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Arundhati, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed psychotherapist, Published Wellness Author
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I am in college now and am burned out and depressed. I did

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I am in college now and am burned out and depressed. I did not do well at all in high school, but did great at community college. Now in 4-year, I'm doing terribly (2.6 GPA). I am especially bad at mathematics and science, and though I used to be considered creative and excellent at writing and verbal analysis, I'm outshone by everyone here and don't seem to be considered bright in that area by the professors. I've also recently fallen under the diagnosis of Bipolar II. The only thing in my life that I have (or had) was my "intelligence", and now it seems that I don't even have that. Do I have some form of retardation or severe cognitive disability? <br/><br/>Other useful tidbits: I am intensely emotional and have few friends because I cannot understand how people get along so well. I have absolutely no idea what I want to do after college. I had wanted to do psychology, but I am in no position to help other people with my diagnosis. I have no genuine interest, or at least any more. If all colleges are like the one I went to (highly competitive, everyone gets B+ to A, most have professional/grad school plans, and professors are highly demanding and critical) then I don't know what I want to do. I'm stuck in a rut! I'm afraid my disorder will impede my ability to work full-time and pay off my loans, and I'm afraid I won't be able to make it on my own and live on my own. I also am embarassed of the fact I've been single for four years and have had nothing but unhealthy relationships/rejection. It's so bad I've decided to go celibate.

Thank you for writing in to Just Answer.

I'm very sorry to hear what you are going through.

I think first of all, you are clearly feeling very overwhelmed and essentially unappreciated. That is not an easy place to be in. I understand what it might feel like to not be able to find your place or not be able to find something you can excel in - but that definitely does not mean you're not good at anything. It seems like this particular college may not be suiting you or that the courses you are taking are not ones where your strengths lie. You mentioned that you considered yourself creative - have you tried to talk to your professor in the creative/writing classes about where you are lacking? Perhaps you are still very good but simply need to work on certain areas.

I know it can feel overwhelming with your diagnosis of Bipolar II but there are many many people out there who are living normal lives in spite of their Bipolar diagnosis. What I'm saying is that with proper treatment (medication if appropriate plus therapy) it is definitely possible to minimize the impact of Bipolar and to lead a high functioning life. Indeed many very talented artists and others have been known throughout history to have experienced both depression and manic episodes.

It sounds like your college isn't an inspiring or enjoyable experience for you but again think back to your community college days. You did great there right? So it's simply a matter of finding an environment where you feel comfortable. Or talking to your professors and asking them for guidance and help. There is nothing wrong in asking for help and many professors will be very happy to see that you are trying hard even though you might be struggling.

Please don't push yourself in to believing that you have no options, or that your diagnosis will impede your ability to work. That is definitely not true of everybody. You certainly have many options available to you - it's just a matter of assessing what your needs are and then making some choices.

I'm not sure what kind of therapy you are in but cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) would be a good model to consider as it helps you identify your self-talk or limiting beliefs that might be leading to your feeling so overwhelmed and defeated. Here's an excellent workbook that teaches you how to use cognitive behavioral therapy to address depression.

I hope this was helpful. Please let me know if you have additional questions/thoughts to what I wrote above. Please also consider clicking Accept if this was helpful as experts are not credited for their time or service otherwise.

Kind Regards,

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