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Probation and study hall punishment

I'm 36 years old, almost 37. After losing my dream job my behavioral health issues overtook me and I wound up moving home. I started in community college, took remedial classes, failed a few times due to health, but eventually graduated with two certificates and two associates degrees. I had a 3.3gpa, got into my uni of choice and the highly competitive major of my choice.

Unfortunately, 2018 was the gift no one wanted and it just keeps on giving. My treating psychiatrist left the medical group and a temp replaced him. The temp said I didn't have ADHD inattentive, tried to take me off my meds. I fought it, he was replaced by another doc that crap talked other docs. She too wanted to mess with my meds because stigma. If she talked that way about other doctors, what would she write about me if I didn't agree to do things her way. So I went on the med she wanted, had a break two weeks before community college finals. Went back on Adderall, crammed 16 weeks into two weeks, graduated, and collapsed. She took me off Adderall again and back on the other med. She then said, "My contract is up, my replacement will give you Adderall when school starts if you need it."

My first semester at Uni started and there was no doc. I tried everything within my power to get a new doctor and my meds. I finally got a new psych 2 days after finals and got the full and correct treatment on Jan 10th.

I dropped one class due to medical, rode the other three out. Did not pass one. But I did my best, it just so happens that discrete math without meds is a bit much. Now I'm going through retroactive removal of that grade.

However, since I had no GPA at the uni, and I failed a class I fell below a 2.0 and am on academic probation—punishment for being an irresponsible and bad student. This includes six hours a week of mandatory study hall where I can sit and think about what a failure I am, surrounded by others. That's 6 hours I don't get to be in the campus LGBTQIA+ space feeling safe.

I am transgender, I have diagnosises of social anxiety, complex PTSD, generalized anxiety with occasional panic, autism, and adhd inattentive. I also have major depressive disorder and severe dysthymia, which is like... Yo dawg we heard you were depressed, so we put depression in your depression so you can be depressed while you're depressed. Without my meds I have impaired executive function including failing memory. Yes, I have accomodations.

I asked about getting let off of study hall and got a really condescending, "If I let you off I would have to do it for others too because fairness." This even though my mental health will assure I get nothing done there, to which I'm told I didn't get anything done last time which is why I'm on probation. (No actually that's not the case with me maybe I should chosen to not be born with health disorders and not be abused as a child.)

So now I'm really depressed and anxious that if I don't succeed I'm going to get dismissed. I get to ruminate for six hours a werk on wh6a failure I am as punishment for not having access to my meds.

I'm ready to drop out over all of this. I don't know what to do anymore. Help.

Replies to: Probation and study hall punishment

  • Autumn901Autumn901 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    You sound an awful lot like a friend of mine... he's a trans man with ADHD, ASD, and stutters, plus was disowned by his parents and attending college in the conservative deep south. He had a rough time, to put it mildly.

    If your parents are supportive, talk with them about these issues. If not, it would really help for you to find some mentors (either at the student disability office, or a professor you trust). My friend eventually got his degree, but it was not easy going. He wouldn't have succeeded without help from people he could rely upon.

    You also need to find a doc and therapist you like. If one doc isn't giving you the treatment you desire, switch doctors. You're going to run into a lot of people who aren't supportive; don't let them de-rail you.

    Anyway, back to your question. I recommend writing out different scenarios and talking out the pros and cons with someone you trust. Stay at school and ride out the study hall? Withdraw and go to a different school? Online education? Which option is best? Which is maybe uncomfortable, but do-able?

    I don't think anyone can give you a complete enough answer here that will really be helpful other than "look for someone to talk with who can help." Please don't think of yourself as a failure. You're dealing with a lot; just take it one day at a time and take care of yourself.
  • GudmomGudmom Registered User Posts: 188 Junior Member
    So you’ve got a lot going on, but some of what you say makes no sense.
    Why can’t yoo get any work done in study hall, if you now are on the proper meds?
    How much time DO you spend in the LBBTQIA+ safe space, and what do you do there? Is study hall really keeping you from important business there?
  • ExhaustedPeacockExhaustedPeacock Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    edited March 18
    Hello, thanks for your feedback.

    To answer some questions,

    How much time do I spend at the pride center and what do I do? I arrive at school by 9am. Most of my classes are at noon. Parking. I used to go to the pride center. I would usually sit on my laptop or work on projects surrounded by other people like me, who are safe and supportive. They are people I do not feel anxious around.

    The mandatory study hall is more like a jail. You go, you are surrounded by other students. I'm misgendered constantly, I'm not able to socialize or interact with people. This all is distressing and uncomfortable. I'm treated like a flunkie incapable of doing basic study things when I came in with a pretty high GPA. The threat of being thrown out is highly stressful. I guess it's supposed to be a tough love thing... "Tough love" was the exclusive MO of the parental units. Never encouragement or compassion. It's part of why I'm so messed up. But all this is punishment for things beyond my control. That's messed up too.

    I fell into a major depressive episode in spite of my medication as a result of all the added crap I have had to deal with. The meds seem to raise my baseline, they work, but not fully. We are experimenting because I'm stuck and haven't come out of the hole. Without the meds I get worse. Seems my MDD is treatment resistant. I've been in and out of therapy at school, therapy at the county, psychiatrist at the county, case worker offices, retention advisor offices, disability advisor offices, major advisor offices.

    I'm behind in my classes, not all of my professors are supportive. I've been advised to withdraw for the semester, which leaves my housing situation in jeopardy and leaves me financially destitute. If I drop half my classes I might be able to pass. Maybe.

    What I do hear across the board is that I am dealing with a lot of things, that even someone without all of it would struggle. While that is a nice sentiment it doesn't solve my problems.

    The worst thing is that despite the strongly worded letters from my clinicians my retroactive may not happen in a timely manner. Apparently it's not uncommon to hold the petition until someone has a successful semester.

    To manage TR depression for now I need to control my stressors until a time which we can find an effective treatment. The hope at the moment is that the newly approved nasal spray becomes available and it works. Until then I hang on in quiet desperation until I flunk out and get dismissed at which time the five year chapter of my life trying college as an older adult with behavioral health issues comes to a close.

    I'm getting down to the last of my potential resources to tap. I can try reaching out to the ombudsperson and seeing if they can light some hinie fires.

    Beyond that, looking for an advocate via a group like NAMI or DoR may be my only option.

    After a 2 hour session with my therapist Friday we determined that applying (again) for SSDI (which would use my original 2010 onset date) would be a good idea. If my meds lapse again or I have another episode it interferes with function. If it interferes with school it will do so for work as well. SSDI would allow me to, if I don't get kicked out, drop to half time without financial devastation. It would give me stability and remove a good chunk of financial stress. I could take the ticket to work when I'm done and get into a decent job.

    To do SSDI I'm going to have to lawyer up because I just can't at this point. The lawyer might be veeeeery interested in both the county health care system letting me fall through the cracks and the school stuff.

    To understand the nature if the depression and the exhaustion and poor focus, I will explain it. The glucocorticoid known as cortisol and others like it basically put a person's body into a constant amped up physiological stress response. It's like a warzone with the body in overdrive except for it's all going on inside and invisible. It's a fight to get out of bed, and go to study hall and try to get things done and going to lecture, then going home, taking a nap, then sitting there paralyzed trying to muster up the energy to get stuff done and feeling guilty about not getting enough done. I'm so tired.

    With all this, is it any wonder why depression is the leading cause of dropouts and depressed are twice as likely to drop out?

    Today I'm late... But not really. I'm late for being early. I will get there on time. I just have to finish adult things (waiting for dryer) before I go.
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