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Old 12-08-2008, 03:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Medical Leave of Absence

This has been an awful semester. Emotionally, I approach my breaking point on a day-to-day basis. I can't focus on anything. I can't sleep, yet I can't get out of bed in the mornings. I've ****ed everything up, including my GPA.

I felt embarrassed about asking for an extension on an essay. I felt like I was making up an excuse. But my psychiatrist said he'd gladly write me a note. However, I didn't actually contact my professor about this until the day after the assignment was already due.

She said a doctor's note wouldn't be enough at that point. She suggested I negotiate a medical leave of absence. I didn't tell her the nature of my "medical problem". A leave of absence might solve my problems. It could also create new ones, of course. I'm really conflicted. And I don't know what to do about contacting my psychiatrist, since time is really short!!

There's something about a psychological problem which makes it seem inherently less serious. It isn't visible, it isn't physical, it isn't concrete. It practically isn't even real. If I had a broken arm, that's another thing. You couldn't tell me to just "snap out of it". If I had a life-threatening tumor, that's another thing. But frankly (and without going into detail), my problems are live-threatening. But I'm not able to take it seriously. I keep blaming myself for my depression, for my unbearably anxiety. I feel guilty about all of this. It's especially tough since my psychiatrist is unwilling to actually diagnose me with anything -- I guess I just have this nebulous "problem".

Oh God, this is terrible. This is awful!! How am I going to graduate?
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Old 12-08-2008, 03:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I've told teachers that I had medical issues and they've given me extensions. I felt like such a liar, but when it comes down to it, I don't see how depression is any less an illness. I'm having the same problems you are--I just waste my time, can't seem to buckle down and get to work. If I had realized things would work out that way I would have pushed things off ... whatever, that's water under the bridge at this point. But totally, take care of yourself now, there's no reason to think you'll always be this way, medication bought me the past 2 years of my life and with God's help therapy/meds will help me succeed later on. Don't give up, there's no reason for it. But take some time off if you have to.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for the support, dontcare. Apparently you do care (sorry, I couldn't help it).

Just an update: I had asked two professors for extensions. I owe one of them a term paper worth about 20% (a big deal but not the end of the world). That was the extension I didn't get. I owe the other a number of papers, so that is a huge deal. This other professor of mine was much more lenient, and offered to give me a massive course extension (until the end of January), which I'll definitely take. That's pretty much the best outcome I could have anticipated.

As for the essay that I didn't get an extension for... I really don't know. It's probably best if I just "late drop" the course, to be honest, because at this point I'd have trouble even passing it. It wasn't an essential course - losing it won't matter much. A late drop would look better than a fail, frankly. If I dropped that one, and worked hard on my finals and remaining essays, I could get a half-decent term GPA... ...

Update:My psychiatrist tells me it shouldn't be up to the professor to decide if they want to give me an extension. He suggested I talk to her superior to see what can be done.

Maybe I'm being stupid, but... Well, he said he'd write that I was "suffering symptoms of anxiety which prevented [me] from being able to complete [my] course work". It just sounds lame. It doesn't really communicate the seriousness of the problem. My profs are probably thinking I've been bedridden with meningitis or something, but no, it's just a case of anxiety...

Are they going to just accept it? Are they obligated to, in this case? How serious can a person imagine mere "anxiety" to be?
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