College Confidential’s “Dean,” Sally Rubenstone, put together 25 of her best tips. Get your free copy of the "25 Tips from the Dean" eBook and get helpful advice on how to choose a college, get in, and pay for it: http://goo.gl/9zDJTM
So, I'm currently a third year undergrad physics major. I've always had health anxiety issues, since I was a child. However, very recently they've begun to worsen, and I've been going through a lot of depression/paranoia states. I've seen a psychologist and therapist. My therapist said I had OCD, but more geared towards obsessive thoughts. I'm now seeing her regularly and she hopes to cure me using cognitive behavioral therapy.
I'm a hypochondriac, and if you don't know what that means, any awkward bodily sensation I feel, is a good enough reason for me to drive to the ER. I've been to the ER 3 times this past month because I thought I was having a heart attack, stroke, and blood clot on 3 different occasions. Turns out it was just a panic attack. I've also developed this fear of being poisoned, by the government (irrational, I know) so I'm always throwing out perfectly good things like milk and butter. I also have this intense fear of flying because I feel like I'm destined to die if I get on one. I can't even fly to visit my family whom I miss, even though we get free tickets b/c my dad works for an airline. I'm a mess right now, can't stop thinking about death and loved ones.
The way this has been affecting my school is that I'm sometimes afraid to go to class, for fear that I'll have a heart attack and be too far away from the hospital which is by my apartment. Also, and most importantly, one of the classic symptoms of depression is that you no longer get any excitement or have any interest in previously enjoyed hobbies/subjects. Physics for me, was a MAJOR hobby/subject. But now, with my depression lingering, I sometimes feel very depressed even thinking about physics. The real shame is that I know it's not me who's changed, but the disease is controlling me. I want to feel like I have before, and spend countless hours in front of my whiteboard solving challenging and stimulating problems, but I can't due to depression.
This quarter, I've stopped taking physics classes and have switched to computer science, because I can't stand doing physics anymore, and thought computer science is the next practical thing. In fact, I've even fallen a year behind in physics because of this, and received poor grades last quarter, failing classical mechanics. I've also been so exhausted and have no energy to study for any classes, let any motivation to do so. I pretty much just mope around all day.
I guess my real question is, would this be an "excuse" to physics graduate schools for poor undergrad performance? And what can I do to re-ignite my passion?