View Full Version : How do I be my best self during the worst times?

03-27-14, 12:45 AM
I’ve been going through some personal issues beyond the typical academic/medication side effect matters that normally take part in my day. I normally try to stay positive and typically I’m a really positive guy, get along with almost everyone, but I guess I haven’t been myself recently… somewhat depressed.

For instance, yesterday after spending hours preparing for my statistics exam I failed to finish it on time. It was as if everything looked foreign to me even though I prepared and persevered through all the typical mental struggles comprising of the majority of my day. I spoke with the professor, and should still be earning my “A,” but to spend five hours a day in the library, have no life outside of school, and hear a classmate tell you about how they studied “for one hour on Saturday” is beyond frustrating.

Beyond that, I picked up on the habits I formed while using the computer, particularly when streaming video/watching YouTube. I constantly switch through tabs and can’t watch an entire video. I click constantly on my computer, and just can’t keep still, let alone understand what I’m watching. When watching a video for my Economics class, I just kept doing the same thing… persisting through the mental pain to focus. If I tried to sit still, I’d think about sitting still, if I wanted to pay attention, I’d have to fidget around and bite my nails. Adderall works better on some days than others, but there are now other things interfering (anxiety, possible depression, OCD-behavior), and Prozac has been treating my anxiety well until recently when it's been returning... and I am trying to avoid a full-on panic attack from occurring for the first time in months. I'm not trying to rely on the medications solely for improvement, though, they are a supplement like anything else to help me succeed.

I’ve exerted all mental energy into making it this far academically, and I know I’m a strong person. Since failing my first two years of college, I moved to the Silicon Valley during Fall 2012 and have since accumulated a 3.91 GPA and will have completed 85 quarter units at the end of the term. However, yesterday when I took my statistics exam and completely blanked out, I realized something: I didn’t get an ADHD diagnosis until this past July, and for that entire year prior pulled high marks. I’m not stupid, either, I understood this material before… but now these kids whispering next to me are throwing my concentration off. Classes were undoubtedly easier last year, but I had something then which I now lacked… passion. I cared less about school and my exam, it didn’t mean much to me. I wasn’t motivated to go to the library and spend five plus hours a day there, carefree of those around me. Now, I’m avoiding certain places and thinking everyone’s judging me. It’s beyond an ADHD thing, but I know if I persist prevalence will be the greatest reward.

I’m an out-of-state student, 21 years old and from Pittsburgh, PA. I head back home on Saturday for spring break and will be there for a week. I had an emotional breakdown and told my phone that I wasn’t coming back for the next quarter and instead wanted to focus on getting better. However, that fails to resonate with me. I have tremors, can’t focus, don’t even know what I want to study (even though now it’s business), can’t sleep on many nights, but know with unequivocal certainty of my immovable will.

I’m no longer motivated by material success, but rather by personal resilience and improvement, to be my best self. My motto is to just keep going, and if anyone wants to share advice I would most certainly love for you to share it. Thanks.

03-27-14, 04:31 AM
I encourage you to see a doctor and to consider meds.

03-27-14, 09:15 AM
Sarah's right. You need to do that.

I'd also suggest that you try not to compare yourself and your experience with that of others. Some people get a job done in an hour, others labor nightly for days, but what counts in the end is whether you get the job done, and how well. Not everyone has to try the same amount for the same result. But, maybe getting treatment will make this easier for you, so the relationship between your effort and your result can match your expectation more fully.