In college; just diagnosed with GAD.

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/23/2008 9:39 AM (GMT -6)   
So, I'm in school right now, and I was just diagnosed this past week with GAD and mild depression. I am going through further testing for ADHD.

I'm pretty good at putting on a tough face for classmates and professors, even though I've been really struggling just getting to class, participating, finishing assignments, etc. I am overwhelmed, and I'm behind on my work. I'm pretty sure most of my professors just see me as lazy and unmotivated.

This makes it really hard for me to go to class. I just got an exam back where a professor wrote across the top, "This is a disappointment!" I am embarrassed and sad about this, and instead of facing everything, I just didn't go to class today. I slept maybe three hours last night and my chest hurts really badly. I feel so guilty for not going to class today, and I'm not sure if I should be communicating with any of my professors about what's going on with me. I've been trying hard not to ask for any favors, but it's really unhelpful to have comments like that written on my papers, however well-intentioned they may be.

I guess I just feel really discouraged, and I'm too embarrassed of how I really feel about this to share it with anyone, though I am finally in therapy. I keep making poor decisions, and I *know* they're poor decisions, but I'm so exhausted and I don't know where to begin sometimes to make myself feel better.

I was just hoping there's someone out there in the world who could relate, or give a few supportive words, or advice on what to do about all of this. Anyone out there?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 1011
   Posted 10/23/2008 10:33 AM (GMT -6)   
sorry you are having such a hard time in school. Is this your first year? I didn't start having panic attacks until much later, but looking back on my college days, I definitely had anxiety and a little depression. It was such an uncertain time in my life, as it is for many of us I'm sure. As far as poor decisions, I think we've all been there! It's wonderful that you are getting help. Things are going to get better for you. I don't know whether or not you should tell your professors. I did end up telling my boss at the time I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder because my performance at work was getting so bad that I felt I had to.  Maybe if you explain what is going on your teachers will let you do some work for extra credit to get your grades up. I think the fact that you are aware that you have some issues (not wallowing in self pity) and that you are being proactive about it by seeking treatment speaks very highly of you. This is a great place to come for support. Welcome.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 393
   Posted 10/23/2008 10:55 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi kaliedo, I was diagnosed with GAD in my last year of uni after bout a month of tests. It was really hard to go in and i missed about a months worth of lecturs jus becoz evrytime i went i had an anxiety attack. The more i avoided uni the worse my anxiety got and the more i felt overwhlemed. My one piece of advice is keep your tutor informed of what happning and if possible get your doctor to contact your tutor. This really helped me.

Second thing its gets better, after two weeks on meds I was to something like myself.  

If i was you i would give myself 3 or 4 days of no stress just chilling out. Then start trying to catch up. Remember to do things in little baby steps.. set yourself a realisic target for each day then go do it. You get a nice sense of accomplishment if u manage to complete your target it will help combat the depressed feeling.
Also i found going to the gym reallly helped my mood, it may help u too.
You wil learn to get some control over GAD eventually.
I hope it all goes well for you.  Please keep us informed of how things go, and you'l prob find the depression clears quickly once you get back on your feet :P
All the best
Badfish  smurf   
P.S welcome to HW

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/23/2008 11:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Good Morning and Welcome to HealingWell.  I know I do not do well with  snide remarks like "this is a disappointment" remember guilt is a wasted emotion.  What was the professor looking for?  If he had a personal comment he should have taken the time to talk with you.  I agree, you have a medical dx of a mental health disorder and you are working on it. Do talk with your guidance counselor or tutor so they can help you set a schedule and help you learn how to cope with comments that feel biased.
Every day members of HealingWell recover their Self-esteem, their self-worth, their dreams, their pride, their dignity and a meaningful life.
Stay with us and keep posting.  We will help you through the tough times and celebrate the good times.


Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 2103
   Posted 10/23/2008 4:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm in the same boat for sure. I'm a sophomore and I completely went over the edge a couple of weeks ago. I'm usually from the ulcerative colitis boards and this is the link explaining my story I finally went to the doctor and I started effexor about a week ago. I find its helping me. That professor can stick it up their you know what. That wasn't a fair comment...but on the other hand they don't know the situation. If you speak to your professors they'll notice that you're a kid with major issues going on right now and not one of the kids that stay out and party all night.
I'm sorry this are so icky right now but I hope things look up. I know how it feels :)
Sam 19 year old college student
Diagnosed March 2005
Remission since January/April 2006 (incident with mono)
3200mg Asacol, 25mg Amitriptlyine, Ortho Tri-cyclen lo, Effexor XR for anxiety
"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude"
Maya Angelou

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/23/2008 10:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey kaleido,

I just started posted in the depression forums and this is my first time here - but I can relate to your post so much that it looks like something I could've written myself. I'm a sophomore transfer student at a new school with tons of students and I hardly know anyone, let alone where things are. So that is adding to my anxiety on top of struggling with going to class.

I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression awhile back but am just receiving help for it again since I stopped for awhile - I'm on antidepressants and getting counseling. But I understand what you are going through. My attendance has slipped too, and my professors I'm sure are judging me, especially my psychology professor. I decided since her attendance policy is strict, I should speak with her about it. I am doing that tomorrow, and I am very nervous; but it is the right thing to do because I do not want a bad grade in that class.

I understand how it is to feel guilty, ashamed, and embarrassed to tell anyone - I've been contemplating telling my professors as well. I feel like they will think I'm a slacker or just won't understand. Their little snide remarks don't help us in wanting to go to their class either! But my advice to you is to let them know, even through email if you cannot face them, since that can be hard sometimes. I am anxious as can be but I know I have to try and make things right. If you mentally prepare yourself, you can do it, I am sure of it. You will be glad you did. Don't beat yourself up over it - just think in terms of the future now. You may have done poorly on some tests in the past and your attendance was not what you want it to be, but from now on, you can change that and try to improve it. Every day is a struggle but you can do it.

Good luck and keep posting...I hope this was at least somewhat helpful
"Sometimes a struggle leaves you fragile; shaken up, shotgun shy. With heartache past, and open eyes, you'll come back stronger, bigger, better. Maybe this time, things will change; brand new day, forgive, forget. Time has past, back to life; hand on shoulders, bigger, better..."

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/24/2008 9:43 AM (GMT -6)   
Wow. Thank you all so much. It is such a relief to have some encouraging/helpful feedback from other people who understand a little bit what may be going on with me. I went to talk to the dean today, and he advised me to communicate with my professors that I have a lot on my plate; I'm going to do that for sure, though I'm slightly terrified (am I doing the right thing? is this all my fault? what do I say? etc.). I've struggled enough in the past couple of years that I really don't want to lose myself in this mess now. I'm feeling some guilt and embarrassment over the label of GAD (and depression, too, I guess), but I'm really trying to see it not as a definition of myself but as a definition of the plan I'm going to follow in order to get my life back on track.

blue_maedel, how did your conversation with your professor go? College is a really hard time, I think, to be dealing with mental health issues. It's hard to find consistent support and also just maintain a lifestyle in which I can both succeed and address the issues that need to be addressed. I'm also trying to figure out how to just, above all, take care of me and myself. I don't want to just scrape by anymore; I'd really like to feel whole and happy and functional again. Talking with the dean today was encouraging; he offered some supportive words and told me to keep in contact. There ought to be some sort of guide for students who have just been diagnosed with mental illness (or who think that they may have it). I wish I had known to do this months or even years ago.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 10/24/2008 1:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I had some of the same issues back in school. I was on the dean's list, then all the sudden I was missing class only to drop them later. I knew all along it was depression but couldn't bring myself to tell the professors since it was widely known that I played in bands and bar hopped a lot. Luckily I did get to know most of my profs in my department, and I think they could just tell what was going on. So my advice would be that. Tell them if you can, and if you can't try to get to know them. Go into their office with questions and just discuss things. Most of them love that kind of interaction and, believe me, you can learn more by talking to these guys one on one for fifteen minutes than you can in a couple of classes.

You'll get through this, though. Depression is tough, no doubt about it. But it's all about winning the small battles (much like anxiety). You seem like you're more than ready to take it on.

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/24/2008 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   

Well, her policy is if you miss more than 4 classes (i've missed 5), then your grade gets dropped by a half point (i.e. from an A to A-). So I decided to bring it to her attention to see if I could do anything to help, but she didn't really seem to care and said that if she adjusted the policy for me, she'd have to do it for everyone! Argh. I explained I was having some health issues, but she basically told me "none of us want to get up in the morning and face the day, but we have to" - after she burst into tears and explained to me how she's going through a hard time since her dog is dying of cancer. WHAT?!

It was not so successful, but I tried my best and am feeling better mentally anyway so I'm just going to try and do good from here on out. I'm glad to hear you talked to someone a bit more successfully than me! It is good to have people on your side and to differentiate yourself from those kids that just skip because they do not care. Are there any sort of disability people on campus you can talk to? My sister had issues with anxiety and did that, and they offered her some support.

I find it very difficult like you to balance staying emotionally healthy and doing well in school; one always ends up sliding. But if you continue to let the embarrassment and guilt take you over, it will really get you down. All you can do is try and explain to your professors the best you can - it is not an easy issue to talk about and many do not understand. But you will feel better once you did.

Good luck and hang in there. It's good to know I'm not alone in struggling with school issues and depression! Tough combination, isn't it?

Depression, anxiety, insomnia, scoliosis, asthma, RLS, migraines, IBS, hyperparathyroidism, ITP, and MRSA infection last yr.

Zoloft 75mg & Ativan .5mg

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