Bad semester, discouraging. How to bounce back?
January 5, 2013 9:54 PM   Subscribe

So after reaching the unpleasant realization that even if I get a 4.0 this semester, my GPA won't be as high as it was before my horrible Semester Of 2012. I am a Junior and planning to apply to med school after a gap year, so now is REALLY not the time to hit a downward trend. I had a string of grades lower than I usually perform to, and I am SO discouraged right now. I know it's my fault and I take full responsibility...

But how can I bounce back? I'm so discouraged that I find it hard to be motivated. Like I'm stuck in a bit of a funk. I felt horrible (about unrelated things to academics) halfway through last semester, and I did have this sense all throughout last semester that this was not a good time for me. The thing is, I don't handle failure well, and I don't like the fact that my GPA seems to have been irreparably damaged by last semester.

What bothers me the most is that I could have gotten A's in classes where I got B's. My failure is in my irresponsibility. I have a horrible sense of time, can't seem to concentrate for more than 15 minutes... it takes me a longer time to get to work than it does to actually do my work. I'm late all the time, and highly disorganized. I try to reorganize myself, but it always falls back into disorganization.. that giant stack of papers on my desk, the late fees I accumulate. I'm just so shitty at being a good student and organizing myself. I'm actually a really lazy, irresponsible person. Every semester I resolve to be better, but I've never actually done it. I'm owning up to my mistakes and my faults, but even after doing that, it's hard to get remotivated.
posted by grifninetoo to Health & Fitness (35 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
OH BTW the only way I can fall asleep these days is to drink some nyquil or some liquor. I don't know what's wrong with me... nothing traumatic has happened in my life.
posted by grifninetoo at 9:55 PM on January 5, 2013

Your university very likely has free mental health services for students. I think it would benefit you to talk to someone there. I had very similar problems in my senior year of undergrad. The counselor I worked with made it seem like this is an issue people doing that work see all the time. They're likely to be able to help.
posted by PhatLobley at 9:59 PM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

A lot of what you are describing could be symptoms of depression.

My advice:
-Seek professional help and counseling.

-Cut yourself some slack. It sounds like while your GPA isn't perfect, you are still doing very well. I've known people who took a year of research after college before med school so all their senior year grades could be counted in the application. I've also know people who have done other work for awhile, then gone to med school. I've also known people who realized med school wasn't for them. You have options. Nothing is ruined.
posted by mai at 10:00 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

I tried the mental health service at my college, twice. It hasn't worked because I feel like talking to the therapists they have is just really awkward and uncomfortable. It's mostly silence and TBH I function better if someone ELSE is leading the session. Anyway, I don't think my problems are important enough for therapy and I'm just being snowflakey.
posted by grifninetoo at 10:02 PM on January 5, 2013

I think you should get over the "my problems aren't important enough" thing.

Say you had what you thought was probably a pulled muscle in your leg, but it never got any better no matter how much you stretched, iced it, or applied heat, and the pulled-muscle feeling was starting to affect your ability to walk to class and to sit comfortably for long periods of time. Wouldn't you go to a doctor to get it checked out?

This is the same thing. You have an issue that's affecting your ability to live your life in the way you know you can and should be living. There are doctors out there whose job it is to help... but you have to start out by describing your symptoms and how they're affecting your life. Hell, print out this question you just wrote here and just hand it to the next doctor you talk to.
posted by erst at 10:11 PM on January 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

Have you been tested for things such as ADHD? I had similar problems while in college and ended up diagnosed with it.

Also: Are you upset because you got B's instead of A's? It sounds like you might be putting -way- too much pressure on yourself. If the B's bother you that much, see if your school has an option to retake classes/replace grades and retake the ones you got B's in.
posted by Autumn at 10:18 PM on January 5, 2013

I haven't been raped, or abused, or anything like that. I believe that I'm taking away the time of therapists who could be counseling people who have actual problems. When I was a freshmen, one of my classmates committed suicide. The friday beforehand, I was seeing one of the school counselors about my anxiety. I know this seems like a long-shot, but I almost think I may have contributed to my classmate's suicide by seeing the therapist, instead of leaving that time slot open, by having to talk to someone due to my own weakness in dealing with my own emotional insecurities.

I don't want to take the option of re-taking classes. I'm double majoring and pre-med, so I don't think I have time to retake classes.
posted by grifninetoo at 10:19 PM on January 5, 2013

I wouldn't worry; good schools look at the whole person, that is, both your GPA and the things that you do outside of school. Most people aren't interesting or brave enough to take a gap year, and a slight drop from a 4.0 to a 3.0 (especially one you came back from) is not a big deal.

Undergrad is not a huge deal once you're out of it, in my experience. In the working world, not one person has ever asked for my GPA. They asked what I did in school, what I liked about it, and what experience I can bring to the job.

You need to find a mental health solution that works for you. If the school's therapists are a bad fit, try a local sliding scale clinic or go private. You need to take care of your nyquil/booze/insomnia problem. If that means finding someone who will take charge a little, they are out there-- get help to find them. I was lucky and met mine on the first shot. Some people take a few auditions.

I'd also suggest speaking to the school's disability resource center. Get yourself checked for attentional problems. I don't think you're lazy or irresponsible-- I think you're going through a rough patch and are maybe naturally kind of disorganized. Many people are-- especially smart, creative people. The difficulty paying attention and staying organized could be depression, fatigue, or ADD. It could be a combination.

I have been a perfectionist about my grades and it did not end well. What helped me was a therapist and learning to focus on the experience of learning, not the markers of success. I don't know you, but I want you to be able to enjoy your life, sleep well, and get ahead in your career without torturing yourself over details. You are worth more than your GPA.
posted by blnkfrnk at 10:20 PM on January 5, 2013

You should get screened for ADHD. Feeling like therapy just went nowhere was a HUGE problem for me before I was diagnosed with it. As was feeling lazy, snowflakey, etc. Someone who is double majoring and trying to head to medical school could be lazy, but I feel like it is not very likely.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:30 PM on January 5, 2013

I hate to take issue with your phrasing of your own question, but… if you believe that mental health resources are only meant for victims of rape and abuse, and that, by using your school's mental health resources, you are depriving others of their use, that's some serious self-sabotage there.

I know you think (and your classmates probably also think) that to get into your top-choice med school you need to be at the top of every class, and do all the research, and get all the honors. But what you're doing — which is avoiding the help that's offered to you, yes, you — is not even helping you.

Your school almost certainly offers multiple kinds of help to students in need. Not in time of "weakness," as you seem to think of it, but "need." They have help for when you need it. You need help now. Seek help.
posted by Nomyte at 10:35 PM on January 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Not to be harsh, but blaming yourself for your classmate's suicide because you saw a therapist in the previous week...that's not normal thinking. Like, not remotely. It's paranoid and distorted to a level that suggests you really, really need to talk to an objective, trained professional.

You were seeing a therapist about anxiety and now you are manifesting more symptoms of depression and anxiety; time to go back to the therapist.
posted by like_a_friend at 10:36 PM on January 5, 2013 [16 favorites]

You had a semester where you got Bs instead of As? I say this kindly: CHILL. Life is not over! Your apps will not live or die by that one semester! Have you been doing well otherwise? Do your professors like you? Are you enthusiastic and enjoying your subjects? Are you participating outside of class, in research, or a school group, or something that indicates you're enjoying life and what you do and are capable of real-world success? Then what is the worry? Grad apps want a whole person, not just a series of grades.

You don't need the therapy because people think a therapist needs to counsel you through the difficult experience of getting Bs. You need a therapist because your question and follow-ups indicate you are approaching the experience of getting Bs, and other negative experiences, in a really damaging and unhealthy manner, an approach that has already had an effect on your mental health and will get worse the longer you ignore it. I mean, blaming yourself for your friend's suicide because you talked to a therapist? What, did you drag the scheduling book out of the receptionist's hands, cross out your friend's name, write your own in, and then scream at her "TAKE THAT"? No? Well, unless you did that, if your guilt isn't an indication you have a seriously skewed perspective of the world I don't know what is.
posted by schroedinger at 10:38 PM on January 5, 2013 [13 favorites]

Whoa whoa whoa. You should not feel anything resembling guilt regarding the classmate who killed themselves freshman year. Seriously. Full stop.

I totally understand what you mean about therapy. That said, you know what you're doing isn't working - otherwise you wouldn't be asking a question. I recommend going to therapy with an agenda - write down some specific things that you want to talk about. Think of it as like prepping for class or office hours.

My sister had always wanted to go to med school. She started struggling with school by her junior year of college. When she applied to med school in senior year, she didn't get in to any med schools. She got in to osteopathy but that wasn't what she wanted. So she took two years and got an MPH, reapplied to med school, and got in. She's a resident currently and will be a cardiology fellow next year. I hope you get in to med school on your first try but if not, it's not the end of the world.

When you find yourself thinking things like it's possible that you contributed to your classmate's suicide, ask yourself what you would say to a friend who told you that they contributed to someone's suicide in the same way that you did. You sound like an ambitious person who expects a lot from herself but hopefully you would be kinder to a friend than you are to yourself.
posted by kat518 at 10:43 PM on January 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

There's plenty of reason to hope that practice, discipline, and maturity can resolve several of the issues you've listed--that's all that solved problems with disorganization, lateness, and disturbed sleep patterns in my case.

The possibilities that you're suffering from depression or ADHD or some anxiety disorder all seem realistic to me, but it doesn't sound like you're in crisis, and since you're resistant to going down those paths right now, here are some things I would try.

1) See if ordinary practices for getting good sleep work for you. Nixing caffeine and setting strict limits on when to turn the computer off have at certain points in my life done wonders.

2) Once you're getting good sleep, reassess some of these other issues. ADHD is an interesting explanation for some of your issues (especially the 15-minute attention span). Shitty sleep habits and ups and downs from caffeine intake would not be surprising as complicating factors though.

3) Keep a prioritized list of everything you need to get done. I use a spreadsheet, but there are zillions of apps that can help: Workflowy, Kanban Flow, and Remember the Milk were mentioned on AskMe recently. Give yourself breaks to walk around or something after getting anything done, and give yourself little treats (e.g. hobby time or whatever sort of treat you can reasonably afford) when you've done something that actually was the highest priority thing.

4) Keep in mind and wherever possible aim at the 12 habits of happy people. (Incidentally, I suspect the spirituality habit can be achieved well enough by just aiming at an oceanic feeling occasionally.)

5) Don't think you can change much about yourself at once. In a perfect world, I'd only suggest even trying to change one thing at a time. But I think improving your sleep habits and conditioning yourself (literally) to work off a prioritized todo list over the coming semester seem like SMART goals you could actually achieve. Personally, I find paring down all the things I hope to do to be somewhat motivating ("This is going to be easy!"), but YMMV.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 11:12 PM on January 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

I think therapy is probably a really good idea here. You sound exactly like me at your age. I'm 27 and only recently realized that the issues I have with organization and feeling like a failure are the direct consequence of being anxious and depressed. I wish I had known in college that this stuff was a) not normal, and b) fixable. But I was convinced that, really, my problems weren't so bad, and other people had it worse, so why should I bother a therapist?

Please go get help. And be very honest with your therapist - one of the hallmarks of my brain issues is that I find it embarrassing that they affect my life so much, so I hide them. Even from my therapist. Once I told her the truth, I was able to start getting better.

This stuff is fixable. Fixing it will help you be more effective no matter what else you do with your life. You don't have to feel this way.
posted by linettasky at 12:52 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

You are as worthy of help as anyone else. Seek it out.
posted by heyjude at 1:45 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Are you around a lot of other pre-meds? Are you spending time on SDN? Both of these things will cause you to have a meltdown. If you've been mostly getting A's, you're fine. Get above 3.5 cumulative and you'll be fine. Get below that, and you might still be fine if your MCAT is strong and/ or you are an interesting person. I got in with something like a 3.4. I also tutored MCAT and firmly believe that your score isn't a measure of how smart you are, just how long you studied- in other words, anyone can get a great score if they put the time in. If you're that worried, devote 2 or 3 solid months to preparing for it and you can, too.

That said, I know how you feel. When I was planning to apply, every bad grade I got, it was like I could feel the door closing on my future. In retrospect, I worried way too much.

Honestly, though, it really just sounds like you're burned out. It happens. I think the best thing you can do right now is to admit to yourself that it sucks, realize that it's hard for everybody and you aren't weak or inept just because it feels like a struggle. Where I did pre-med I remember them telling us something like out of every sixteen people who started pre-med, only one even applies to medical school. They weed people out by endurance, not their ability to be at the very top of the class. You have to be able to take a hit and pull yourself back up- that's what medical school is. Because once you're in, you will have shitty times. In preclinical years, you might fail and exam. Or two. (I did, and all of my close friends did.) You have to take it in stride, remediate, and move on. In clinical years, you may have a horrible resident who treats you unfairly and writes a bad evaluation that is not reflective of your work. (I have, and most of my friends have too.) It's really just a constant battle forward, like that terrible Chumbawumba song. When you get knocked down, you get up again. And again. That's what makes you good, in the end- your ability to fail and learn to be better because of it, rather than giving up.

And yeah, I'd seek mental health help now to learn to better cope with stress. You know what else several of my classmates are? Alcoholics. Life will only get more stressful. The only way I'm still going is because I've actually become more relaxed than I was in college. I can't dwell on failures because I don't have time. If I do something that's less than great, l just accept it, fix it if I can, move on, and don't beat myself up about it. That's all you can do. Oh, and I've been in and out of counseling/therapy a LOT. (So have nearly all my friends.)

Tl;dr version: the path you're choosing is a tough one, and these feelings are part of it for everyone. The ones who make it are the ones who don't give up in the face of (perceived) failure. So many of us are too proud to admit we are struggling and need help- I think that comes with the territory. But admitting things are hard, and getting help, is a skill you're going to have to acquire to be successful in medicine. Failing to do so weeds lots of people out. Don't let that be you.

And if you want more specific advice w/r/t applying, you're welcome to PM me. I've known enough people on the admissions committees that I think I have a pretty good feel for what they are looking for, both numbers-wise and personality wise. Also as I said I was an MCAT tutor so if you want suggestions on how to prep for that I'm happy to assist.

Best of luck to you. If it's what you really want, you'll find your way.
posted by GastrocNemesis at 1:55 AM on January 6, 2013 [9 favorites]

In addition to the excellent advice on screening etc for other challenges, I'd ask if you might have simply hit a wall? You wouldn't have been making all A's until now if you were that lazy, disorganized etc etc

And med school. You already know this.

So I'm going to hazard a guess that you've done well in high school and received As there as well.

You've been studying since you were 14 years old and there's another 7-10 years more to go, isn't there?

Can you take a semester off or a semester abroad program and ease up on the pressure, both that which you're putting yourself through as this post shows and that of an unending stream of nose to the grindstone?

I've had students take semesters off and come back doing far better overall than simply hanging in there carrying on - reasons ranged from bereavement all the way through to "simply" creative burnout.

Listen to your self.
posted by infini at 4:23 AM on January 6, 2013

Hey. I know lots of med school students and lots of people in post-bacc and masters pre-med programs. I want to say the norm these days is to a) have a gap year and b) do some post-bacc work. Maybe it's just confirmation bias, but I know so many people who did well in undergrad who just didn't have a strong enough application when compared to the rest of the applicants. And med school is tough - I actually think post-bacc programs help prepare you for it.

I guess my point here is don't despair -- getting into med school is not going to be affected much by a few Bs. Just keep going for it and doing things to strengthen your application, like volunteer work or doing an undergrad thesis.
posted by DoubleLune at 4:31 AM on January 6, 2013

I know this seems like a long-shot, but I almost think I may have contributed to my classmate's suicide by seeing the therapist, instead of leaving that time slot open, by having to talk to someone due to my own weakness in dealing with my own emotional insecurities.

When I have felt inappropriate guilt like this, it was because I was depressed. Please get help. It's often difficult to tell how sick you are until you are better, at which point you look back and say 'Jesus Christ, I was ill."

Just so you know, almost everyone who has experienced mental illness has also had the thought, "Everyone else's problems are real and not their fault, but mine are due to weakness and an inability to cope with my circumstances." It's good to cultivate a sense of agency rather than wallowing in victimhood, but that agency should include getting whatever help you need for your problems, even if it involves making demands on another person. If there is a problem with your counselling service not getting help to those who need it most, that is an issue for the management of the counselling service to deal with. Triage is straightforward if you are decently trained, but very hard for someone with no experience or training (or actually, even those with experience and training) to do on themselves.

Also, if nobody uses the counselling service, they are unlikely to let there be free slots all over the place so that anyone with serious problems can just walk in. A far likelier result is that it will be scaled down to meet falling demand, leaving it even less likely that people will be able to access it on an emergency basis.

Also, the death of your classmate sounds like a horrible thing, even more horrible if you ended up somehow feeling responsible. Please at least consider the possibility that it is contributing to your current state of mind. Not everyone finds it easy to move on from something like that.
posted by Acheman at 5:45 AM on January 6, 2013 [4 favorites]

Where are you located? Would you be willing to MeMail me the name of the college you go to? I would like to help you find resources so you can start feeling better.

But also: Please, please, please stop self-medicating with NyQuil and liquor. That is so dangerous when you're desperate and you must tell this to a therapist right away so they can help you find more suitable alternatives.

Wishing you peace.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 7:18 AM on January 6, 2013

I agree with so much of the advice upthread.

I just wanted to share this with you though...

I once heard a mental health professional say:

Everyone gets hungry. People get hungry in Africa and people get hungry in North America. People can starve in both places. Just because they are located in completely different parts of the world, doesn't mean that their hunger doesn't matter, or that they shouldn't be given food to eat.

The point?

Yes, unfortunately people are experiencing or have experienced really fucked up things, but that doesn't mean you don't deserve professional help. It actually seems like you could use some help from mental health professionals.

I am most certainly not a therapist or in the mental health field, but I will say this:

-Drinking to fall asleep whether it be nyquil or alcohol ISN'T normal. Self medicating? Yeah, definitely a concern.
-You say that nothing traumatic has happened, but it may be otherwise. You may have just blocked out the painful memories. But yeah, with that being said, you don't need to experience something traumatic in order to feel a certain way. You might be depressed, have ADHD (as others have suggested above), be anxious (GAD or SAD), etc... but having a poor mental health doesn't mean that you must have experienced something traumatic.

-About therapy, most mental health professionals require the client (you) to steer the conversation because they are seeking help for a reason (a reason that the professional wouldn't know unless stated). Think of it like seeing a physician, the patient does a lot of the talking because they want to explain their symptoms. The professional listens, gives insight into what's happening (or has happened), and together, they work on finding a solution or coping method. The therapists that you visited probably weren't a good fit for you and that's okay. But, that doesn't mean that you should give up on seeking help. It just means that you work on finding a better suited therapist either on campus or off campus.

You may view your problems as not important enough to seek mental help for, but a lot of people post questions like this on the green because they are in need of help and advice from people with experience. That's why one of the most common answers is "therapy." You aren't functioning in your life the way that you'd like to function. You are doing things that you shouldn't be doing (i.e. self-medicating) and as others have said, you have distorted thinking. With all respect, there wasn't anything that you could have done simply by leaving that therapy session available for your classmate. I know that may be hard to believe, but it's true as others have stated above.

If you want your academic life to improve then you're going to need to seek help. Otherwise, your mental health will spill into other areas of your life (both personal and professional). I get that school can be stressful, especially if you want to pursue further education. BUT, you should be working on your mental health first and foremost. Your health should come first. Then, hopefully, you'll be in a better place and you can work on improving your academic performance which really, isn't bad at all. You don't need 100% in every course in order to become a doctor. You need other things like good references, experiences outside of academia, and a great application letter for starters. Continue trying your best in school, but try not to be so hard on yourself.
posted by livinglearning at 8:02 AM on January 6, 2013

It sounds like you're putting a lot of energy into worrying about your grades, which is a bit of a waste of time since it doesn't achieve anything other than making you unhappy. How about this - every time you catch yourself worrying and thinking about the future, set a timer for five minutes and make yourself spend that time solidly working instead. That way you get out of the anxiety habit and also get to feel better because you've got something done. At least, this is the kind of trick that works for me.
posted by d11 at 9:42 AM on January 6, 2013

In addition to all the great advice above, can't you just wait a year to apply to med school? Then you would have all of your senior year to bring your GPA back up as well.
posted by stopgap at 10:05 AM on January 6, 2013

I'm owning up to my mistakes and my faults, but even after doing that, it's hard to get remotivated.

By "owning up to mistakes and faults," I can only assume you mean the things you mentioned:
I failed because I didn't get A's when it's technically possible I could have. I have a horrible sense of time. I'm late all the time. I'm highly disorganized. When I try to reorganize myself, I always fail. I'm actually really lazy and irresponsible.

It's really no wonder you can't get motivated when you tell yourself things like this. These statements may feel true to you, but they are incredibly harsh and completely inconsistent with how a reasonable person would describe a double-major student who earned pretty good marks for the most part. There is a direct cause-effect connection between thinking such negative things about yourself and your lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, and inability to relax enough to fall asleep.

While IANAT and IANYT, in my infomal opinion everything you have written here absolutely screams depression and perfectionism. You can force yourself past things like that to be functional, but it's really not the best solution. Please address these possibilities before you put yourself in the pressure cooker that is med school. Print out your question above and take it to a psychiatrist.

If you can't figure out therapy at the moment, at least read a book like Feeling Good (cheesy title, cheesier writing, but good content) to help your general mental balance.
posted by zennie at 11:12 AM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

One additional thing I will mention is that I had years of unsatisfying therapy where the people just stared at me and I didn't know what to say. Then I talked to a doctor about my depression, which required admitting it was an actual problem instead of just wooly not-achieving-my-goals stuff. Then I accessed therapy through mental health services, so that the therapists knew from the get-go what the broad outline of my problems were. I also said to them 'Hey, I find it difficult to do therapy when I don't know what I'm supposed to be saying, but I also get frustrated if we just talk about the therapeutic experience'. All those things helped tremendously. From feeling like I was basically failing at therapy, I now feel like I am ace at therapy. I feel like I should be getting rosettes and iron-on badges and stuff for how good I am at therapy.

For me, it also helped that those later therapy experiences were on medication, so (a) I had a bit more of my mind back as opposed to it being lost entirely and (b) I had some glimmer of an inkling of what recovery looked like. I wouldn't say that's what everybody needs, but I would say that admitting that you have real problems and they're not your fault and you're allowed to stipulate what you want to get out of the process probably are things everybody needs. YMMV.
posted by Acheman at 1:03 PM on January 6, 2013

Also, I fucking hate Feeling Good, and I'm not sure it's altogether helpful for people who already think it's their own job to sort out their problems. You might love it, but if you hate it (or if you love it and think 'This is awesome, now I need to work out how to stop being so stupid and irrational all the time and be the sort of person David Burns would approve of") don't be put off. There are plenty of other approaches out there.
posted by Acheman at 1:06 PM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

That book clearly isn't for everyone.
posted by zennie at 2:11 PM on January 6, 2013

Just reiterating that you do not need a 4.0 to get into med school. I didn't have one. Doing better this semester than last will ensure that you're not in a 'downward trend' grades wise. Getting help for your anxiety and depression issues is the way to achieve this and I hope you will take the excellent advice up-thread, especially the part from GastrocNemesis, which is spot-on.

The stress and the chance you will achieve less than perfection do not end in med school - in fact, med school amplifies the issue because you're now in a class full of people who are obsessed with perfection and high achievement. Not everyone can be at the top of the class. Some will fail. Some exams are even designed so that the bottom percentage of the test takers fail (although I feel this is a very poor educational strategy). It is an important preparation for the job itself. No matter how good you are, you can't save all the patients. You just can't. If the situation with the acquaintance who committed suicide bothered you that much, how are you going to feel when a patient who you are the primary caregiver for dies? What if you realize that you made a mistake that could have or probably did contribute to that patient's death? These things happen. It is the nature of medical practice, because we are human and we are not perfect. You must have strategies to be able to deal with this kind of stress so that you can be a successful and happy physician with a long career. You've got the rest of your life to get into med school.... get your head straightened out first. You won't regret it.

Your top priority now should be addressing your mental health issues and your substance abuse problem. The last thing you want is to get in to med school but already be using substances as a crutch - for the reasons I elaborated on above. I too have seen colleagues go down this path and the stakes are a lot higher when you're caring for patients. Always, always care for yourself first - you can't save others unless you've already put on your own oxygen mask, kwim?
posted by treehorn+bunny at 2:38 PM on January 6, 2013

Try this

I can attest to it based on my experiences.
posted by pakora1 at 6:53 PM on January 6, 2013

Thank you ALL so far. I really appreciate how open people have been with their own experiences. I'm seeing a PCP (who I'm meeting for the first time) to take a TB test and have some health forms signed for an internship I have.

Should I bring up my personal difficulties in this visit? I originally wasn't going to, but I might as well? I'm not sure how to bring it up. Would he refer me to a therapist?
posted by grifninetoo at 6:20 AM on January 7, 2013

They would probably refer you to a therapist. If they just write you a prescription for meds, with no therapist, no psychiatrist visit, that is extremely irresponsible.
posted by schroedinger at 7:11 PM on January 7, 2013

Yeah, too late. I chickened and didn't bring it up because I couldn't find a way to bring it up.
posted by grifninetoo at 7:22 PM on January 7, 2013

It's really hard to bring up in a short visit like that. Don't give up, though, there are other ways to get help.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:35 PM on January 7, 2013

It's not too late. Try again! It's worth it. Write the problems you want to address down in a short letter format, and take it with you, so you can just hand it over saying "I need help with this." You could also try the university center again. Don't give up-- I didn't start to get anywhere until I was at least a few meetings in.
posted by zennie at 7:59 PM on January 7, 2013

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