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Author Topic: Extreme Stress and Anxiety  (Read 315 times)

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Offline Lanie

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Extreme Stress and Anxiety
« on: May 18, 2013, 10:49:47 AM »
I've had a really rough year :( I started grad school in the fall and have been struggling with flare-ups in my depression and anxiety. I lost my stepfather a few months ago and my cousin passed away a couple weeks ago. I was also in the area when the Boston Marathon bombings occurred a month ago. So my anxiety has been really bad in particular over the past few weeks/months. I feel constantly on-edge and like my heart is going to beat out of my chest. I get so anxious during the day I literally pass out at night.

Because my cousin passed away during finals week, I had to reschedule one of my final exams for this upcoming Tuesday. I've been studying but I'm afraid when I sit down for the exam I will forget everything. I've tried everything to beat back this anxiety -- Zoloft, DBT, CBT, positive affirmations, distractions, social support, regular study sessions, but nothing has been helping. I keep telling myself "I'll do fine on this exam, I'll pass this class, and if I don't pass the class, I can always take it next semester, I wouldn't be the first or last person to have this happen to me, but I really will do well on this test, it'll be a no-brainer" But, honestly, I feel like the anxiety is more about what's been happening around me/to me than just the usual test anxiety. I just feel completely overwhelmed :( I want to run far, far away and never look back. I feel like so much is building up I don't know how to deal with it all. I just feel completely out of control. I'm even paranoid that my professor (who I am rescheduling the exam with) is going to write me an email completely freaking out on me and failing me just out of the blue for some crazy reason (I tend to turn everything into a potential catastrophe when I'm already anxious) or that she will give me a super hard test that I'm bound to fail. I just want Tuesday to come and go, but something tells me my anxiety is going to be a huge problem for awhile. I really hate this feeling. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice? :(
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Offline kconnors

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Re: Extreme Stress and Anxiety
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2013, 02:49:40 PM »

Wow!!! You have had a really rough year . . . I am sorry for your loss of your stepfather and your cousin . . . and to be so close for the Boston Marathon explosion . . . you know, you may be suffering from a combination of PTSD and the grieving process . . . have you contacted your Students Services Office and/or your professor to ask to replace a final exam with a paper so that the performance anxiety stress level would be mitigated a bit? If you are on Zoloft, then you have a medical reason for postponing the exam until whenever. Your Students Services Office / Disability Office can inform you as to the process to ask for due accommodation. You appear to be well prepared for the exam. One thing that I might suggest and this depends so much on the prof, etc. but I have allowed something similar to happen is to ask the professor (and explain to the professor the reasons why) if you would be allowed to have a friend come into the exam room with you. Your friend could sit in the back and read, but you would know that there was someone there to support you. As important as the exam may seem now, it is a drop in the bucket . . .what is important is you and your grieving process and your recovery from a traumatic experience . . . there will be more exams in your future, but there is only one you now and forever . . . as a former prof, I would rather my student take care of him or herself as I can always set another exam or provide an alternate type of proof of knowledge . . . bottomline: you, Lanie, are the important issue here . . . please take care of you . . .let us know how things unfold, okay? Take care, kc
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