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

    • Welbutrin is making me feel high and drowsy
      By Maddie
      I was just prescribed Welbutrin for depression and ADHD. I am only 17 years old and am already showing signs of having an addictive personality. I had illegally been buying adderal pills off friends at school to help motivate me to do homework and get good grades. It worked. I had been making AMAZING grades, and not only that, but I felt like a happy person due to its euphoric side effect of amphetimine as well. At first, I would only take 10 mg every once in awhile like if I had a test or just a lot homework I needed to get done. Then it turned into taking 10mg everyday, slowly turning into taking 20mg, and sometimes I would take 20mg twice or three times in one day. I couldn't handle coming down off it, so I would just take more. Once I realized how out of control I had became, I told my parents. They weren't nearly as mad as j thought they would be. They just wanted to get me help. We went to the nurse practitioner I had been seeing for anxiety for the past few years. I was taking 100mg of Zoloft. I never have any energy of motivation to do anything and that's why I feel in love with the adderal. It gave me the confidence I needed socially and the extra boost of energy. My nurse practitioner prescribed me welbutrin. I've only taken it for 2 days now, but both today and yesterday it made me feel stoned and drunk. I don't even feel human and I just miss having the adderal high, this med is only making me tired and hungry, it's not motivating me to do anything. It's a Friday night and all I've been doing is laying in bed reading about Welbutrin and what it does to people. My throat feels swollen, I'm more emotional than I've ever been (I cry about everything), I'm tired, I feel disconnected from my body (almost like I just smoked a bowl of weed to myself), I wanna eat everything, my mouth is dry, and my anxiety has never been this bad. My doctor went ahead and took me off Zoloft, too. I really want this med to work for me. I don't want to take adderal illegally anymore, I don't wanna be addicted to it, but my depression is the worst it's ever been. My ears won't stop ringing either? Has anyone else felt this way? I hope these side effects will subside and I'll start to feel like a happy, normal person again. 
      Thanks 
      maddie 
    • breastfeeding hormones and depression/anxiety
      By the.miss.j
      i'm looking for *any* insight into this:  i had to completely wean my daughter on 12/17/15 due to a new med that was completely contraindicated with breastfeeding.  last week at the appointment with my therapist, she asks me what my (depression and anxiety) levels are at; i thought about it for a moment, and i said "zero."  now, this is virtually unheard of for me; i'm DXed major depressive disorder (recurrent, severe), GAD, dysthymia; the only other time something like this happened was a hypomanic phase that lasted 6 months post-partum.  i've read the potential side effects of atorvastatin (the new med), and i've seen nothing like "elevated mood" listed.  is it possible that the hormone change from weaning is affecting my mood???  everything i've googled points to women becoming depressed after weaning, and here i am, feeling...normal.  like what i think a undepressed, unanxious person must feel like.  i am at a lose as to why this is happening, and almost waiting for it to end like the hypomanic phase did (man, that sucked), since i've been depressed/anxious/dysthymic well before getting pregnant/breastfeeding.  the dysthymia is there, but manageable.  
    • Hypomania/depression or just depression?
      By an-teallach
      Interested in thoughts about my situation. I'm currently depressed - no question. Can't concentrate, can't stay awake, kind of hate the world and myself especially. This is coming after a couple of years of generally ok feelings when I thought I had the whole depression thing sorted, which followed a few years which were bad.
      During the first phase, one physchiatrist put me on Lamictal on the basis I might have mild hypomania. I'm not really sure the Lamictal did anything, and in any case a subsequent pshychiatrist simply said I was a bit 'narcissistic' (which itself made me depressed to hell for a few weeks!) and it was just 'situational depression' because I wasn't dealing with stuff in my life well. For the last few years, I pretty much agreed. He took me off the Lamictal.
      But my mood fluctuates a lot, particularly lately, and for the last 4 months it's gone down the toilet again. When I'm feeling great, I think I can do anything and that I'm the best qualified person in the world to ... run the country, write a best-selling novel, write best-selling music, cure everyone, mediate anything, generally be the nicest person anybody has ever met. When I'm feeling crap, like now, just the need to answer an email or pick up the phone seems like an impossible burden. Concentrating on work (which I should be doing right now) has also become a huge problem - which given I'm self-employed, isn't exactly great. Right now I have deadlines all over the place, and work isn't getting done.
      I'm just wondering again if I might have some form of hypomania cycling with depression after all, and I've heard SSRIs can make that worse. At the moment I take a mixture of Zoloft and Wellbutrin. I can see that a lot of my symptoms are only probably on the edge of qualifiying as hypomania.
      pressured speech - no inflated self-esteem or grandiosity - yes decreased need for sleep - a bit at most flight of ideas - yes easily distracted - yes yes yes increase in psychomotor agitation - well if this means fidgeting, foot-twitching, knee-wobbling, hand-waving, I do that all the time, depressed, hypomanic, or otherwise involvement in 'dangerous' pleasurable things eg overspending, etc. No. I don't know. Appreciate thoughts. I'm just sick to the back teeth of being back in this situation again and don't feel like anything ever gives a proper solution.
    • Still post-partum depression?
      By HowlingWolf
      I've posted about this before, but it has been quite a while, and I am seeking some support/someone who may be able to relate. I have a one and a half year old son, who I do not feel at all bonded to. I did not feel bonded from the start. I do care a lot about his well-being, but it ends there. I have him in daycare part-time for a break since everyone I know lives very far away. I have lost most of my friends, because they either don't want him around, or because I am unable to do things they want to do anymore. I am a student in my last semester, and I feel so out of place. Other people my age are still in the party phase, and I often hear negative talk about kids which makes me feel terrible. Professors look at me strangely when/if they find out. I feel like I am surrounded by people who make it out to be a negative thing and it has rubbed off on me. Most of the internships make you stay in intern housing sites/dorm housing which I cannot do with a toddler and my husband. Again, this makes me feel so awkward, and doesn't help. 
      The few times I have seen my family they have picked up on me being emotionally absent to him. While I care for his needs just fine (and some days I try to do as little as possible and have my husband take over so I can have some more relief), and people tell me all the time what a sweet and happy boy he is, I cannot help but worry about being emotionally absent. Obviously, I care enough for this to bother me. I grew up being spoiled rotten, and having a very close relationship with my grandparents. I was the center of attention for a long time. I don't think this is an attention issue, but I really don't think I am out of the phase where I still want to do whatever I want without being tied down. Maybe? I want him to have a childhood like I did before I reached my horrendous teenage years, but I am not capable of that, and I feel so guilty. I don't want to spend time with him, and play with him. I am often annoyed by him. I don't know what is normal to feel about babies and what isn't. Everyone is all goo goo ga ga over their kids, and I just stress over him whether it is I want a break or if he has had enough to eat. I also wonder if I only care about his well being out of obligation to him...
    • Any Experiences of CMT?
      By WinterTidings
      I was wondering what people's experiences of CMT are? It seems to be what my psychologist is most fond of/comfortable with, and from the psych conference handouts she gave me, it seems.. A mixed kettle of fish? Some good, some bad. We don't get on that well with mindfulness (autism sensory issues, ADD), but she said there's enough there that we can work around that and hopefully still get some goodstuff, mainly for my depression/c-ptsd stuff.
      Getting pretty desperate for stuff to actually help with how treatment resistant this stuff is. Reached the end of the stick medswise, and CBT/etc leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. So.. Hopefully this'll help.