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Crashing From School - PTSD And Anxiety Through The Roof

Discussion in 'Anxiety, Panic & Hypervigilance' started by metis-siren, Aug 10, 2007.

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  1. metis-siren

    metis-siren Active Member

    I’m not doing so well. Emotionally I’m so drained that I can’t remember what it’s like to feel rested. School somehow lost its appeal of somewhere I want to be right now. Don’t get me wrong, I love school, and I love learning. Hell, when it comes down to it, I even love writing papers and walking out of an exam I was well prepared for. That’s part of who I am. However, school has become this overwhelming daunting task of not being a failure. With the forces that be, looming over my shoulder, I find it hard to do anything anymore. The stress has taken on a life of its own, not allowing me any mental or physical rest, I can’t sleep because my anxiety levels are too high – I feel like I’m ‘buzzing’ all the time. I need a break. I need some time to feel okay, and to feel refreshed and ready to take on the next task, instead of feeling as if I’m three or four months behind in tasks I need to complete.
    This is what I’m proposing, at least to myself. To get OSAP to acknowledge their fault by forcing me to continue in a class that I did not want to be in by telling me my academic future lies in the balance. By putting stress upon stress, and continuing to call just to ‘remind’ me of my current situation. I don’t know what OSAP will do, and whether or not I will have to fight them, and go to the Ontario Ombudsman, but if that is the case so be it. All I’m asking them is to understand that when I requested to drop the class before the drop deadlines where they would get their money back (they are a financial lending institution, am I not correct in this?) that all of a sudden, it became about my ‘Academic Performance’ and how it was reflecting on my ability to receive a loan. A loan – not a grant, not a bursary, not a scholarship – money they are going to get back with interest. The lack of understanding about the nature of my disability, or the fact that I have a disability whatsoever becomes an afterthought - nothing that needs to be considered in this.
    I’d like to take some courses in the fall, but I don’t know how I will be able to afford it, if OSAP does what I believe they will do. I will apply for some bursaries, but I don’t know when they will come in, and whether I will get enough to cover tuition, and to cover books and other essentials.
    I don’t know how blinded right now I am by my PTSD and anxiety being through the roof, but I know that it is affecting me. All that I am asking is that some of the external pressures be taken off, so that I can work on healing, and getting myself to a place where I can sleep at night, where I don’t need to rely on benzodiazepines to function at a minimal level. Where my pain levels haven’t gotten so acute from anxiety and stress that it has affected my ability to do anything.
    I realise I need help getting through this, and I’m not afraid to ask. I know this is too big for me to handle, and that doing this alone will only make it harder on me, so I suppose I’m reaching out for any help I can get.
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  3. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    I really feel for where you are right now. I was like that for about the last five months of my job. I know this sounds really basic, but without knowing more, I have to ask: Are you seeing a therapist? If so, can he/she help intervene in some way? If not, run, don't walk, to your school's counseling service.
  4. wildcritter44

    wildcritter44 Active Member

    :hello: hi Met

    Just a quick hello. My hubby has PTSD and has gone thru some of the things it sounds like you are now. Have you checked in with a counselor at the school, maybe they have some advice to offer. Also check with your Dr. Maybe he or she can help in some way. I know a lot of people here on the forum will give some other thoughts that may be of some help.

    Hang in there, it's one step at a time....

    best wishes

  5. metis-siren

    metis-siren Active Member

    I'm seeing a psychiatrist at the university, and he's convinced that OSAP (the financial lending institution) has some human rights violations in relation to my case. He's writing a letter, but I still have to figure everything out, and I'm so overwhelmed. The task at hand seems like something a group of people would take on, not just one person who is incapacitated at the moment.

    Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.
  6. hodge

    hodge I'm a VIP Premium Member Donated

    I'm glad you have the support of your psychiatrist. Do you see him very often? If you don't mind, I'm wondering more about your situation. Is the class they're forcing you to take a requirement for the degree program you're working toward? Also, are you taking a full load of classes right now?

    Anyway, I know how awful it is when the anxiety goes through the roof and the pressure's on. I have found it necessary sometimes to take mini-breaks, try to get outside in nature for a little while, try to do some yoga breathing (from the stomach, not the chest), try to lie down for 15-20 minutes and imagine being in a peaceful place (even if you don't sleep)...not quick fixes, but just little things that might help. Also, I return again and again to the anxiety information section here.

    Take care, hang in there, and keep us posted.
  7. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    Hi Met,

    Ok, you gave it your best shot. You have really tried to work at this with school....Your mind and body are now asking for rest....

    A couple of questions..

    Is it school that's causing the anxiety??? Or the fear of failure???

    Are you really 3 or 4 months behind??? Or do you just feel like you are????

    How many classes are you taking????

    Do you think that dropping just 1 class will help????

    There may come a time that if you really feel that you just can't do this anymore, that you may have to put your education on hold, till you have dealt with your PTSD issues. I'm not sure if you would even consider doing this, but it may be a thought to just keep in the back ground to think about.

    NO it wouldn't be failure, it would be positive. Fixing your issues, would give you the freedom to be able to learn in a stress free way.....Clearing your mind of the junk, and allowing room for learning. Just a thought..

  8. metis-siren

    metis-siren Active Member


    I do see my psychiatrist often, once a week in individual sessions and once for couples therapy. As for the academic situation, the class I'm being forced to take is a requirement for my degree program, but that isn't at issue in this case. The situation is that OSAP (financial lending institution) told me if I dropped this course, even during the time they would get their money back, it would mean that I would be cut off from being allowed to get financial assistance, as it would reflect poorly on my Academic Performance. They said that it doesn't matter if they get their money back, because they are looking at my performance. This is my only class this summer, and as it is, this class determines whether or not I am able to continue my studies at university, as per being able to financially afford it. I don't know that it matters, but the final paper is due next Monday, and the exam is the day after. I'm out of time. Leaving me with two options - either attempt a retroactive withdrawal, or defer the paper and exam and try to work my way through them, not giving myself any down time whatsoever this summer.

    I do try to take mini-breaks, do yoga, bake, meditation, etc - and though they help for the moment, the don't release the overall stressor. ACK!


    A. Lauren
  9. kers

    kers I'm a VIP

    Okay, the class sucks and so does the lending co., but there are ways for you to manage this effectively.

    Have you talked to the professor? Could you arrange for extended time on some assignments to make it less stressful for you?

    Are there any assignments you can skip to reduce the stress (that don't inordinately affect your grade)?

    How much longer does the class go on?

    Good for you for all the mini-breaks you do! It is helping you manage, for sure.
  10. Marlene

    Marlene I'm a VIP Premium Member


    I hope that things work out for you with everything school related. Just remember, even if you have to take a break to get yourself back together, it's not the end of the world and you're not a failure.

    Agreeing with Wendy...your body and mind are telling you right now it's just too much. If you don't take a break (the mini-breaks help, but sometimes you need a complete break), the decision might be taken out of your hands when your body/mind decide that the break will be now. You're going to have to judge the situation and decide what you're going to do.

  11. metis-siren

    metis-siren Active Member

    See, the thing is I've been getting extensions on assignments for most of my classes for a while. I knew about a month ago that I needed some time off of school, and thus wanted to drop the one class I was taking this summer. But being told you can't go to school if you drop the class is extremely stressful. To the point that doing anything academically has overwhelmed to a point of staring blankly off into space. I know I need a break, I'm just concerned about the ramifications of what happens when I tell them I need a break. I'm somewhere between absolutely exhausted, stressed out and being pissed off at OSAP for dictating my educational career without considering disabilities.

    Thank you for your support. The more I talk about it, it seems the less huge of an obstacle it is to take on (to get myself some time off).

    I know if I don't get some time off I'm going to crash big time, and I don't mean its going to take me a week or a month to recover crash, this would be a big one, I've been running on empty for too long, and my body is already showing the signs of too much wear and tear.

    Thank you again.
  12. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    Hey Mett,

    Staring off into space is what's call disassociating. It's just another way that our minds are telling us...."I have had enough!"

    You have tried really hard, you are seeing a therapist, your working at trying to get healthy, but things are overwhelming right now. I think it may be time to set your priorities right now. YOU are # 1, You come first, Your mental health is more important right now. Everything else is secondary, because without your mental health........There is no healthy you to acheive anything else......

    Seriously think about you and what you need. Life isn't about want.....Life is about need. And you NEED to be healthy.

  13. becvan

    becvan Queen of the Blunt! Premium Member


    I've avoided most of your threads concerning school, because of my experience last year.. but I think it's time for me to pipe in here.

    I was in University last year (fall of 2006.) I put a lot of pressure on myself over it. I was so afraid of failing and getting cut off of OSAP (yes they are extreme bastards.) that I couldn't see the forest through the trees.

    I couldn't read one sentence without having to go over and over it.. I just couldn't think or understand anything. I started out dropping two classes and had three left. The prereq for still getting OSAP. It was after that, that I realized it wasn't working. I took outright F's on three courses and I'm a 4.0 student.

    I had to sit down and realize that my HEALTH was more important at that time. I needed to start working on me. My therapist had been telling me that for three months and I refused to listen until it got so bad that I had no choices left.

    Yeah it's scary having no income sources. Very freaking scary.. but dying from stress is way scarier.

    It worked out for me in the end. I had to go on Welfare after a few hospital visits and now I'm on disability (no easy feat.) But it took me getting so sick that I couldn't get out of bed without help before I accepted that I just need some help right now.. and that includes financially.

    My point in all of this is: you need to do what you have to for your Mental Health. If that means dropping out of school for now and getting financial aid from the province.. so be it. If you have to fail a few classes, fail them. Staying alive and sane is a hell of a lot more important than some stupid grades. It's hard to swallow (lord don't I know it!) but you really need to start thinking about getting better first. We can always go back to school later!

    Plus... if you start an lawsuit against OSAP.. let me know... they are awful with disabilities.. total crap how they treat us.

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