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i dropped out of college because of depression?

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I already dropped out of university twice six years ago. I was too depressed, realised that I went for the wrong reasons (to party) and the stress of it all just got too much up til the point where i tried to **** myself.

I'm now back at university in a foreign country studying a course that i only partly like in a foreign language. It was going o-k but then my dad had a stroke and has been in hospital for the past month and a half. From the moment i received the phone call telling me this I just haven't been able to concentrate at uni and everything has spiralled down into a pit of severe depression. I've got exams in january which I've stopped working for because I cannot even pick up a pen anymore without bursting into tears and wanting to **** myself again. I've kinda said to myself that it's more in the interest of self-preservation that I just go along with the ride attending classes but not letting it get to me and not doing any work which might trigger stress-depression again - allthewhile watching the just-twenty year olds in my class surpass me in every way.

I just happen to be in a relationship with a highly-qualified high-flyer high-earner whose friends all seem to all have high end degrees and qualifications as well. Of course I compare myself to them all and just end up feeling so inferior, insignificant and worthless. Last week I ended up having to go to my girlfriend's 'ex boyfriend's (but not really)' PHD graduation dinner celebration. I just sat there the whole time feeling like an absolute total piece of dumb**** . Wish I'd never gone.

Anyway, so if (when) I drop out again my mum will **** me, my girlfriend will probably think I'm a quitter loser, and I'll then have to explain to everyone I know why I've stopped studying again. I don't know what I'm going to say to people to save face. It's like I need to think up some valid reason that my friends will buy as to why I've been forced against my will to go back to work instead of getting this degree thing again without lying. I kind of think to myself that there's no real way of telling people without having to explain to them that I'm quite simply too stressed and depressed to succeed at it and would rather just stop even though I know that that makes me a serial quitter/drop out.

I regret more than anything trying to go back, I should have just stuck with learning more languages which is one of the things I'm best at.


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asked Mar 16, 2017 in Education and Reference by Vlad

2 Answers

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I am so sorry you are suffering all this grief!  Please don't beat yourself up!

I dropped out of the university due to depression just a few weeks shy of earning my PhD.  I was already in deep depression and losing motivation fast.  The depression partly caused the end of a relationship too and this made things worse.  In my field, a PhD was considered essential so it was heartbreaking to me to have to leave to take care of my health.  I was ridiculed by quite a few people who couldn't believe I traveled so far in my academic life only to quit weeks short of the "prize."  But it was necessary for my survival.  And things did not turn out badly as a result.[I am 62 now].

I also experienced an academic crisis after my father suffered a heart attack.  Many times I have thought that I was in the last chapter of my life only to find that I was not even half way through it.  I hit bottom not a few times on the way, even ending up in a psychiatric hospital for severe depression.  Yet I do not consider that my life was ruined by any of this.  I feel satisfied with how things have gone and feel I have had and have a good and meaningful life.  In a way, I consider my so-called failures as actually blessings in disguise since they opened up possibilities for me and took me to better places than I dreamed of.

Depression is a brutal, brutal illness.  You are very heroic and I can only admire you.  People you know who have not been stricken by this most terrible of human illnesses will never perhaps understand how strong, how wise, how good and how heroic you really are.  Please keep your head held high.  There's a whole lot more to you than these misfortunes you have suffered.  I wish I knew what to say to comfort or encourage you, but I'm not very good at that.  I wish you all good things . . . all the very best.
answered Mar 16, 2017 by Abbott
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Before I post my own story (you don't have to read, I just thought it might be relateable) I just wanted to ask if anybody else here has had to withdraw from college because of mental health issues. I've just been feeling kind of alone in this situation and I was wondering if there's anybody else out there with a story like mine.
answered Mar 16, 2017 by Jules
Okay, my story-
I've had to drop out of college twice now. In high school I was pretty consistent with my good grades and because of that I was able to get into a really good state school. Actually being in college was a different story. I couldn't handle the social aspect even though I loved my classes and because of really bad circumstances (which are way too involved to write about here) and increasing depression and anxiety, I suffered a nervous breakdown one night and I withdrew after my first semester and moved back home.
After taking a semester off, I transferred to another state school which I commuted to while living with my parents. It was good to be back in school (I stayed there for two years) but my home life sucked and the college was less than spectacular. I was getting no real school guidance because there were just too many students for the staff to handle, and I found myself feeling depressed and apathetic again.
I decided to apply to a different school to finish out my last two years of undergrad. I was accepted and I was thrilled. The school was great and the people there were really nice. However, when move in day came, I had another nervous breakdown and had to be removed from campus. I withdrew from that school and I knew I had to do something about my panic disorder. I tried to quickly sign up for classes at the school I had been commuting to, but when I attended one class I ended up having panic attacks and had to go home. I withdrew from there as well, knowing that I had to get some professional help even though I NEVER wanted to take a break from school. I didn't know this at the time, but the school decided to charge me 1/3 of the semester's tuition because I withdrew past the date of liability, so now I'm in debt $1600 that I'm slowly paying off with a part time job. I withdrew almost two years ago, and it's been a lot of work to get where I am today to feel ready to go back to school. It's just this debt that's killing me.
So now I find myself comparing my life to the lives of my friends who already graduated college a year ago like I was originally supposed to, who are in grad school now and have stable relationships and futures to look forward to. It still feels awful, like I lost so much time to this illness and I'm not as grown up as they are or something. It's just not a good feeling.
So, (sorry about the long story) has anybody else had to deal with dropping out because of mental health issues and/or ensuing debt?

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