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Anxiety, Depression, and Failing Classes in my Last Year of College

hopelessacademichopelessacademic 1 replies1 threads New Member
I’m not exactly too sure how to start this so I guess I’ll start off with introductions. Hi, I guess you guys can call me P and I am an Asian American 22 y/o female. I’m currently an senior in a regionally-accredited university pursuing undergraduate studies in Biochemistry.

I’ve never really tried an online forum before so this is all very new to me, so apologies in advanced for any toes I may step on.

I don’t think what I’m about to explain right now seems related to my currently situation but I hope you guys will eventually see how I feel like it all ties together.

I guess I’ll start off with my pre-college academic life. My recollection of my childhood, I would say, only consists of very short and happy glimpses in my memory. I remember have a very small, but meaningful group of friends that consisted of 2 or 3 other kids. I remember pursuing the arts and I remember studying how to draw under my art teacher in elementary school. Those times were really the happiest moments of my life that I could really remember. We just enjoyed the simple joy of life and felt like there was no worry in life. Then, suddenly, my parents had decided to move to another state when I was in fourth grade. I haven’t heard from my art teacher or from my friends ever since. I was always a quiet and shy person so making friends was always an obstacle for me. I went along with my life as if nothing happened and continued this way of life.

By this time, I was already a student in high school. I was an awkward teenager who had maybe 1 or 2 friends and was someone one who religiously followed the trends of Korean pop stars and viewed these people as role models. I think I would say I was an excellent student during my time in high school. I attended a well-ranked high school that had academic programs offered only to gifted students of high academic potential. These students were primarily Asian American and Caucasian populated. The school also tended to students that did not qualify for these programs as students of “average” academic potential. I was one of these student. I’ll admit, wasn’t really the smartest kid there but I worked hard and studied days on end. There are pursued the sciences and had a genuine interest in the varying fields of science that were available to me. As an Asian American student with parents of strong Vietnamese and Chinese traditional roots, I worked hard to impress them and to be comparable to the Asian American gifted students that I wanted to be. My parents, who immigrated to the US during the Vietnam war, fled to give me and my siblings better educational opportunities that the war and poverty stricken country could ever provide for us. My family and I were never really a “family”. We would only talk to each other when we really needed to talk to each other, for example, like bills or for language translation.

I think my depression really originated during my senior year of high school during college application season. That year, I got rejected from all of the 6 in-state colleges that I applied to (I could not afford to study out of state). Word passed around the majority of the students in the gifted program received acceptance letters to ivy-league universities like Boston, Yale, Hopkin, etc. As much as I was happy for them, I was devastated about my situation. All the hours and effort I devoted to my education went to a waste. My parents viewed me as a failure, and I too felt like a failure. I felt that maybe I was really never capable of being smart and only convinced myself that I could be like them.

I eventually applied to a community college to continue my education. I told myself that I’d obtain my associates degree there after 2 years and would transfer over to a 4-year institution. Here is where I think I really fell down a slippery slope that felt impossible to get back up. Despite what I told myself I would do, I started caring less about my education. I thought, “why should I have to work so hard if I’m just going to end up failing anyways?”. I started giving up on not only my education, but this hopelessness manifested into other aspects of my life, like my social life and professional life. My kpop phase in high school had disappeared and I started dating someone who also had to aspirations in life. This relationship became extremely toxic and changed me to think the worst of myself. At this point in life, I had felt like a failure, useless, and felt as though there was no purpose of life.

I attempted to hurt myself and failed. My parents are unaware of this event and still do not know to this day. I eventually gained the courage to see a psychiatrist and therapist. I was on so many medications and was required to attend mandatory group therapy. After three long years, I eventually got my associates degree in Biochemistry and was able to transfer over to an in-state university to continue my education in the sciences.

After joining the university, the course workload and level of difficult was unimaginable to me. It was completely different from the level of complexity that I was used to at community college. I wish I was warned or more prepared for this but I could have never imagined how drastic the differences were.There was more at stake here than there ever was at community college and I couldn’t take it. I fell in a spiral—the amount of coursework that I was responsible for as a STEM student was overwhelming and gave me no time to really talk to my therapist and psychiatrist. Eventually, I stopped seeking for professional help and stopped taking my medication on my own.

I had a falling out and failed my first semester after transferring and was forced to withdraw from the whole semester all together. I took a semester off to work and focus on something else other than school. My parents are also oblivious to this fact. During this time my anxiety and depression had gotten worse, and not better than what I had expected. I felt behind and I felt that it would be impossible to graduate within the standard four years that most people graduate in. And that’s what exactly happened. I had a major depressive episode and attempted to hurt myself again. I failed again.

I have since then tried to get my life back together again, for the sake of my parents. I have tried to take new medication and tried to at least finish this degree. I have managed to barely pass my classes to reach where I am right now.

I am on my second to last semester of my expected graduation date and I now feel like I am just circling back where I was just 2 semesters ago. I am failing my classes and on the verge of another major depressive episode. I have stopped taking my new antidepressants and no longer know if I even really enjoy my major anymore, much less any of the sciences. It’s a shame, really. I used to really enjoy the sciences and now I can’t even tell if I even like anything anymore. It is now finals week and instead of studying for an exam that I have tomorrow, I am sitting here writing this.

Just recently, the Korean pop world recently rocked because there have been a string of Korean celebrities committing suicide. The people that I used to view as my role models have taken their lives and make me question if it is really worth living such a miserable life.

For those that may wonder why I don’t tell my parents my mental health issues, it is because they do not believe in mental illnesses. My parents believe that all problems can go away when you just “take care of it”.

I guess I don’t really have a question here. I just needed a safe place to talk about my feelings. I guess, if I had to have a question, is how can I possibly to motivate myself to finish my education. How can I at least push myself to the finish line?
6 replies
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Replies to: Anxiety, Depression, and Failing Classes in my Last Year of College

  • yucca10yucca10 1317 replies40 threads Senior Member
    I'm so sorry you feel like this and your parents are not supportive. Hard to imagine going through this alone. But if you have to, you need to at least keep talking to your doctor and therapist, and start taking your medication again, or if it doesn't work, try another. It's hard to be motivated when you're so depressed, but depression is a curable disease, not a failure.

    That said, college education should not be a goal in itself. You said nothing about what you want to do after college. The degree wouldn't help you much if you stay depressed and overwhelmed. Stop comparing yourself to other people or trying to impress your parents (who, by the sound of it, didn't earn the right to give you any advice about your life). Find out what works for you so you can start enjoying life. You can take some time off from college again, take better care of your mental health, try different jobs, try to make more friends and generally have a support network. After this you will be in a better position to plan for the future.

    Hugs to you. It'll get better, just don't give up on yourself.
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  • PublisherPublisher 9040 replies110 threads Senior Member
    edited December 2019
    Why do you stop taking your prescription medications ?

    I ask because if the medications cause bad side effects, you need to tell your doctor ASAP.
    edited December 2019
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8291 replies70 threads Senior Member
    Your primary focus should be getting well, reconnected with your therapist, and resuming your prescriptions. School will always be there. Your health is of primary importance. Please reach out to your school's crisis line right now.
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  • ja;sldkjfja;sldkjf 40 replies0 threads Junior Member
    Your #1 priority is getting healthy. Tell the school. Withdraw with a medical if possible. Your perspective has been changed by your recent poor health. One thing at a time. Address your depression. No time schedules. Don't worry about your parents. You. Work on you. Depression is a cloud, you are the sky.
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  • txmom19txmom19 28 replies2 threads Junior Member
    First of all, stop thinking of yourself as a failure. You have come so far and this is an accomplishment in itself. Depression and anxiety are illnesses just like diabetes and high blood pressure. All illnesses affect the ability to do your best work. Like momofsenior1 said focus on getting well. Resume your medications. Take a break. Try other things like non-stem courses, job or travel or volunteer work. See what you like. There are people in this world who would like to see you happy and healthy.
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  • hopelessacademichopelessacademic 1 replies1 threads New Member
    Hi everyone, thank you for all of your support. Things have been a whirlwind since I’m currently in the middle of finals week. It’s been harder for me to get up and motivate myself to get things done during these final weeks of this semester.

    To those that may ask why I stopped taking my medication, it may be linked to the fact that I don’t feel that they have helped me at all. I still lay in bed all day, knowing that I have a full schedule ahead of me and not bother to tend to any of it. The medications I’ve been prescribed are part of the class of family that are suppose to help motivate me to do things. Quite frankly, I don’t think they work for me at all. In fact, I think they only make me more “emotion-less”. I don’t feel anything and it only makes me feel more bad for not getting anything done. I lay in bed hating myself for not getting any work done yet I can’t get out of bed. I think the best way for me to explain it is to compare it to quicksand. The more I move I just sink deeper and deeper. So I lay there, not moving, not eating, not doing anything really.

    I have reached out to my psychiatrist and therapist about this issue, which followed with a prescription for new medication. As the first two medications didn’t work, the new medication did not work for me either. I decided myself that I did not want to try medication anymore and stopped taking them immediately. I fell into a state of antidepressant withdrawal, which had symptoms of worsening thoughts and suicidal tendencies. Since then, I have been afraid to try any other medications and have only been more motivated to prevent my life from being controlled by maintenance medication.

    Regarding withdrawing from school, I’m afraid that is not an option for me. I have withdrawn once already, without my parents approval. They have been helping me pay for my tuition, in addition to the school loans that I have been taking out. If I withdraw, I will no longer have their tuition support and will completely have to depend on loans, which do not cover the full tuition fee that I am charged. The job that I work at do not even come close to helping me pay the remaining charges that is left over from loans.

    I’m not exactly sure what to do, there’s too many problems and I’m not sure how to really sure what to do. But again, I really appreciate the support and kind words everyone has taken the time to say.
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