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Depression, Grades & Future Dreams

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For years now, I have been carrying something which felt like a heavy burden. Something which always negatively influenced my concentration, academic performance, mood, to an extent my social life.
I carried this feeling and problem to university, thinking everything would be all right.

>It was not.

I formally didn't pass my first year at university, not getting enough points as i didn't pass enough exams (passed about half). And the exams I did pass, i didn't pass well, just barely passing.
Now, it is suspected by my advisors and university psychologists, that I may be suffering from long-term depression, which i carried around with me all this time and that it is what has kept me back all these years.

>It is possible that I may get another chance.
>By either being able to continue my studies with support from supervisors, who support me
or
>Taking a one year 'break' to get my failed exams and life back in order and get a new start into the second year after that.
I am very lucky, should i be given this opportunity be the people around me.

But at the same time i basically lost this year to mediocre performance in the subjects i passed. And these bad grades cannot be erased.
Even if everything goes well and I finally see my grades climb to where i feel they can be (given my abilities), I still have these few bad exams tagging along throughout my GPA and CV.

After I get my life back in order:
>Is this going to screw with my prospect of going into higher academia and becoming a university lecturer? Or doing other things which demand almost perfect grades?

All people i know who have achieved professor / docent status, were almost perfect achievers - with no perceivable bumps in their lives. Perfect grades around the clock. Going on to great research university.
>Only win at life

>have i already lost?
>Any experiences you could share?
>How did you deal after you got better?
>>
>>17395243

My wife has depression. It took months, but I talked her into treatment after she skidded through her first year and bombed her second. She got a Master's at Columbia and had a six-figure job lined up after graduating. No one gives a fuck about your first few years in college, since those classes are all time-wasters designed to weed out the idiots. Future schools and employers only care about the later, more focused coursework. You have nothing to worry about.

...except that you write like a C student, at best. Take some pride in your writing or getting your depression treated won't change anything.
>>
>>17395277
Those are very reassuring words, anon. Thank you.

The only main difference between your wife's situation and mine, may be that i am in Europe, where we don't have those 'weeding out' college years.
It is major all the way through, for three years, after which you have a Bachelor. Therefore, theoretically every exam and grade may have a deeper impact.

Then again, this is not to discredit what you have said and your wife has done.

It is reassuring to know that there may still be hope to achieve my goals.
>>
Hey... I'm having the same problem.
Except I don't even know if I am doing the right thing in Chemical Engineering. It all sounded so promising, idk. Its just that I don't really have a second plan, I tried spending some months away and nothing. I just want to do nothing. I have a few people that matter to me and spending time with them or procrastinating is all I REALLY feel like ever doing. So since I already luckied out and got enough grades to be approved on such a good university and courses, since I know I have the mental potential (never had to make an effort in middle/highschool) and since I would still feel like doing nothing no matter what, I might as well stay in what holds the most economically promising future.
I just want to skip class all the time, I've even skipped many tests before and its all piling up now where I have 0's accross the board in a couple harder classes.
At least I tend to do well on the rest, but it's still a heavy weight snowballing effect. I just can't study. I'm right here, a test tomorrow, and because I haven't kept msyelf up to speed with the classes, I just can't make myself grab the material I have for tomorrow. A feeling of dread and futility just overcomes me completely.

Does treating depression involves taking meds? My biggest fear is of getting an addiction or some other heavy medicine problems.
>>
>>17395374
Hey man. OP here.

I too was approved to a good university. Although in my case the problems have persisted since the end of my secondary school career. Even so i managed to get a 'good' leaving certificate.
In my case did choose and got into what i consider my dream subject.

I too have had the issue of things spiralling downward. Especially connected to sleep. I feel very exhausted, not only with university, but also with life and have felt like this for a long time. It is not a persistent feeling (i do have a lot of energy at times), but i suffer from fairly extreme mood swings. This tiredness of life, has caused my to not be able to study and often fall asleep during studying. That again lead to bad grades and frustration which made it even worse. Rinse - repeat.
My university system does not allow for skipping exams at will, so I was forced to slug through all the exams i had, month in month out.

To your question:
Under some circumstances CAN include the use of medication, often to keep the person going (ie. keep him/her alive in some cases). But this medication is reported to be very uncomfortable and very hard to get used to, as they temporarily make the depression worse (after which it gets better). Therefore they are not abusable.
Often SSRIs are used. They block seratonin reuptake, to that the brain gets used to this and ups its seratonin output in the long run (NOT DIRECTLY).
The most common ones are:
>sertraline
>fluoxetine
>paroxetine
>citalopram
These all have tradenames like Prozac and others.
>They work slowly, are unpleasant and therefore do not cause addiction.
>Their side effects are quite severe, as they reduce the seratonin (your happiness) for the first few weeks and can make you feel very bad at first.

>There are positives to my line of study, as this kind of stuff is my speciality.
>>
>>17395468
Thanks a lot. I'm getting some support from a couple people and I'll look into looking for treatment as soon as this week of finals is over. Maybe with people being so closely supportive of me I'll quit being such an irresponsible prick that does nothing all day. Or maybe I'll just dissapoint them and feel like even more of a piece of shit. In that case I'll look into [spoiler] killing myself [/spoiler] a plan for my future that doesn't involve so much dedication.
>>
>>17395243
I have to deal with anxiety myself which kinda becomes depression at times when you really feeling down, anxiety makes me feel bad about myself.
>>
>>17395243
Yes your early grades can, and will, impact your future prospects. The European system is a little different than the American system in that way, you really have to start strong in European colleges and stay strong throughout. In American schools you can get away with a bad first year, this is the trade off for subsidized higher education.

Luckily, this is not the end of the line and you can possibly still recover. Concentrate first on recovery, if that means taking a year off- then do it! You need to be on point mentally in order to salvage your future plans. After you are in a good place, then put everything into school. You need to demonstrate improvement on your transcripts by doing markedly better. Not sure if you guys have entrance interviews where you live, but your narrative will be that you had some undiagnosed mental health issues, you took care of them and everything after that is what you are actually capable of doing.

I have not had similar experiences, but did work admissions at an American university for a couple of years and dealt with people who had similar problems, albeit in high school. I think that American universities are probably a little more forgiving though.
>>
>>17395619
Thanks for the European perspective.
Yes indeed, i am also familiar system and it being 'lighter' and more forgiving in the early year while ramping up from the Masters onward.
That European universities demand supreme performance basically from day one does explain why all my top performing friends have done so from the very beginning.
I now somewhat resent this system due to the situation i am in
>but there is nothing one can do
>they demand perfection to attain perfection

I am currently thinking, considering the amount of exams, especially later in the year, i didn't pass whether it would be smarter to take one extra year to 'catch-up and get everything sorted out' to then be able to bring the performance i want/need to bring. But without help i have experience down time to be rather distructive for me as it worsens my situation as i begin to reminis too much. Again this may be different when i have professional help to guide me and turn this time into a productive healing process.
or just continue my curriculum as given while undergoing professional treatment and receiving additional support from the university itself.
>my university seems highly supportive and helpful.

>what would you think?
>how did you handle these cases in the US?
>>
>>17395802
My first questions would be: What is your area of study and what are your long term goals? That might help myself or other readers to offer specific insights.

Then my next piece of advice would be to talk to your counselor at school and see the options that are available. Is there even an option to take an extra year? How does that appear on the transcripts?

This would be handled by counseling at the school I used to work at. As for admissions, we would look at everything, did the student improve from one year to the next? did they improve drastically or was it minor? Have they taken steps to address their depression/mental issues? Do we think they can handle the course load and demands of the university?

Yes the downtime can be tough, but make it productive time. Get materials that are relevant to your major and study them. find authoritative texts as well as texts that are created for a broader audience and brush up. Basically use the time to not only get your mental health in order but to also fill the gaps for your area of study. keep your mind busy, it's the dead time and the unproductive time that is dangerous.

If your university is supportive that is a good sign, they want you to succeed and they will likely give you further support and help. Take advantage of the services that they offer and take steps to make sure that your future studies show some marked improvement.
>>
>>17395820
I understand.
I am workinf toward a BSc. (Cognitive Neuro) Psychology. Although it will appear as a regular BSc. Psychology on paper.
I am currently trying to let go of overly ambitious life goals as they have caused me only failure and distress so far. Also life is too futile to plan out every step of the way. Considering my young age i find choosing a firm job prospect meaningless, therefore i will only talk of goals only as moving and changing areas of interest rather than firm fixed life goals.
>That being said, i could see myself as a docent who holds lectures in higher education. I always though that one of my strength is breaking down complex concepts and explaining them in an interesting (hopefully inspiring) manner. That being said, i don't yet have enough insight into the accompaning researcher-life to judge that part of the job. But i currently cannot imagine myself as a life long lab worker, writing papers none will ever read. Therefore uni rep is important.
>this sort of orientation unfortunately demands a flawless life, without any sort of bumps and pure and consistant exellence at life.

I have been in constant contact with both student psychologist and advisors. And both are willing to support my case infront of the Education Commitee who decide in such cases.
>My advisor had suggested for me to take a year off. It therefore would be possible. In such a case i would use that year to resit the exams i did not pass and possibly improve my first year grades.
I initially declined this option, but might reconsider it and rediscuss is with my advisor.
>I have also taken very rapid and determined steps to get long term help and most admistrative processes are currently being organised by me.
>My university while renowned is very demanding in its setup and demands very persistant work ethics, smth could not consistently deliver upon during this 1st year.

>lack of concentration and reoccuring suicidal thoughts make it hard to study currently.
>>
>>17395983
Well it seems like you are getting things in order, hopefully the meds and treatment help you concentrate more and help to alleviate the suicidal thoughts.

You focus a lot on the idea of perfection, but that's over and done with. You had one bad year, all you can control now is how the next few years of study play out. At that point evaluate what you have accomplished and how you can move forward, then do the same after that. Like I said I'm only moderately familiar with the European system, but I think you can still do what you want even after a single bad year. Stay realistic, but also don't be completely sure that you've fucked yourself.

Good luck anon
Thread posts: 12
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