Should I withdraw due to mental health problems?

Hello! I am currently a junior at UGA. I have been suffering from depression and an eating disorder for several years now, and they have gone from better to worse over and over again. This semester thus far has been particularly hard due to everything being online. Also, I just transferred to UGA from Emory (for various reasons, including missing my family, my mental health problems, and financial reasons) and I feel very lonely not knowing anyone at UGA and just sitting in my apartment. Previous to this semester I had a 4.0, but now my grades are dropping as my mental health is finally stopping me from being able to focus and get my work done. Some days I am fine and can work, but other days I just can’t and when those days come for a few days in a row I get really behind. I also have decided that I don’t want to be a psyc major and all of my courses this semester only count towards that major and no other requirements, making me feel discouraged and like I’m doing these classes I hate for nothing. I’m currently in therapy and have been seeing a psychiatrist, but recently it hasn’t been helping much. I moved home last week and have stayed home since then after a particularly bad weekend. My parents are really worried, as I’ve started having more suicidal thoughts, and they don’t even want to leave me alone much. At this point, I don’t know what I should do. I am not failing- I think I could pull off the semester with B’s. However, I just don’t know if at this point it’d be better to try and focus on my mental health instead of my classes, which are stressing me out and honestly making me sort of miserable. However, I also don’t want to have wasted a ton of money on this semester. Any thoughts on whether it would be wise to withdraw or finish up the semester? I’ve already decided with my family that I’m definitely taking a gap semester next semester since UGA is still going to be online basically. Thanks!

Nothing is more important than your safety and well being. If you are feeling suicidal, you need to be in a place that is supportive and rehabilitative. Please talk with your loved ones. Take care.

Health first. Always!

I’m glad you are home! School will be there when you are ready.

Your mental health comes first. Get the help you need.

If you withdraw do be sure and do it through the college officially (hopefully you can get a medical withdrawal) so you will have a clean slate when you are ready to return.

I’m so sorry you are going through this, but I’m glad you are home with your family. Focus on your health and not college for now. My best to you.

This. Your well being is the only thing that matters.

I think withdrawal is a good idea. You deserve a break from the struggle that school presents right now, understandably.

You may be able to withdraw without W’s on your transcript if a professional can vouch for the medical need to withdraw. I don’t know if your parents got the tuition refund insurance. But regardless, yes, please, withdraw.

Some of us have kids who were where you are, and are now doing really well, or have been there ourselves. Things can work out really well over time, promise.

Don’t make decisions about majors or anything school related until you feel better.

I think changing schools during COVID would be a huge challenge for any of us. Give yourself a break.

Honestly, if you take a few months at home and just do therapy, watch Neflix and take walks, that’s fine. Hope you feel better soon.

Yes, withdraw! You can complete your education (and switch to a major you like!) at any point in the future, but you can only do this when you are healthy. There is no timetable for getting a degree.

The most important thing is to do this properly…don’t just leave.
I would suggest talking to the Dean of Students…tell them what is going on.


  1. Finish the semester: Get mental health help…see a therapist/Psychiatrist (maybe medication?)
  2. Finish the semester with less credits…maybe withdraw from the most stressful class and finish the rest to get credit
  3. Withdraw…talk to the Dean about a medical withdrawal

In any case…talk to your parents, the counseling center and the college administration about options. If you withdraw, make sure you are doing it properly and have the ability to come back if you desire.

Agree with others, drop out and focus on your mental health. If you feel like hurting yourself, please call: 1-800-273-8355

Agreed on the medical withdrawal. Your health comes first. If it makes you feel any better, I also took several medical leaves, and found the right diagnosis and treatment, finished my undergrad and am now about to graduate from professional school. An extra year, or several, really doesn’t make any difference, you are clearly a good student and can totally make it once your health gets better, but right now your priority should be your health

Just want to add that it is really essential to seek help that is specific to eating disorders. A clinic might be best. Some hospitals have eating disorder clinics, and some are freestanding. There are also individual therapists with expertise in this area but the community offered at clinics can be helpful.

Take care of your health first. Withdrawal for medical reasons can be explained.
The National Eating Disorder Association has helpful information to find resources to help you:

The ED is a mental illness and will impact you greatly until you get it under control. Seek out therapists that experience with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) which has been a great help for us with conquering the battle.