Bad Grades Due to Severe Depression and ADHD?

Hi everyone,

I know the title sounds like a dumb excuse for my failures. It probably is. But, this past trimester I have had F’s in three different classes. The other grades were D’s and C-'s, and an A+ in biology (somehow). My grades last year weren’t great either… I am in my sophomore year.

I go to a vocational school for art and design, which is the path I want to go into in the future. My shop is one of the classes I got an F in-- a 60%. I have had no motivation to do work these past few months, and would often have to go to the nurse for the second half of the day due to stress. I have been in the worst position I have ever been in my entire life. My ADHD and memory have rapidly been getting worse, rather than improving, and no matter what I try or how many doctors my mom insists on taking me to see, nothing has helped. I am really passionate about art and my dream school is MassArt, which does not accept students with GPAs lower than 2.3 and prefers students with 3.0. I don’t know my GPA, but I am entirely sure that it’s low. I feel like I’m never going to get anywhere in life, and never going to get into the school I’ve almost always wanted to go to. What should I do?? I don’t want to use any excuses when I apply for colleges because i don’t feel like there ARE any valid ones. My problems aren’t that bad compared to other ones people have. I feel like I’m out of luck.

Just because other people might have it worse doesn’t mean your problems don’t exist.

Are you getting help for it? Meds, therapy?

@bodangles Yes, I’m taking medicine for depression, anxiety, and ADHD. I am also seeing a therapist. None of the medications do anything, and each one we try has the same outcome.

You’ll need to try your best to do things that will help bring up your grades. Perhaps attend teacher led tutoring sessions before and after school, see if there are any extra-credit assignments you can do, or even hire an outside tutor if you need to. When it comes time to apply for college in a couple of years you can have your guidance counselor talk about your situation in his/her rec letter. For that to happen you’ll need to go ahead and start explaining your situation to your guidance counselor so he/she can vouch for you.

You still have plenty of time to get up your GPA considering you’re only a sophomore. I obviously don’t know a lot about you but I think you can definitely improve your situation. And as far as not having excuses, having a mental illness isn’t an excuse, it’s something that you have that will affect your life. Don’t compare your problems to others because no matter who you are there is always someone that you’re going to think has it worse off than you, but that shouldn’t invalidate the things happening with you. Do your best to get your ADHD and depression in check however you and your parents see best, and then do everything you can to improve your grades. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to find somewhere great to go to college, hopefully MassArt but if not there are a lot of fantastic arts schools.

@getaclucy Thank you, I’m really hoping I can get things to a decent level. My guidance counselor is well aware of the situation so I hope a recommendation from her can help… As for the tutoring part I have a hard time working up the courage to stay after school for it, especially due to the lack of motivation, energy, and feeling hopeless about understanding the topic. I’m working towards the tutoring step slowly but surely. I really appreciate your kindness on the topic, I haven’t been getting much of that lately.

@Rowlet Nobody should be faulting you for something that isn’t under your control. As for having to build up the courage I totally understand that as I used to feel the same way but getting that extra help is essential in helping to pull yourself out of the cycle of: depression - depression causing bad grades and poor school work - feeling more depressed because of the bad grades. Believe me I know the cycle very well and though depression is by no means your fault sometimes you have to do things you don’t necessarily want to do to help pull yourself out. I’m glad to hear you’re working towards it though! That’s fantastic!

Laws require schools to make certain accommodations for anyone with disabilities. It might be worth having a meeting with your mom, your teachers, a school psychologist or psychiatrist(if applicable), and/or a principal to see if any accommodations or an IEP would be appropriate. If you’ve already been down this road, I don’t have any additional advice, except to say good luck.

@roethlisburger I’m already on an IEP, and have been since the 5th grade. Unfortunately there’s not much they can do in my scenario except for offer more guindance counseling and a second teacher in my classrooms, both of which I usually have. There’s not much else they can do for me at this point, as the school sees my issues as very minor.