Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
radicalfeminist

Overwhelmed by the limitations of my illnesses

10 posts in this topic

I’m currently an undergrad studying English lit. Enrolling in university was a huge step for me and I’m glad I took it but I worry a lot about my future. Tuition isn’t cheap and the amount of debt I’m in is increasing each semester (not that anyone needs to be reminded of that). I’m not sure if English lit is the right major for me, I like to read and write but I don’t know if getting a degree in it will be helpful for my future and eventually getting a full-time job. I also often feel out of place in my classes. The people around me seem so interested and passionate about classical literature, etc. I’d rather stay at home and re-read the same YA lit books I’ve been reading for years.


I’m not passionate about anything save for napping, television show marathons, and Diet Pepsi. Chronic depression zaps my zest for life. I don’t have many options. There are some obvious interests I have like psychology, sociology, women’s studies, social work, political science, but none of these lead to a career that I feel I can handle. I don’t want to be a professor or go into academic research. Psychology and social work – I love these in theory, but in practice, I’m not sure I am capable of handling the kind of intense human interaction that is generally involved.  I’m a very rigid and anxious person. My strong suits are reading and writing. I’m very terrible at maths and hard sciences (serious dyscalculia), and dealing with people (just socially inept in general).

 

Can anyone relate? 

Edited by radicalfeminist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i can relate. i graduated college two years ago and i'm in a ridiculous amount of debt. i tried to study something that i thought i was most passionate about (biology). thankfully, i got a full-time job. i know i don't want to have that job forever, so i'm trying to think of other paths i want to go. and i have absolutely no idea. i'm not a people person, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Uhm, yeah, you just described me completely but replace English lit with sociology. I can definitely relate. I have a lot of student loan debt already and I still have a year and a half of undergrad left. Even though I've been in college continuously since fall 2008- I have a LOT of wasted semesters full of mania and depression, and incomplete or dropped classes. This semester I'm paying for 2 classes out of my own pocket because after last semester my financial aid and student loans were canceled until I complete and perform well in a semester taking at least 6 hours. For a long time I didn't know why I was still doing this, but lately I've got some of my motivation and stubbornness back and I'm determined to graduate, though after that is a different story. I can't imagine a career or job I won't fail at. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure to feel relieved that I'm not the only one in this situation or feel bad that other people are going through the same struggles. I think I feel a bit of both at the moment. 

 

dancingteapot - It makes me hopeful that you were able to secure a job at least.

 

hagar - Yeah, what you're describing is/was identical to my college experience a couple years ago until I dropped out for good. I was accepted by the university I go to now on a mature student basis. Even if I complete my undergrad degree, my options for MA programs are limited because I have zero extracurricular activities and personal references to account for (I generally do not interact with professors unless it's absolutely unavoidable) and my grades go up and down. And if I do get into a graduate program, I feel like it will just be a waste of time and money. English degrees don't exactly open many doors and like I said I'm not passionate about studying English is an academic capacity (yet here I am, English major).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are two things that come to mind for me as I read your post.

The first is whether/how your depression is playing into this. If you are truly depressed to the point where you feel no interest in anything, you are not being adequately treated, and this is something that will need to be remedied before you can really figure out what you should be doing academically.

I know that you are seeing a psychiatrist, but are you in therapy? And is your medication properly sorted out?

The second is that you could do with some career counselling to potentially give you some ideas about what might be available and interesting to you. Is there any kind of career counselling available at your school? Many universities have them, and the counsellors there can be quite helpful in terms of working out what you might be suited to.

I would agree that doing a degree without a clear idea of what will come after, especially if you are going into a great deal of debt to do so, may not be the wisest move.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is gonna be a feel-good post, cause I'm an optimistic person.

 

I can relate somewhat. I am actually very passionate about my major, which is Nursing. So, I'm lucky that I'm studying something I love that will get me a decent job. 

 

However, I understand the feeling of being held back by your illnesses. I suffer from a severe learning disability called Mathematics Disorder (also called dyscalculia). While I love nursing and I definitely want to be a nurse, it's my learning disability that stops me from studying medicine instead. 

 

In nursing, there are dosage calculations that you must be able to do without a calculator. That is practically impossible for me. I passed the dosage calculation exam by the skin of my teeth. But I'm determined not to let my disability keep me from a career that I love. I study math everyday to make sure that I'm proficient. Even if it means having to go over the same simple concepts (fuck you long division) again and again, I do it to make sure that I can provide competent, safe care to my patients. Mathematics Disorder will not beat me!! 

 

Radicalfeminist, I completely understand where you're coming from. I understand the fear and shame of having this disorder. I know you're better at reading and writing but, if you think you might want to try hard sciences, you go for it!! It will take you longer and it will take more work on your part, but I think you can do it. My case is very severe, and I never thought it would be possible to get into nursing school, but I did, and I'm thriving. 

 

I also have schizoaffective and it's affected my school work. My residual psychotic symptoms leave me drained and contribute to burn out. When I was depressed, my grades plummeted (thankfully my hypomanic grades saved my GPA). But again, I try very hard not to let my schizoaffective hold me back.

 

During an episode, especially of psychosis, I become extremely frustrated over how much control these illnesses have over my life. But, I'm determined not to let my illnesses have complete control over my life. I try to take care of myself mentally and physically and take breaks when I need them. I need accommodations to thrive, but thrive I will. 

 

Kay, maybe that was all too mushy. TL;DR: Mathematics Disorder and mental illness is a terrible thing. But if you can take care of yourself and get help when you need it, I think you can have a meaningful life, whatever that may be to you. 

 

I agree with tryp that perhaps depression is contributing to your apathy. I think you need to get that controlled before you can move forward. Career counselling is an excellent idea. 

Edited by Parapluie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are two things that come to mind for me as I read your post.

The first is whether/how your depression is playing into this. If you are truly depressed to the point where you feel no interest in anything, you are not being adequately treated, and this is something that will need to be remedied before you can really figure out what you should be doing academically.

I know that you are seeing a psychiatrist, but are you in therapy? And is your medication properly sorted out?

The second is that you could do with some career counselling to potentially give you some ideas about what might be available and interesting to you. Is there any kind of career counselling available at your school? Many universities have them, and the counsellors there can be quite helpful in terms of working out what you might be suited to.

I would agree that doing a degree without a clear idea of what will come after, especially if you are going into a great deal of debt to do so, may not be the wisest move.

 

 

Thanks for responding! I find everyone on this forum very insightful and willing to share their own experiences and advice, and it’s a good resource for me because I don’t often talk to people offline.

 

I’ve been treated off and on for many years and I’m not sure why my depression never lifts while therapy and medication treats my other illnesses affectively. I unfortunately have a difficult time with communicating, I especially seem to have many mental blocks that seem to prevent me from being able to divulge on personal matters, and listen to others as well. My psychiatrist pokes and prods and I know it might seem like I’m being deliberately obstinate but sometimes I just can’t express myself to him. I’ve never had success with psychiatrists for some reason, and changing mine right now is not an option for me. I know that I have to try to assert myself and express my concerns clearly, but it’s a lot of difficulty and I’ve been seeing him for three years, change is hard for me.

 

I’m not in individualized therapy. I have a group therapy meeting once a week (OCD treatment). I have a hard time expressing myself there as well because I’m not familiar with the psychologists that run it and I don’t do great in group settings. Medication is a work in progress. Every time I see him he adjusts it or gives me options for new meds, but I get overwhelmed. I had an individual therapist for a year and a half but she was an intern completing her PHD. I liked her a lot and felt that she was amazing at her job, but I had no choice but to stop seeing her as she had finished her residency. Since then I’ve not had another psychologist. It’s difficult because if I do get assigned one, she/he will most likely be an intern (as that is the nature of this free clinic) and that means she will also be leaving within a period of time. It takes about a year for me to even be comfortable enough to answer questions appropriately.

I’ve thought about career counselling, but I don’t know how well I would be able to express my concerns about my academic future and career possibilities. I know it’s something I need to work on.  :unsure:

Edited by radicalfeminist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is gonna be a feel-good post, cause I'm an optimistic person.

 

I can relate somewhat. I am actually very passionate about my major, which is Nursing. So, I'm lucky that I'm studying something I love that will get me a decent job. 

 

However, I understand the feeling of being held back by your illnesses. I suffer from a severe learning disability called Mathematics Disorder (also called dyscalculia). While I love nursing and I definitely want to be a nurse, it's my learning disability that stops me from studying medicine instead. 

 

In nursing, there are dosage calculations that you must be able to do without a calculator. That is practically impossible for me. I passed the dosage calculation exam by the skin of my teeth. But I'm determined not to let my disability keep me from a career that I love. I study math everyday to make sure that I'm proficient. Even if it means having to go over the same simple concepts (fuck you long division) again and again, I do it to make sure that I can provide competent, safe care to my patients. Mathematics Disorder will not beat me!! 

 

Radicalfeminist, I completely understand where you're coming from. I understand the fear and shame of having this disorder. I know you're better at reading and writing but, if you think you might want to try hard sciences, you go for it!! It will take you longer and it will take more work on your part, but I think you can do it. My case is very severe, and I never thought it would be possible to get into nursing school, but I did, and I'm thriving. 

 

I also have schizoaffective and it's affected my school work. My residual psychotic symptoms leave me drained and contribute to burn out. When I was depressed, my grades plummeted (thankfully my hypomanic grades saved my GPA). But again, I try very hard not to let my schizoaffective hold me back.

 

During an episode, especially of psychosis, I become extremely frustrated over how much control these illnesses have over my life. But, I'm determined not to let my illnesses have complete control over my life. I try to take care of myself mentally and physically and take breaks when I need them. I need accommodations to thrive, but thrive I will. 

 

Kay, maybe that was all too mushy. TL;DR: Mathematics Disorder and mental illness is a terrible thing. But if you can take care of yourself and get help when you need it, I think you can have a meaningful life, whatever that may be to you. 

 

I agree with tryp that perhaps depression is contributing to your apathy. I think you need to get that controlled before you can move forward. Career counselling is an excellent idea. 

 

 

Let me just say I appreciate the optimism and the understanding. People don’t really understand what dyscalculia is and often

scoff at the thought of it because “most people are bad at math.” They don’t realize that a learning disability is not equal to “being bad at _____.” I admire your perseverance because I know firsthand how hard it is. I barely passed high school maths and even feel like breaking down upon seeing charts, graphs, and statistics in any of my courses. I don’t have that capability that you have, I don’t think. I have a hard time sticking to something if I find it difficult or have no interest. This extends to more than just math (although it’s worse when it comes to math because I’m actually terrible at it). My motivation levels wax and wane enough so that it’s even difficult to finish books that I chose to read for my personal pleasure. I understand that if my depression ever fully or mostly lifts that I might have a different attitude about my abilities or lack thereof. I just have no experience with not being depressed or apathetic.

I think the issue is just that I don’t see how I’ll fit into any discipline/field of study/field of employment where I would feel competent and get enjoyment out of it.

Edited by radicalfeminist

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you going to University for a future potential job or to expand on your desire to read and write?

 

This is a critical question these days. And a liberal arts degree does not always equate a job.

 

That said, I felt that reading and writing were the only things I was good at. I majored in English and minored in Art. After graduation I had no idea what I wanted to do for money and after a few months of searching I got an entry-level job with an insurance company. It was a good ride until my crazy went into high-drive. By that time I had also paid off most of my student loans, some of my divorce settlement paid the rest. :)

 

db

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both. Sort of. Improving my writing skills is an interest of mine for sure, but I also want to study something that will lead to employment options, too. My original vague plan was that I could get an undergrad degree in English (with a focus on professional writing--my university offers that), then get a Master's in English or editing/publishing and then go from there and get a job as a technical writer or copy editor or something similar. But I know that that there are not a ton of jobs in that field and it might be awhile if I can get a job (if I can at all). And I don't know if that's something I really want to do in the long-term and most minimum wage/entry level jobs would be a struggle for me because of social anxiety, the aforementioned dyscalculia, sensory overload, etc. The last time I tried to get a part-time job after acquaintances told me it was a basic job that you could not mess up, I had a meltdown during the training session and that ended very badly. I lost money in the process of trying to get employed.  -_-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By cloudmonger
      I'm feeling so down & hopeless. This Lamictal... It doesn't seem to be doing much.
      I went up to 150mg and it doesn't seem to be helping my symptoms much....if anything i just feel more blah & apathetic. I want to lay in bed all day :-( My pdoc is always booked up and i can't see her for 2-3 weeks....She doesn't have any other suggestions really considering everything I've tried (with bad side effects). Only random thing she suggested was Lyrica (seems for people with Pain or anxiety - which is not my main problem??!)
      Also, I'm trying to get into a new therapist and the woman has not replied. I've emailed, called twice and nothing??? I hope she contacts me tomorrow I'm getting desperate.
      I hate taking medications when they don't really help.
    • By cloudmonger
      Just increased to 150mg. I had been on 100mg for 6 weeks. I don't know if it's just coincidence, but I've been feeling more "Blah" ever since. Not sedated or tired - just that increased apathy-I-don't-care-just-stare-fog that never seems to go away.
      Question is: Do you feel that Lamictal at lower doses is more activating that at high doses? I will continue to titrate upwards - just having a tough time figuring out if it's working for me and what dose I should stay at. If I continue at this level of depression (with the apathy) I really need to come up with a solution & add-on that works for me.
      I feel I'm running of good options considering what I've already tried.
    • By t3chhy_guy92
      Hi guys so im starting my first day of treatment tomorrow, 1/20/17. I must say I am extremely happy to be at this stage and be fully functional. I will give you an insight as to my past. I have struggled with substance abuse for about the past 7 years or so. 
      I wont get into too much details, but I had my share of tough patches...blackouts, chain smoking, near death experiences. Anyway the point being is im still alive today and I am taking medicine to cope with everything. I am writing to you to give me some advice on what to expect while taking this and how to make it through the rough patches, so I've have heard. 
      Please comment in this thread below I would really appreciate it. I am taking Citalopram.
    • By enriquegm82
      Hello,
      I have bipolar II diagnosis and I'm trying Lamictal 100mg (lamotrigine) and I don't feel any antidepressant effect.  I would like to know what dose do you take and what dose do you consider to be a range where it mostly works for bipolar depression.  My pdoc has told me that for bipolar depression the range is usually between 100 and 200mg.  I have read people that takes even up to 900mg!!
      How much time should I stay on 100mg before I realize that I need to increase the dose?
      Please share with me your experiences with Lamictal.
      Thanks!
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Dx: Bipolar II, OCD, Insomnia.
      Current Meds: Paxil 40mg, Mirtazapine 30mg, Klonopin 4mg, Lyrica 75mg TID, Amisulpride 50mg, Lamictal 100mg
    • By The one lurking behind you
      Afternoon/Morning/Evening Guys,
      It's been a long time since I last posted on here and things have been really manageable which is great but I recently am finding myself coming out with some rather 'irrational' things that scares my partner (bit of background; we've been together 3 years, are engaged and he is usually absolutely amazing at supporting me with depression, having experienced it himself first hand)
       
      Recently, thanks to the stress of work, i've been finding I'm saying progressively more irrational things that seem totally rational at the time (apart from a tiny bit of me that feels it's odd). To give you an example it was really windy the other day and I thought the air/wind was angry ghosts and if I breathed them in then I would become possessed by them and I tried to cover my partners mouth with his hat to help him. It was at that point he wondered wtf I was doing so explained and he seemed very worried.
       
      The second time I felt like my breathing was being restricted ( I had a tight necklace on at the time which looking back was probably the cause of the feeling). I panicked and asked him for a pen as I felt that I needed to stab my neck to create a air hole to breathe. 
       
      Looking back I can understand how ridiculous this all sounds but at the time it felt real. I know  I will never act on these, as my other half calls them "silly thoughts" so I want to reassure my partner of this and have done but I feel I need to say more. 
       
      I also asked him if I should go to the Dr's about it but he is worried they would section me. As i'm in the UK it's easy to reassure him that that is highly unlikely due to the massive bed shortage in the UK and what I didn't say, the number of times I've been much much worse and very ill and been turned away from A&E with a vallium or three.
       
      Sorry for ranting, so the crux of this is, how do you help your loved ones to stop worrying!? 
       
      Thanks for reading this, I really appreciate that you took time out to read it all.
       
      Thanks again!
      TOLBY