff avatar
    895 posts
    4 February 2019 in reply to llamalover23

    Hi IIamalover, thanks for posting your comment and I'm really sorry that you have had so much trouble in most areas.

    Have you considered taking the year off, deferring your course so that you can get the help you need because already you are beginning to feel the strain, then you might want to try another doctor and then another psychologist.

    You can get the mental health plan, which entitles you to 10 Medicare paid sessions.

    I'll wait until I hear back from you.


    1 person found this helpful
  3. JessF
    JessF avatar
    61 posts
    5 February 2019 in reply to llamalover23
    Hello llamalover23,

    Well, it sounds to me like you have tried all the 'physical' remedies for trying to manage your depression and haven't had much luck. You also mention a lovely home environment and family, and can't think of any other stresses besides uni. That rather leaves the elephant in the room, doesn't it?

    You mention seeing counsellors, have you tried to talk at any stage about where these feelings of terror are coming from and what they mean, rather than focusing on trying to rid yourself of the feelings? If it is something to do with uni itself - for example, a deep unsatisfaction with the course you have chosen, or a fear of failure - then all the remedies in the world won't make a difference. It would be like trying to think happy thoughts while trapped under a rock; what really needs to happen is for you to get out from under the rock.

    Hopefully you can come back and post and talk a bit more about what's going on for you at uni. How did you come to make your first year course choices? How were you handling the workload? Do you enjoy what you're doing? Can you see a future in it? Where do you see yourself in ten years time, ideally?

    These may all very well be terrifying questions in themselves. Remember at the moment that you are very early on into your studies, and it is never too late to change or defer.
  4. llamalover23
    llamalover23 avatar
    4 posts
    6 February 2019 in reply to geoff

    Thank you for your reply. Deferring seems really extreme to me, and I’d like to avoid having to do that if possible. I have decided if it gets to the point where things go really bad during the semester I will consider deferring, however for me that is a last resort.

    I already gave a mental health plan but I really struggled to find a good match in my area, so i am now using an app to access counselling.

  5. llamalover23
    llamalover23 avatar
    4 posts
    6 February 2019 in reply to JessF

    Thanks for your comment. You’re right, I do have an urge to ‘get rid of’ bad feelings rather than understand them in the first place.

    I did have a hard time selecting my course. I didn’t get into my first preference, I really wanted to be a vet, but I didn’t get the grades. I am starting to think this is a blessing in disguise though as vet students have 25-30 hour weeks at uni and there’s no way in hell I’d be able to cope with that.

    I was stuck between several health professionals. I wanted to help people, I didn’t want to be stuck behind a desk all day, I wanted to interact face-to-face with clients and I also wanted to avoid shift work. It was also important for there to be decent pay and job opportunities and security. All this lead me to the degree I picked.

    i strongly considered teaching but currently 50% of Aussie teachers quit teaching in the first 5 years of being teachers.

    I wasn’t really handling the workload well. However I also didn’t get access to consistent psychotherapy which I truly needed. I was tossed about between different services, and I had no consistency.

    Ideally in 10 years I’d be pregnant with my second baby, working part-time, perhaps 2 days a week, and I’d be married with a husband and several pets in a big beautiful house in a semi-rural area.

    There have been a lot of times where I haven’t loved studying my degree. However, I’m a firm believer that every single career has sucky parts and it’s impossible to find a job you love all the time. Since my depression I kind of hate everything, so who’s to say my degree choice is actually that bad

  6. JessF
    JessF avatar
    61 posts
    6 February 2019 in reply to llamalover23
    Hello llamalover23,

    I think there's a lot of pressure on people today to 'have it all'. It is very true that there is no job that will not be difficult at least some of the time.

    What I found interesting in your last post was the stress you're experiencing at getting through uni and making the right career choices, yet your long-term goal is focused on family with paid work not really a priority for you. What do you think your future married mum self would say to the current, present version of you? How do you think she got to be where she is, and what choices might she have made along the way that are different to the ones you're considering now?
  7. llamalover23
    llamalover23 avatar
    4 posts
    24 April 2019 in reply to JessF

    I’m several months late for a reply, but I figured it couldn’t hurt.

    In an ideal world I’d meet some rich older man or win the lottery. Obviously this is highly unrealistic, so it’s not something I can easily pursue.

    I have been coping with university a bit better, I’ve gone from attending around 10% of my classes to 70% or so, a vast improvement.

    I’m still utterly miserable though. At this point miserable but somewhat functional may be all I can hope for.

    i have no idea what future me would say to current me.

  8. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    895 posts
    29 April 2019 in reply to llamalover23

    Hi Llamalover, what our future holds for us is unknown, there are hopes and dreams of what we wish will happen, but experience is the best way to learn and believe in what you can't see.

    Sometimes we don't believe that everything will be OK, but strength and hope will lead us to different destinations that we never thought we could achieve.

    Tomorrow is a different day.