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Posted by: pessimist | 2003/03/08

optimist turned into pessimist - can't cope with last year at school!!!

I'm currently in my last year of school and let me tell you it's no joyride... I'm really having a rough time and struggling to cope. I'm on anti-depressants (which is a big humiliation for me because I always felt I would be able to handle my own problems but now I need medicine to help me, I've also been seeing a shrink for quite a while now. Who finally managed to convince me to take the pills) I'm struggeling to keep my grades at school (I always manage to get A's and A+'s and sometimes B's) I don't have the energy nor the motivation to study. I feel empty, fat (I've gained 9kg in 7 weeks - I've never been fat untill now that is) My selfesteem is at a super low, I'm constantly tired.... I know I'm depressed. I really hate being like this I'm not a negative person by nature but yet I've turned into the most negative, sobby person I know. Does it get better? Is university even more stress? How am I going to cope in the final exams if I can't even cope in my first term exams? (Don't worry I'm not considering suicide! I won't ever do that - I'm not THAT stupid) I just want to get some feelings out because I'm feeling extremely stressed out! It really seems as if all the bad luck in the world is getting to me... see? a negative worthless nobody! How can I get the motivation again to pick everything up and just move along again, I really need to break down this wall I've built up for myself but how? Tell me I'm not the only one struggeling with this? Why do so many teens manage to cope but I can't?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dear pessimist,
Well, obviously, these are all matters that you need to discuss with your shrink, in some detail. But let's look at some of the points you raise. You're not, by far, the only one struggling wih this --- many others feel in the same boat, but, like you, they don't advertise the fact, because they feel ashamed of failing to cope.
Some folks just don't expect to be able to cope, never have coped, so don't get too stressed about it. From the sound of it you have been very capable for years, and you're used to being on top of things --- so it feels strange and frightening to have run into a situaton that isn't as easy as you maybe expected it to be.
You may be undermining your capabilities by what we call "Awfulizing" and "Catastrophizing". Instead of facing each little glitch and saying "OK, this is a bit tough --- what are the options for dealing with it ?" -- "I;m feeling nervous and a bit scared, but thats pretty normal and doesn't need to stop me... " ; you may be saying, in your mind : "Oh no ! This is absolutely awful ! I don't know exactly what to do here ! And I'm totally losing my grip on things, and I'll mess this up, and then that'll be a mess, and then I'll fal all the exams, and get expelled, and that'll be terrible and .... and ... " Eventually, you can end up blaming yourself for faling to bring peace to the Middle East. One can let it run away with one's comon sense, and start to panic. And nobody can concentrate and work well when they're panicking.
it also sounds like you have, for whatever reason, become Depressed. That's not your fault, though you do have responsibility for what you choose to do about it, and you have made the wise choice of seeing and working with a shrink, and using medications to see to what extent this will help you, over time.
Don't see it as a weakness, to tak medicines as one of the ways in which you will cope with your problems. What would you think of someone who fell downstairs and broke their leg, and then insisted that they mustn't have it put in plaster or take a painiller, because they must walk about on the broken leg on their own, without using such tools to enable tem to heal properly ?
Kep on working with your shrink, and you'll be able not only to get through this crisis you are experiencing, but potentially come out of it stronger than before. University can be tough, too --- but if you move, as you emerge from your depression, towards working with a shrink to improve your skills at recognizing and coping with the problems when they arise, without getting over-stressed, you wll be able to handle University and life after it.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Mum | 2003/03/11

Dear Pessimist
I have twin daughters in Matric. They are also tired and stressed by the amount of work( as are most of their friends ) They are
both taking vitamin supplements ( recomended by their school ) and it seems to help. I suggested to them only to do school work one day at the weekend ( if they can !!) to give them a break.
They enjoyed the break this weekend !!! Why don't u try it !! Also try and get out at the weekend
with ur friends to relax.Also try out Gym or a sport. Speak to ur Mum and I'm sure she will try and help u any way she can.
Matric is hard , but it is only for another 6 or 7 months and then plenty of time to study.
Try to relax and remember u are not alone !!!!!

Reply to Mum

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