I see my posts on making it through the university year, undergrad and grad, while often suffering from variable levels of depression, as one of the cornerstones of what my blog is for. I often get visitors who have searched topics like “I failed my quals” and “depression and school,” and I hope that they are glad to know that at least they are not alone when they come across my web home here at A Cat Nap.
So here is a brief overview of my better posts on university and depression. You can also check out the category itself in case there are things I didn’t yet add to this page.
May 12th, 2007: University and depression: Part I, the undergrad years
Well, here it is, that post I’ve been promising to write, that post that I’ve been thinking about writing for the past few weeks, ever since I found out I failed my doctoral qualifying examination. Wow. There, I said it. I really did, I failed it. And this is not an experience I am used to, not really, no. But it’s been a long journey, these past 3 or 4 years of which that I’ve really been initiated into the specific discipline that I am in. And that whole journey led me to here, led me to this place where I am in grad school, in a PhD program, but I failed the quals, as we call them. So, what happened?
September 29th, 2007: Small steps
It just feels pretty foreign to be in these classes, and I’ve got so many things going on in the other parts of my work and life, and I just feel tired and slow and I’m not always sure what I’m doing here. I’m feeling a bit depressed again, I think….dull, I believe, is a good way to say it. It’s like my feelings and emotions and excitements are all dulled – the only thing I feel sharply is sadness and sorrow, even though I can’t often articulate why. Part of me feels overwhelmed by the classes. Part of me is stressed over money. Part of me yearns stronger than ever to have a baby, so much so that combined with my other stresses, fantasies of quitting school and having a baby and staying home with the kid have returned. I barely have time to write stuff here, and I miss it, because I see my writing as me-time, self-reflection time. But when I’m home all I can bring myself to do mostly is play my new favorite game, MySims. ….well, such is the way I am.
November 1st, 2007: University and Depression part III, or: How my 3rd semester is (not) working out
I’m feeling a bit like I did in some of my classes as an undergrad – sleeping through class begets not turning in homework on time begets being embarrassed to talk to the TA and professor which leads to more of the same.
November 8th, 2007: Failing a class + mental craziness = breakdown
Here, in this class that I am in, one of the ones that I missed last Thursday, the level I am working at is not ok. Coursework burnout is not ok, and depression is not an excuse…only enough for the professor to offer me some extra credit, perhaps, once he thinks about it. I literally am in danger of failing, I learned so this afternoon when the TA e-mailed me back, and again after class tonight when the prof asked to talk to me.