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Topic: Struggling with final years of school due to depression + anxiety

4 posts, 0 answered
  1. spontaneous sunflower
    spontaneous sunflower  avatar
    8 posts
    1 September 2019

    hi. So last year I had a really bad depressive episode that caused me to miss a lot of school. I ended up getting prescribed medication and I moved schools at the end of the year. I was doing pretty well and enjoying my new school up until a couple months ago.

    I have a habit of breaking down around autumn/winter, I guess it's kind of seasonal depression. Since May I've been missing a lot of school and overtime I feel myself getting worse and worse as I realise how deep the hole I've dug for myself is now. I am so behind on schoolwork and I don't know how I'll catch up. there's about 3 weeks of term 3 left and then term 4 marks my last term as a year 11 before embarking on my final year. I'm not ready to do my final year of school. In some ways I am- e.g. I can't wait to finish high school, and I'm smart enough to get good grades (it's just that due to my mental health problems my grades are falling). But for the most part I feel unprepared. I've missed so much school last year and this year. I don't think I'll cope next year in year 12, especially when it comes to this time of the year. My parents + school have suggested staying another year at school but I don't want to. I want to graduate at the same time as my friends and I just want to get out of high school. Sometimes I worry how I'll cope in "the real world" if I've struggled this much in high school, but I honestly feel like high school is the thing suffocating me. I see how doing another year of high school could be beneficial but I also can't help but feel like it'll make my mental health worse. I'm just so confused and conflicted because I don't know what to do- I don't want to drop out unless I have something to fall back on. I don't want to repeat a year unless as a last resort. But I also don't want to damage my health anymore than I already have by pushing myself through year 12 when I'm not ready.

    I think because I'm on meds + having really been in a dark place last year, although I'm struggling right now, I know I've been worse. But I know that i'm heading towards a dangerous place- my anxiety has wrecked my social life and I have serious body image issues now, so it's just a matter of time before those issues spiral into something even bigger + more serious. I don't want it to get to that though and I'm trying to fight it as much as I can. I want to be happy and I want to do well in life. I know I'll get there one day but rn i've hit a roadblock and I don't know how to get around it.

  2. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    109 posts
    2 September 2019 in reply to spontaneous sunflower

    Hi,

    welcome to beyond blue.

    It really sucks when you have to miss out on school, and worse if you cannot catch up with anything at home. I have a daughter in year 11 also.

    I will probably only have time to cover the roadblocks, and specifically school... I can understand you want to graduate with your friends. I can also see the point of view of your parent as well. Your parents just want the best for you. But you also see school as a suffocating place. I went to school back in the days when there was a TE score (1980s) and while I finished grade 12 I did not get into any of the Uni courses I wanted. Instead I went to TAFE and got a Assc. Dip and used that to get into Uni. Let's say that at/after life in Uni nobody really care whether you stayed back a year or not. Friendship circles can also change over this time. Another possibility is that you find Uni is not for you? My son worked hard (enough) to get a good score and found that it was not for him.

    I guess what I am trying to say is there are many choices options available to you as far as education is concerned.

    Ordinarily I would say your health comes first. But perhaps you can tell me what you want to do later on in life? And from there work out a path to get from where you are now to that goal.

    On coping in the real world ... if your writing here is any indication it sounds like you would do OK. You understand when things are going like normal, and if you only posted here, it shows you are able to talk about the issue, and look for a solution. (I would suspect your confusion and anxiety might be related to how you see yourself, or what you perceive others might think about you, regardless of your decision.)

    I hope you will come back so we might chat some more.

    Tim

  3. spontaneous sunflower
    spontaneous sunflower  avatar
    8 posts
    2 September 2019 in reply to smallwolf

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for responding!

    I would like to be a journalist one day. I like to write and travel so I essentially want a career which allows me to combine the two. My plan was to take a gap year after finishing high school before doing a media and communications degree at uni.

    My anxiety is indeed related to how I see myself, my fears of other people's judgment, etc. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I put a lot of pressure on myself to not fail, which ironically is the thing that leads to my failure in the end. I'm trying my best to know that I cannot be perfect (no one can, after all) and that I will forgive myself for failing eventually.. but I just feel like staying behind another year at school or not finishing high school would be the ultimate failure to me. That's not to say that other people who have done so are failures, by the way. I'm not fully convinced that repeating a year will help me not only academically, but also mentally. I don't want to make a mistake in repeating a year.

    I have struggled making many friends at my new school. when I said I wanted to graduate with my friends I was referring to my friends from my old school. Although we wouldn't technically graduate together, the idea of them moving onto a different chapter of their lives without me hurts.I guess a benefit of repeating a year would be the opportunity to make new friends at my school and have extra time to get to know them. But on the other hand, I'm worried about being a year older than my peers. My bday is in October so perhaps I wouldn't be too much older, maybe a few months at the most, but I don't know. It's a bit weird to think of graduating when I'm almost 19.

    Another benefit would be being able to do subjects I haven't done but maybe would've liked to. Also being able to repeat a unit 1/2 subject and also being able to do unit 3/4 subjects over the course of two years (rather than doing all my year 12 subjects next year if i were to graduate then) could be good. When I consider that, repeating seems like a less stressful option.

    My parents are pretty understanding and supportive so I will be sure to discuss what i just wrote with them. I find coming here first is helpful in gathering my thoughts and feelings so then I can express them out loud in a more coherent way.

    Thanks again for replying, it has helped me to gain some perspective on my situation.

  4. smallwolf
    Community Champion
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    smallwolf avatar
    109 posts
    2 September 2019 in reply to spontaneous sunflower
    Hello again,

    Some competitive swimmers do school at their own pace - so may graduate at older age.

    I know how bad perfectionism is... Dealing with that for most of my life. There are ways to manage that. Something I have been working on with my psychologist. I could give you some ideas there?

    The other thing from your last post is this... And it reads like you have done some of this already. For each choice, list the advantages and disadvantages. Once you have exhausted the possibilities, you might know what is the right decision for you. And if your parents are supportive, they would help you here also.

    Tim