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Topic: I feel like I've hit rock bottom

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. hestias
    hestias avatar
    4 posts
    17 May 2019

    Hello everyone
    This is my first time posting, I've read the forums and found everyone really encouraging so hopefully this goes well.

    Basically, I'm in the third year of my psychology degree and am hoping to go on to do honours and eventually become registered as a psychologist. Unfortunately, I've failed two courses in my 2nd sem last year, did two to make up in the summer and failed them as well, and now I'm struggling this semester. I got great marks in my first year of uni, and the first semester my second year, but after that everything went downhill.

    I've realized the problem is myself. I've always had a bad problem with procrastination since high school, but I always managed to get things done. But ever since the middle of last year, I'm unable to make myself to work and study, even when I know I have deadlines. I procrastinate, get unbearably anxious and guilty because of deadlines, procrastinate to take my mind off the guilt, and just not do it, even when I want to.

    I don't know what's wrong with me, whether I'm just super lazy, or have a procrastination problem. Not only that, I've lost all motivation for everything I enjoyed. I have brain fog all the time, no imagination, I've used to love writing poems and stories but now I have no creativity, feel disconnected from everything and just feel emotionally numb. Sometimes I just feel like lying in bed all day, and I only get up because my mum tells me to. It's been like this since my first year of uni, but I tried to force those feelings away and just do good in my studies, which I'm failing now. I barely see my friends because I can't make myself leave the house, and I feel lonely even when I'm with a group of friends or just people.

    I feel really pathetic and worthless, and like a burden, my grades are everything to me, and I hate that I won't be able to get into honors and have basically ruined my life. My parents are super proud of me in my degree (I haven't told them about my failed classes) and I get so anxious when I think about telling them, especially cause I'll have to retake the classes I failed next year. I've broken down crying because of how anxious and horrible I feel, and sometimes I just want it all to stop.

    I'm so sorry for writing so much, this is actually the first time I've ever put all that I'm feeling into words. I just don't know where to go from here.

  2. Rabbit33
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    Rabbit33 avatar
    11 posts
    18 May 2019 in reply to hestias

    Hi Hestia,

    Thank you for reaching out on the forums and please don't apologise for writing too much. There is never too little or too much to say. If you feel you're in need of some support, we're always here to listen and offer some suggestions where possible.

    It does sound like you've got a lot on your mind and like you're being your own worst critic.
    Have you considered seeing the careers councillor or student services at your campus? Maybe they can suggest some strategies or offer some assistance? Is it worth looking into doing your studying part time and trying to engage back in other area's of your life that you feel have slipped away? It doesn't have to be a permanent thing but may relieve some of the stresses you're having and free up time so that you're not so anxious and you're able to catch up with your friends and get yourself back on track?

    I'm also studying and i too find myself procrastinating a lot when it comes to studying. I try to get things done and out of the way as soon as i get them so that they don't weigh on my mind.
    What sort of strategies have you got in place at the moment to try and help you?

    It may also be worth scheduling a catch up with your regular GP and just express some of your concerns with him? Possible therapy may help in this instance, may be able to identify what the triggers are and implement some coping strategies which help you engage with your studies better?

    I always write out a pro's and con's list to anything that is creating a lot of stresses or worries in my life and then break them down and simplify the problems. Then i can either see if i can work through them, otherwise make some changes and move on from it. But that's just me.

    Just remember, there is no time frame in which you 'MUST' have this degree completed by. If you need a break or wish to go on part time, you should feel comfortable in making a decision like that. The most important thing is your health! Make sure you're being good to yourself and remember to give yourself credit for all the achievements you have made so far.
    You gotta keep positive and don't be so hard on yourself.

    Hope you're feeling okay! Sending positive vibes your way! :-)

  3. Nrsell
    Nrsell avatar
    1 posts
    18 May 2019 in reply to hestias

    Hey hestias

    I'm going through something similar to this. I'm here if you wanna chat or be distracted by my own story :)

  4. hestias
    hestias avatar
    4 posts
    24 May 2019 in reply to Rabbit33

    Hi Rabbit33

    Firstly I'm so sorry for the late reply, I was away from home for the past few days and when I got back I immediately went back to study. Thank you so much for your reply though.

    I saw a campus counsellor a while back, but that was more for family problems that I was going through at the time that affected me. I've made another appointment, but I'm really nervous because I didn't bring this up before and it seems more like a small personal problem that I should just handle, and I don't know what to tell her.

    I've thought about doing part-time, but I'm in the third-year of a fourth-year degree, and the fourth is an honours year where entry is based on a specific GPA that I don't have. So I'm not getting into honours next year, and I'll have to repeat courses then, so I'm stressed about that and about how I'll tell my parents. They're expecting me to finish my degree on time, and they don't think very highly about their friend's kids who've extended or changed their degrees, so that's got me worried.

    I've tried keeping planners, but I'll use it for a bit and then forget about it. I've tried breaking assignments into parts, but I'll do a bit, and then literally force myself to do the rest. I basically have to force myself to do everything, even stuff I like. It's like I have the desire to do well and complete my work, but my body just won't cooperate. I only do work ahead when it's for group assignments because it's not ethical or fair to the other people if I don't do my part, and sabotage them along with myself.

    I would go to my GP, but she's actually also a family friend, I know she'll probably keep it confidential if I ask her but I'm just worried about her judging me.

    Thank you so much though, for your words, I really appreciate it! I hope everything goes well for your, and good luck in your studying and everything else , I hope it goes well :)

  5. hestias
    hestias avatar
    4 posts
    24 May 2019 in reply to Nrsell

    Hi Nrsell

    Oh really?? I've never actually told someone about this, so it'd be nice to talk to someone who could relate, thank you for your offer! I'm here as well if you need support, I hope things get better for you! :)

  6. Rabbit33
    Community Champion
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    Rabbit33 avatar
    11 posts
    25 May 2019 in reply to hestias

    Hi Hestia,

    Thank you for the response, and sorry for my delayed reply.

    So you’re worried about your parents opinion and expectations of you?

    Studying is an extremely stressful time as it is, i can only imagine the overwhelming tower of emotions you’d feel having your parents applying high expectations on you.
    If they love you, which i’m sure they do. It may be worth trying to approach them at some point and discuss your concerns with your studies and how it’s affecting you and your health.
    They may even offer some support, they may provide some assistance and ease in other areas of your life which will allow you to focus more on your studies?

    Try speaking with your campus counsellor again and bring up these concerns this time around and see what they have to say and what sort of options they have available. Gain all the information you can before addressing anything with your parent.s

    As for the GP, they are legally bound by confidentiality to keep your information and anything you disclose to them is private, They would be breaching the privacy act if they were to disclose anything to anyone including you parents, unless you provide consent to disclose.

    They have an ethical obligation also not to be judgmental and to treat you with respect and look out for your best interest and overall health. You shouldn’t have a concern in speaking with them. They are a medical practitioner and there to help. Otherwise, can you see a separate GP? If it’s to get a referral for another service, you could probably see another doctor elsewhere and just book in an double appointment so they can do a mental health plan/test and go over some services available to you.

    I feel that you are being too hard on yourself and forgetting what you want. What is most important to you. What are you short term goals and what are your long term goals?

    I hope you’re doing okay and really hope you find the support you need. You sound like a lovely person and deserving of some sort of break.

    Chat soon

  7. hestias
    hestias avatar
    4 posts
    19 June 2019 in reply to Rabbit33

    Hi Rabbit33
    Sorry for the long absence, I had to attend my final exams and got busy with family. Thank you so much for replying though.
    I want to approach my parents, but I get unbearably anxious whenever I think about it. We did have some financial struggles a while ago, and I've seen how hard they worked to provide everything for my siblings and I, nice clothes and going out. They've struggled a lot just for us, and they immigrated as well from overseas, and we're from a SEA culture, and so they've always told me to focus on my education and get a good job because they don't want me to go through the same circumstances. I owe a lot to them and I feel like I've let them down hugely. Plus I'm studying psychology myself so I feel so embarrassed because I shouldn't be feeling like this myself.

    Once uni finished I thought I'd feel better, but it's just the same. My campus counsellor suggested going to a GP on campus, but I need a medicare card and I don't have my own yet, and I don't know how to use my parent's without telling them why I'm going. At this point I might just see my family GP because it's more convenient.

    I actually just got my results back for this semester and I failed 3 units, including the extra one I took to make up, and I'm waiting for my other 2 because I deferred the exams. I feel absolutely worthless, I've been crying secretly so much since I found out. I have no idea how I'm going to tell my parents about this, I'm really scared.

    I am considering applying to defer my next semester, because I feel just done and like I need a break, but I don't know how to approach my parents. I'm not working, so I can't help with bills or money, I'm not social or a good friend, I don't do any hobbies any more, studying is all I can do, or used to be able to do, and I feel like I can't just laze around for half a year leeching off my parents and wasting space. I'm scared this'll never get better, and I feel so bleak about future, I just want to feel better for now.

    Thank you so much for your words though, they mean a lot, and I'm sorry for writing so much everything's just been very heavy lately. I hope things are going well for you :)

  8. Rabbit33
    Community Champion
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    Rabbit33 avatar
    11 posts
    28 June 2019 in reply to hestias

    Hi Hestia's,

    Firstly, there is no need to apologise. You are welcome to reply in your own time, as you feel comfortable. However, I do want to apologise for my delayed response as i've only just been online as of this morning.

    How are you going today?
    Did you get the results back from the other 2 units?

    It sounds like you're taking on an enormous amount of stress. Some of what sounds like it shouldn't be your concerns of stresses anyway. I know you want to do best by your parents, and YOU ARE!! This doesn't always mean that you have to be the best and achieve the highest results in something that they want for you, but to give it your all and to be happy in achieving what you want and being happy!
    If you're interested in seeing the GP on campus, you should be able to ring medicare and ask for the card number, you shouldn't physically need the card on you to do this. Otherwise, maybe taking a photo of your parents one and having that with you. All they need is the number of the medicare card and which line . number you are on the card. (If that makes sense). Just a suggestion, but have you considered what you'd speak with them about? Would you be open to the possibility of a mental health plan and then consulting with a psychologist? They may be able to offer support and assist with discussing these concerns with your parents?

    I know you don't want to let them down, but can i please just say. You are doing an AMAZING job! You need to give yourself credit and give it more often where it's deserved. Try not to focus on the unfortunates, but focus more on your achievements, your blessings, values and beliefs and try and give yourself a break.

    I'm not qualified to tell you what to do, but i'm more than happy to keep chatting if you'd like?
    Sometimes when we find ourselves in these situations, it seems like everything is falling apart, our family, friends, social life, interest in activities. But i can say 100% YOU ARE NOT WORTHLESS! YOU ARE NOT A WASTE OF SPACE. YOU MATTER! And you should give yourself a pat on the back!

    What sort of activities do interest you, (out of interest)?
    What are 3 of your most important qualities, values?
    Have you considered writing out a pro's and con's list on your situations and weighing out what would happen if you deferred uni and what would happen if you continued(Taking into account the stress your under)?

    Hold your head high!
    Sending you positive vibes!

    Chat soon. :-)

  9. Ebi
    Ebi avatar
    5 posts
    28 June 2019 in reply to hestias

    Hi hestias,

    Just reaching out to you because I can feel your distress in your words, and so many thoughts cross my mind as I read about your situation.

    Firstly, psychology degrees are hard! Very challenging units, especially the statistics classes. So please go easy on yourself for having trouble with it.

    I know when I was studying my degree, there were several times when I had to drop back to part time to preserve my mental health. At the end of the day, there's no point getting the degree but having poor/unmanaged mental health.

    I did not have parents who would have been hard on me or disappointed for dropping back to part time, but I can definitely see how that would make things harder! Ultimately though I think your parents want what's best for you and they might hopefully understand you taking it slower and getting some help with your anxiety and procrastination if they know at the end you will be more likely to be happy and successful. What I mean is, maybe you need to explain what you're going through and how backing off the pressure will ultimately help you to succeed. What do you think?

    Maybe having a support person would help with that conversation? A counsellor? A friend? A sibling?

    Procrastination is not about being lazy. It can be quite complex and seems to be related to anxiety, and high standards. Sometimes time management can be an issue. I used to trick myself into getting stuff done by pretending the deadline was much earlier than it was. It's interesting that you can force yourself to do it when doing group work. It reflects what an ethical and caring person you are that you can prioritise the needs of your group members in that situation. I think you'll be able to find ways of beating procrastination because of this.

    Finally, just because you are studying psychology doesn't mean you are immune to mental health issues. Nor does it mean you should solve this on your own. Nor does it mean you won't be a great psychologist. In fact, I think you'll be a better one because you'll understand the pain and suffering of the clients.

    Thinking of you, Ebi