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Has Anyone Dropped Out Of School Due To Depression/anxiety?


hazel99

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Has anyone done this? I'm smart and I do well in school, but it kills my mental health. I'm thinking it's not worth it anymore if it makes me that miserable, but I feel so pressured by everyone to 'stay in school' and 'get your degree or you'll be nothing'... I've been on a leave of absence for a year and I don't feel at all ready to return. I'd like to think that I will be okay with just my associates degree and be able to find a decent paying job. Can anyone relate?

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Yeah I relate totally, I like school but it's stressful for me. I ended up dropping 2 courses last year, and this year have been only taken one this last semester. Yeah family have pressured me into saying stay in school or you'll be a nothing. That kind of mentality doesn't help. It just puts stress on you. You already have an associates degree, I think you'd be able to find a decent job in your field. Just because people have degrees doesn't mean anything really, it's just serves as an extra piece of reference kind of saying 'you're smart enough to do the job. You learn more important things through experience on the job. I think you would be fine without going further. You can always do more education in the future if so desired, or needed.

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Thanks everyone. I'm sorry to hear you all struggled with this as well. I'm gonna see if I can get help so I stop feeling like everything school related is a life or death decision. I know you're right that school will always be there if I decide to return.

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Hi Hazel,

I did drop out of college due to untreated depression and anxiety. I attended for 2.5 years before I quit, but my grades were so terrible in my last semester (due to not attending classes) that I probably only have 2 years worth of credits.

Anyway, I dropped out 12 years ago and got a full-time job about 8 months after leaving college. I've been at that job ever since, and it's a good job in a fun and thriving industry. I am doing pretty well career-wise, but I am somewhat limited without a BA - I have enough work experience in this industry to get a job similar to my own at most places, but if I want to keep moving up to senior management level OR switch to a different career altogether, I will need that degree.

Still, it's never too late to go back to school. It is definitely possible to get good work if you need to, and finish school when you're ready. Your health is most important right now. I'll probably finish my degree online once I can get around to taking a couple junior college classes to get my GPA up to minimum transfer admission requirements.

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I was in utter denial about my depression for years and I ended up dropping out of education four times. I'm a certified genius and I was always the smartest kid in class, it's kind of embarrassing to be the only one of my peers who hasn't managed to get through a degree course.

But but but....my mental health is the key issue. And so is yours. I'm actually over university until I know I am well enough to storm in there and smash it. I know I've got the ability but it's like someone is asking you to build a house solely out of sand. You can pack it together for awhile, but you know it's going to collapse and it won't ever be a house. In my case I spent five years making four lumps of sand before I went "You know what, something is missing here". When you get your depression under control and go back into education (that's if you even want to by then, it's not like its the only option) you'll have a full toolkit and all the correct materials. And as Henri says, you've got your whole life to do college. If you even need it. College graduates are a minority, most people go through life just fine without it, all having a higher qualification does for you is give you more options. If you feel like you don't want or need those options, and can get by happily enough with what you already know...then that's great! Don't give into pressure. Do what's right for you. I spent four years at college miserable because I felt forced to go.

Folks are way too focused on higher education. Not having a degree is not the end of the world, and I think that a lot of people would do well to remember it. Your life is your business and your happiness is what is important. Get well, and then make your decision. Until then, just do what you can and concentrate on your health. Best of luck!!

Edited by superethicaldisentrail
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I had to take a semester off too and I even wound up in a hospital for a short time so they could find the proper medicines for me an at last diagnose me. The college was very understanding and now I am on the ADA list there. It provides you with some breathing space shoild you require it, for instance if a test is one hour they will allow me two hours and so on.

I just reregistered for the summer semester and I only took two classes and we found two that were fairly simple and easy for me to get through, this will help me once again dip my toe into the cold waters. Fortunatly for me I am doing this for me and nobody else. I want to at least earn a college degree before I leave this earth and at my age 54 I doubt I have alot of time left to me especially due to all of my medical problems. dsv

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Kind of. I quit high school basically as soon as I turned 16 but I also immediately got a GED. In part my underlying mental health issues contributed to how much I hated high school, though it was sort of a logical move too, I basically thought "why would I spend two and a half more years in this awful place when I can take a two hour test and get the same thing for it next week?"

Well my parents had prepaid college funds for me so as a condition for getting a GED I had to enroll in classes next Fall. I did four semesters in a row but dropped quite a few classes. There were things I tried but just had no ability for, like American sign language, and there were classes like English composition and meteorology I could have passed but I felt paralyzed by my sense of hopelessness so just blew off work. And I was too ashamed to admit to my parents I had fallen behind so 2011 I pretty much just lied to them about having an AA when I was quite a few classes short and then about starting online university classes.

I became pretty self-destructive because I felt pathetic and I had gotten suicidal and I finally told my family the truth and they ended up not disowning me like I thought they would. Ironically I got back to it again and now I am graduation on Tuesday with a Bachelor's of Science in Public Policy & Administration in the same year my high school class would be getting their bachelor's degrees, at age 22. So between times I was productive and times I was doing nothing, I more or less ended up finishing college right on time.

I will say that last July to this February was a very dark time for my mental health but I ended up pulling off A's anyway, pretty much on a vicious cycle of "do school work/get drunk or high/do school work/get drunk or high/do school work/lay on my bed for 16 hours staring at the wall", I'm glad it didn't interfere with my grades because since starting my upper level classes I've only gotten A's and B's. My classmates would be surprised if they knew how dysfunctional I was in my free time. But currently I'm graduating and recovering and no longer dealing with substance abuse, just left with a slight sort of "what now" angst about being a college grad with no work experience and no idea where to start.

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I dropped out of high school and never even went to college or university. Not properly anyway. I took a short art course and I dropped out of that too. (More to do with the fact that it was a crappy course than depression though). Me + academia = general disaster. I hate that I was forced into it as a child. English and basic maths is all I needed. I forgot everything else, or it's just not relevant to my life.

These days degrees and so on only get you so far. They're certainly not the be-all-end-all these days when it comes to earning a living.

More and more people are making money in self-employment. The internet was the big game changer.

Edited by Rexxsi
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Also, my oldest brother dropped out of high school and never finished, I don't think he got a GED either... he had a long and successful career in the film industry as a set decorator and buyer. You never know what opportunities there might be for you!

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Well it's important to have a reason for anything. If dropping out, at least keep the door open to return and get help to put yourself in a better position to succeed next time. I took last semester off to get ECT. I'm on treatment #22 of 23 and there's really no way i could've kept going to class, unless i wanted to fail, cause it messes with your short term memory.

I'm so much better now, so much more energized, focused, and reduced negative thinking that not only did i avoid what turned out a grueling winter struggling thru classes, but in the fall i'll return and surely be 10x better off.

My uncle is another story. I kept getting compared to him by parents, like i'm a "deadringer", but that kind of insults me. We may appear similar and have similar symptoms, but i've had much more success and dealt with depression better. He was found in the woods about to end his life, got committed, blamed his mother who is the sweetest lady i've ever met, has done nothing since high school except for 1 semester junior college. He also knocked up some woman i've never met and god knows what happened to his kid

Edited by steellord414
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I dropped out of college. I actually enjoyed going but my anhedonia made it impossible to motivate me to do my work, thus getting bad grades resulting in no point in even showing up anymore. I was always an honor roll student but I can't seem to handle it anymore. I'm so disappointed in myself for doing it. I used to have these dreams of being the first in my family to get a degree so I feel shameful for it. Even though I think the US education system is a joke and ass backwards I'm very jealous of my friends who live such normal lives. I used to think I was cool for being unique but at this point I'd do anything to be a regular person.

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my therapist told me she was surprised I got the grades I did given my depression and what I was going through at the time.

it's better to put your mental health before any form of grade. your health and life is much much more important - you can always go back and redo things when you feel ready. as humans we are made like robots, to go to primary school, then secondary, then college, then university.. but it is not necessary. that is societies way of doing things - do things your way. not everything works for everyone.

also - I think this might make you feel better - my friends mum deals with employment at her company. she told me she puts everyone who has a degree to the bottom of the list and doesn't really consider them as she feels most of them haven't really experienced life. you can get so far by just doing work experience and internships, you don't have to follow the norm of society.

good luck and put yourself first whatever decision you choose to make xo

Edited by emptybutterflies
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I can also relate. I dropped out of a PhD program of studies because of being stricken with a very serious depression. I had completed almost all the course work and PhD seminars too.

I also dropped out of a PhD program after the first year due to mental illness, but I am trying it again 5 years later. I start in August.

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I took some time off of school after I had my baby, while I was also out of work. Prior to giving birth, I was working full time and going to school online full time. I knew that when I started taking classes again after the baby was born, that I would also have to do 100 observation hours in elementary school classrooms. Two weeks ago I started classes again. I had the materials and the assignments for the first week ahead of time, and reviewed all that I could prior to the class starting. I read every chance I got. That first week, I had had a head start. I still didn't finish all my reading, turned in my final assignment at the 11th hour, and tried to think of a million reasons not to do my observation hours in the coming weeks. My anxiety was preventing me from even calling or emailing a teacher to set up the hours. I talked to my financial advisor, because she handles the leaves of absence, and asked her how much longer of a break I can take. I ended up dropping that class in the second week and am now on a break until July 15. I have until then to decide whether I can handle going back to school again, or if I need to drop out completely wait a while to go back.

I have wanted to work in the classroom with special ed students for years, and in 2011, I finally took the steps towards working on my degree. I was so excited and couldn't wait to get back in the classroom. (I worked as a TA for 3+ years in a special ed elementary classroom). Now I'm anxious and nervous and don't know if I can continue, and that breaks my heart. I feel like I have let my anxiety and depression get so bad that it has a hold over me, it controls me. It has affected my relationships, and now my ambition and desire to be a teacher.

If I could go back, I would have taken a longer break from the very beginning, instead of dropping a class. My husband told me he isn't disappointed in me for doing so, but I don't know if he's being honest. He has told me several times that my going to school has inspired him to educate himself more, and that was something he always loved about me. I am very disappointed in myself.

If you have an oppurtunity to take a break and work on yourself, on your anxiety and depression, do it! I wish I had done it sooner.

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I dropped out of 6th grade due to anxiety and depression.

Then I dropped out of 9th grade due to anxiety and depression.

Then I dropped out of college on 3 non-consecutive occaisions due to depression and substance abuse.

My line of thinking each time: what's the point in education if your head isn't straight enough to absorb and apply the knowledge?

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I dropped out. I struggled the entire time I was there, it was hard to study and and concentrate and I wasnt doing great with my grades but I was passing. All I had left was an internship and after the second day, i decided I didnt like my major anymore. I think it was a long time coming, and im sure it was the depression making me feel that way. but once I got thru breaking the news to my parents (who felt strongly about an education), I did feel like a huge weight was lifted.

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As for dropping out of university, it's not really the case, but I'm a year late in earning my degree, that is, I should've handed my BA paper in last year and I still have to do that.
Now what pi**es me off, is seeing all these ignorant people that never liked university with their hats on and their degree in hands, posting their pictures on facebook. As many here, I've always been very, very smart, and very fast in learning. But alas, my mind got in the way and here I am, struggling even when reading a tiny page about the most interesting subject.

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