Depression and Anxiety Caused Me to Drop Out of College
Some with depression and anxiety drop out of college (How Can Colleges Help Students with Mental Illness?). I graduated from high school at 17 and was ready to tear through my freshman year of college. Instead, I dropped out of college with depression and anxiety. What followed were eight years of insecurity and an intense dread for the future.
How Anxiety and Depression Forced Me to Drop Out of College
One of the first signs that pointed to depression was that I could not pull myself out of the desire to sleep for hours on end, mixed with bouts of insomnia. I would lie in bed late at night, not necessarily worrying or thinking. Of course, this led to sleeping all day. It's pretty hard to make it to class when you can't get up for the alarm clock.
I would also experience intense sadness unlike any other I had felt. I could be doing anything, from writing an essay to taking a shower, and suddenly feel like crying. Life felt unbearable, and it soon became clear that I would be dropping out of college due to depression.
Anxiety was the second component leading me to drop out of college. I started out fine enough, attending classes every day. After summer sessions, I became afraid of going to class. I just stopped going. Of course, my grades dropped considerably.
How I Coped with Dropping Out of College with Depression and Anxiety
Dropping out of school felt like the best choice at the time, but it was not without consequence. It is nearly 10 years later, and I am finally going back to college. Watch this video to learn more about how I coped with dropping out of college because of depression and anxiety (How to Talk to Your College Student about Mental Illness).
Photo care of Unsplash.
Horsfall, A. (2016, December 20). Depression and Anxiety Caused Me to Drop Out of College, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 23 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/toughtimes/2016/12/dropping-out-of-college-with-depression-and-anxiety
Author: Ashley Horsfall
A chronic illness is really a disability rather than an illness, and I think there should be colleges that have classes and majors for the type of learning that most people with mental illness can do-- no pressure learning!--and classroom environments that are like support groups. . Fewer classes, like 3 per semester, to be fulltime, too. I was overwhelmed with 5 classes each semester. I handled my illness with a lot of running, prayer, humor, and trying to drive the negative suffocating energy into my studies. I was like a firefighter running into a fire every day. Terrified and literally running across campus to sit(and fidget) through class. I managed to squeak out a degree days before I collapsed, barely stumbling through my senior year. And that only because I was in the right major for my particular skills and personality.
Why couldn't there be colleges that have a special track just for those with depression/anxiety... with classes that do not have massive amounts of reading, memorization, papers.I always felt that the timeline and credits needed to finish were so arbitrary and impossible. No wonder you have to drop out.
All this said, I am all too aware that the most favorable circumstances cannot fix the great suffering of a mental illness, and the social and financial consequences of it. A webpage like this offers great hope by knowing how many people suffer similarly. Thinking of you all and sending prayers/hope/peace.
This semester, I've been trying to eliminate as many unhealthy habits as possible and have been doing better. However, in times when I'm under a lot of stress, like right now in midterms season, it can be very tough to climb up the slippery slope that is my mental illness. Yesterday I woke up really motivated, then while eating breakfast I became depressed. I was able to study, but not as much as I wanted to. I was feeling really down last night until I suddenly felt a lot better and inspired. Feeling good scared me because my mood can fluctuate so much.
Now I'm just depressed, lethargic, and scared of trying hard at anything. I worked out today, but that was a monumental effort. It's hard enough to work out without your thoughts beating you down. I need to get as much as help as possible from the student health center... I really want control over this mental illness and to resolve past issues that may be the root of this. There's so much I want to do in my life but negative thoughts and self-doubt keep getting in the way and holding me down...
Thank you so much for posting this article. I've a game plan for dealing with my mental illnesses that I am still trying to perfect and follow. Sometimes, I don't have as much time for self-care as I would like because I'm so busy. however, that's also when my mental health deteriorates the most.
I need to stay strong this semester. I'm in my dream college. If I can stay hopeful and healthy, that would mean so much to me. I already invested so much into just getting here, so I would hate to lose it all in my first year.
I failed this semester, I failed four of five subject. I wanna cry, I feel so stupid. I talked to my parents at the beggining of the semester, but they only said me that I need to finish because I can't be a failure, and they think that I only was being lazy. I hate myself and I want to die. I understand the point of my parents, it's very scary don't have a college degree, but also I it's very debilitating fighting with depression without any help.
btw sorry for my bad english, isn't my first language.
I still want to back and retake my math classes. I also want to take more chemistry classes, however I am not allowing myself to go back until I can choose, and stay with, one major. But that is due to ADHD, which makes all of it that much more difficult! So put recurrent major depression, generalized anxiety, ADHD/gifted "twice exceptional," and executive function problems all together and you get a life like mine: basically, a boat without a rudder! What interested me last week probably won't answer me next week. "Oh look - a squirrel!"
That is tough! Like you, I have accumulated quite a bunch of credits in a variety of fields. I do think part of my problem was not necessarily realizing that I was unsure what I really wanted to do. Sometimes I still don't even know!