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apricot-studies: smartstudy: Hey guys. I’m glad to be finally posting my “mental breakdown survival guide”. As you know I struggle a lot with mental health, and so I have been through a lot of breakdowns. So many that I actually dropped out of university after 3 weeks in 2016 and had to take the whole year off. Because of this, I’ve made it my mission to help others with mental health issues as much as I can, so you don’t have to go through what I’ve been through. Anyway, here is my guide. I tried to keep it general, and actually useful. If you have any questions or additions please feel free to add them. And as ever, if you want to talk to me about studying with mental illness or want to see a post on a specific topic, please feel free to message me. thank you so much for this : Saving Your Grades From A Mental Health Crisis What To Do Before, During, And After by SmartStudy.tumblr.com IF YOUR GRADES ARE IN IMMEDIATE DANGER CONTACT YOUR TEACHERS This should be the first thing you do when you realise you're in crisis. Email them, and explain your situation in short, professional terms. You do not have to include details about your condition. "I have a mental health condition" should suffice as to the nature of the issue. Tell them that you are going to arrange to see a medical professional as soon as possible, and ask what process you should go through to defer/get an extension on assessment, and if they can help you in any way. Other people you may have to contact or CC in the email (depending on your school): University High School Head of House Class Coordinator Faculty/School Admin Disability Advisor Grade Coordinator Head of Department Academic Admin Counsellor School Counsellor Student Advocate BOOK A DOCTOR/THERAPIST APPOINTMENT ASAP This will be the person who can vouch for you the most. It's best if you have seen them before and they know you. If you can't get an appointment within a few days, call them and email them (if you haven't seen them before this will not work). Make sure to check out what counselling your university or school offers. During this appointment, the priority is to make a plan to get you back on your feet. This effort will not be useful if you stay a mess. Once you've figured that out, get two things from this person. One is a medical certificate/letter stating that you have, in fact, been going through this crisis. Second is a letter that describes the nature of the crisis, what treatment you're going through, and which people to contact (psychiatrists, etc.) who can vouch for this. Note: The reason I say to get two letters is because there is still a huge stigma around mental illness, and you don't want to reveal that you've got a disorder that's highly stigmatised, only to have it come back and bite you in the ass later. Don't provide details unless it's necessary or asked for. A STUDENT KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AS Most schools and institutions will have a list of a student's rights and responsibilities online. Look them up. Know what your rights are as a student. Also look to see if there are state/national laws protecting you, or if your school is a part of a network of schools that has its own code. Some people working in schools still think mental health issues are trivial, and you never know when they're going to ignore a rule to suit themselves. Make sure you can pick on this if it happens to you. Pretty much all schools will have protection in place for students with mental illnesses and disabilities, so even if you a miss a deadline for a form or make another mistake, they should take your exceptional circumstances into account. This is where a student or disability advisor from school can help you. ottom IF YOU HAVEN'T REACHED CRISIS YET TALK TO A DOCTOR/THERAPIST/COUNSELLOR/TRUSTED ADULT If you're going through a hard time, talk to someone who can help you. Any trusted adult or professional can help you get back on your feet before it's too late, or refer you to someone who can. If it's a new issue, you'll have to see someone like a GP who can refer you to a therapist or mental health service. Talk to them about what's been happening, and say that you need help. Sometimes, even talking about the problem can help you feel better. In these situations, they can also help you figure out what you can do at school to catch up/get special help. FIGURE OUT HOW TO STUDY WHILE IN A BAD STATE Even if you're getting help, it might be some time before you're fully back on track. In these instances, try to make the best of a bad situation. Can't leave the house? Access lecture recordings and eBooks. Ask your friends to send you their notes, or ask the teacher if you can submit your homework via email, or through a friend. Have trouble concentrating? Figure out how long you can study without needing a break, and make a schedule around that. Always make sure to ask your teachers if they can help you with this. Whether it be slightly changing the requirements or conditions of a piece of assessment, or simply their understanding that you may not be able to attend perfectly, it can make a big difference with your overall marks. If they don't know you're struggling, they can't help! DON'T PUSH YOURSELF OR OVERTHINK When you realise there's an issue, it's easy to fall into panic or try to power through. Don't do this. It'll just make you more stressed and aggravate the existing problems, which will make things much worse in the long run. Though it's hard to believe sometimes, your health and mental health are more important than your grades. You can't ignore your mind when it's screaming at you that something is wrong. Listen to it, and be easy on yourself. The best way to get back to your full potential to ask for help and give yourself what you need. Take a break when you need one and practise self-care. It's more important than you might things. RECOVERING FROM A BREAKDOWN ACCEPT THAT YOU'VE BEEN THROUGH SOMETHING MAJOR Once the worst has passed, some people try to brush it off and pretend it never happened. They can feel ashamed or embarrassed about what they went through. However, there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, especially if you had a pre-existing mental health condition. Every life has ups and downs and just because yours were a bit more serious than some people's, it doesn't mean that you're weak somehow. The best thing you can do for yourself is to recognise what happened, and work to prevent it from happening again by setting up crisis plans and support networks. GET TUTORING TO CATCH UP If you've fallen behind, don't worry. There are plenty of ways to catch yourself up and get back on track. The best way is to hire a tutor. They can guide you through the work, help you understand difficult concepts, and identify the places you need more help. Yes, tutors can be expensive, but there's a way to get around this. See if there is anyone who took your class the year before who might be willing to tutor you for an hour each week for a discounted prince. Similarly, see if there are any students who can help you in exchange for something like instrument lessons. And if any of your friends are academically gifted, I'm sure they'd be able to help. If all else fails, go to office hours and any free tutoring sessions your school or university offers. Do some research, ask around, see what's there. PACE YOURSELF AND DON'T RUSH IN After a breakdown or crisis, you may be tempted to throw yourself back into your work to catch up. Don't! You'll become overwhelmed and end up back at square one. Remember, you've just been through a very difficult situation and you're not going to get better overnight. Ease yourself in. I definitely recommend starting with a reduced or part-time study load if possible. Remember that you may not be back at your full capacity just yet, and difficulties concentrating and being motivated could make things hard. By starting off slowly, you're able to get used to studying again without too much pressure. DEVELOP A ROUTINE Yes, this advice is in every piece of study advice ever, but you shouldn't develop just any routine. Develop one that allows you plenty of breaks and takes into consider any issues you may have with fatigue or focusing. If your breakdown was caused by overwork, make sure this one is easier on you. Things to include you could include in a healthy routine (but don't micromanage!): "I feel crap" time* Breaks and meals Plenty of sleep and rest "You" time (treat yo self) Time to plan for the next week Exercise (have you tried yoga? Kidding) Meditation/mindfulness Friend/family social time * Remember that the thoughts and feelings caused by mental illness are not shameful, and ignoring and forcing them down will only make them worse. If you need to lie in bed feeling miserable, do it. THINGS TO REMEMBER DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS It can be easy to look at other people and see your own flaws, but it's important to try not to. Every person has different experiences and struggles, so it's not fair to yourself to look at someone without yours and think you're behind in some way. Taking longer to complete your studies isn't shameful. Making mistakes isn't shameful. Needing breaks isn't shameful. You'll get where you need to be in the end. Have patience. GRADES DON'T DEFINE YOU I spent so much of my life thinking my only worth came from my academic success. And guess what? This just led to more anxiety and depression. It's important to realise that things like grades, class rankings, GPAS, and "intelligence" aren't that important. Who you are and what you do is far more important than these arbitrary labels. THERE IS A STIGMA, SO BE PREPARED It's an unfortunate reality, but there is still a stigma against mental health issues and there is a chance it might affect your experiences while dealing with administrative staff and teachers. There have been stories about people telling their people supposed to be guiding them that they have mental health issues, and being dismissed because "it's a girl issue" or "it's all in their head". Be prepared in case this happens to you. Remind people that it's a medical condition and that you can get proof from medical professionals if need be. Plus, there is probably something in your school's policies or even the law that protects you when you have a mental illness. Remember that just because people are ignorant, that doesn't mean your issue is not 100% real and important. Don't let these people make you feel worse. YOU CAN DO THIS In our darkest moments, it can be hard to believe that we're capable of immense strength, but I promise you we are. Whatever obstacle is in your path right now - even if it's your brain chemistry - you are going to get through this. You've made it through every worst day you've had so far. You've made it through the dark and scary moments, and you've come out the other end stronger and wiser. Remember that you are strong, and even when you don't feel like it, there is always support available to help you realise that strength again. tmblimteom apricot-studies: smartstudy: Hey guys. I’m glad to be finally posting my “mental breakdown survival guide”. As you know I struggle a lot with mental health, and so I have been through a lot of breakdowns. So many that I actually dropped out of university after 3 weeks in 2016 and had to take the whole year off. Because of this, I’ve made it my mission to help others with mental health issues as much as I can, so you don’t have to go through what I’ve been through. Anyway, here is my guide. I tried to keep it general, and actually useful. If you have any questions or additions please feel free to add them. And as ever, if you want to talk to me about studying with mental illness or want to see a post on a specific topic, please feel free to message me. thank you so much for this
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roane72: stevviefox: beauty-grace-outer-space: southernbitchface: buddhaprayerbeads: A simple mental health pain scale. I’m so thankful this exists. I think that many people with mental health issues (myself included) downplay what they’re going through. I’m an 8 right now. If I hadn’t seen this chart tonight I’d keep denying my struggle. Now I have to face it. Reblogging for my followers. My own mental health took a bit of a nosedive last week. Take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. ♡♡ FYI for any who need it. Please seek help. This is clarifying for me. A 6 is a good day. I live at a 7-8. This summer I spent a lot of time at 9. (Yes, I have an excellent therapist and a lot of meds, this is just the way it is.) I’m hoping with the additional support I’m starting to get, I can drop back to 4-6. : A Simple Mental Health Pain Scale thegracefulpatient.wordpress.com 1 2 3 Everything is a-okay! There is absolutely nothing wrong. You're probably cuddling a fluffy kitten right now. Enjoy! You're a bit frustrated or disappointed, but you're easily distracted and cheered up with little effort. Things are bothering you, but you're coping. You might be overtired or hungry. The emotional equivalent of a headache. M (OToday is a bad day (or a few bad days). You 4 5 5 6 still have the skills to get through it, but be gentle with yourself. Use self-care strategies Your mental health is starting to impact or your everyday life. Easy things are becoming difficult. You should talk to your doctor. You can't do things the way you usually do them due to your mental health. Impulsive and compulsive thoughts may be hard to cope with. You're avoiding things that make you more distressed, but that will make it worse. You should definitely seek help.This is serious. 7 8 9 10: You can't hide your struggles anymore. You may have issues sleeping, eating, having fun, socialising, and work/study. Your mental health is affecting almost all parts of your life You're at a critical point. You aren't functioning anymore. You need urgent help. You may be a risk to yourself or others if left untreated The worst mental and emotional distress possible. You can no longer care for yourself. You can't imagine things getting any worse. Contact a crisis line immediately. roane72: stevviefox: beauty-grace-outer-space: southernbitchface: buddhaprayerbeads: A simple mental health pain scale. I’m so thankful this exists. I think that many people with mental health issues (myself included) downplay what they’re going through. I’m an 8 right now. If I hadn’t seen this chart tonight I’d keep denying my struggle. Now I have to face it. Reblogging for my followers. My own mental health took a bit of a nosedive last week. Take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. ♡♡ FYI for any who need it. Please seek help. This is clarifying for me. A 6 is a good day. I live at a 7-8. This summer I spent a lot of time at 9. (Yes, I have an excellent therapist and a lot of meds, this is just the way it is.) I’m hoping with the additional support I’m starting to get, I can drop back to 4-6.
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thedreadvampy: egyptiann: exigencelost: closet-keys: why none of them got into The Good Place What I love about this is its acknowledgment that Jason had no intentions at all this is all 100% true but it always made me really mad that Chidi’s “crime” was having a severe anxiety disorder like he needed understanding and therapy, sending him to the Bad Place for something he had literally no control over was incredibly fucked up I feel like a less-surface theme of the show is that they’re all in a situation where they have been forced into bad patterns by forces outside their control - Chidi has SEVERE anxiety; Eleanor was forced by abuse and neglect to adopt a self-centered attitude from early childhood and, like many people with traumatic pasts, responds by not dealing with difficult emotions; Jason was very overtly raised in an environment where he got no education and all his models for behaviour were criminal and/or self-destructive; and Tahani has been raised in an environment where everything is performative and she is shot down for any genuine expression of unhappiness or non-material want. Just as Michael and Janet are made one way but changed by their experiences, the moral of the story is that things outside your control shape you but you can move away from them. That could easily be really insulting, in a sort of ‘just get over it’ way, but the idea isn’t that they change solely because they decide to be better - all six of them change because their circumstances change and give them the OPPORTUNITY to be better, because they’re finally given the support system they lack. I like The Good Place because the whole show has since day 1 been predicated on the idea that black and white moral judgements made in a vacuum are bullshit, and that moral choices are informed by things outside our control, whether that be education, behaviour modelling, unfair treatment or mental health issues. That doesn’t mean we aren’t responsible for our actions but it DOES mean we have to understand morality in the context of people’s varied experiences AND asks for the possibility that if their environment is improved, their ability to function as moral agents also improves. : GOOD INTENTIONS GOOD IMPACT < ON OTHERS BAD IMPACT ON OTHERS BAD INTENTIONS thedreadvampy: egyptiann: exigencelost: closet-keys: why none of them got into The Good Place What I love about this is its acknowledgment that Jason had no intentions at all this is all 100% true but it always made me really mad that Chidi’s “crime” was having a severe anxiety disorder like he needed understanding and therapy, sending him to the Bad Place for something he had literally no control over was incredibly fucked up I feel like a less-surface theme of the show is that they’re all in a situation where they have been forced into bad patterns by forces outside their control - Chidi has SEVERE anxiety; Eleanor was forced by abuse and neglect to adopt a self-centered attitude from early childhood and, like many people with traumatic pasts, responds by not dealing with difficult emotions; Jason was very overtly raised in an environment where he got no education and all his models for behaviour were criminal and/or self-destructive; and Tahani has been raised in an environment where everything is performative and she is shot down for any genuine expression of unhappiness or non-material want. Just as Michael and Janet are made one way but changed by their experiences, the moral of the story is that things outside your control shape you but you can move away from them. That could easily be really insulting, in a sort of ‘just get over it’ way, but the idea isn’t that they change solely because they decide to be better - all six of them change because their circumstances change and give them the OPPORTUNITY to be better, because they’re finally given the support system they lack. I like The Good Place because the whole show has since day 1 been predicated on the idea that black and white moral judgements made in a vacuum are bullshit, and that moral choices are informed by things outside our control, whether that be education, behaviour modelling, unfair treatment or mental health issues. That doesn’t mean we aren’t responsible for our actions but it DOES mean we have to understand morality in the context of people’s varied experiences AND asks for the possibility that if their environment is improved, their ability to function as moral agents also improves.
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thedreadvampy: egyptiann: exigencelost: closet-keys: why none of them got into The Good Place What I love about this is its acknowledgment that Jason had no intentions at all this is all 100% true but it always made me really mad that Chidi’s “crime” was having a severe anxiety disorder like he needed understanding and therapy, sending him to the Bad Place for something he had literally no control over was incredibly fucked up I feel like a less-surface theme of the show is that they’re all in a situation where they have been forced into bad patterns by forces outside their control - Chidi has SEVERE anxiety; Eleanor was forced by abuse and neglect to adopt a self-centered attitude from early childhood and, like many people with traumatic pasts, responds by not dealing with difficult emotions; Jason was very overtly raised in an environment where he got no education and all his models for behaviour were criminal and/or self-destructive; and Tahani has been raised in an environment where everything is performative and she is shot down for any genuine expression of unhappiness or non-material want. Just as Michael and Janet are made one way but changed by their experiences, the moral of the story is that things outside your control shape you but you can move away from them. That could easily be really insulting, in a sort of ‘just get over it’ way, but the idea isn’t that they change solely because they decide to be better - all six of them change because their circumstances change and give them the OPPORTUNITY to be better, because they’re finally given the support system they lack. I like The Good Place because the whole show has since day 1 been predicated on the idea that black and white moral judgements made in a vacuum are bullshit, and that moral choices are informed by things outside our control, whether that be education, behaviour modelling, unfair treatment or mental health issues. That doesn’t mean we aren’t responsible for our actions but it DOES mean we have to understand morality in the context of people’s varied experiences AND asks for the possibility that if their environment is improved, their ability to function as moral agents also improves. : GOOD INTENTIONS GOOD IMPACT < ON OTHERS BAD IMPACT ON OTHERS BAD INTENTIONS thedreadvampy: egyptiann: exigencelost: closet-keys: why none of them got into The Good Place What I love about this is its acknowledgment that Jason had no intentions at all this is all 100% true but it always made me really mad that Chidi’s “crime” was having a severe anxiety disorder like he needed understanding and therapy, sending him to the Bad Place for something he had literally no control over was incredibly fucked up I feel like a less-surface theme of the show is that they’re all in a situation where they have been forced into bad patterns by forces outside their control - Chidi has SEVERE anxiety; Eleanor was forced by abuse and neglect to adopt a self-centered attitude from early childhood and, like many people with traumatic pasts, responds by not dealing with difficult emotions; Jason was very overtly raised in an environment where he got no education and all his models for behaviour were criminal and/or self-destructive; and Tahani has been raised in an environment where everything is performative and she is shot down for any genuine expression of unhappiness or non-material want. Just as Michael and Janet are made one way but changed by their experiences, the moral of the story is that things outside your control shape you but you can move away from them. That could easily be really insulting, in a sort of ‘just get over it’ way, but the idea isn’t that they change solely because they decide to be better - all six of them change because their circumstances change and give them the OPPORTUNITY to be better, because they’re finally given the support system they lack. I like The Good Place because the whole show has since day 1 been predicated on the idea that black and white moral judgements made in a vacuum are bullshit, and that moral choices are informed by things outside our control, whether that be education, behaviour modelling, unfair treatment or mental health issues. That doesn’t mean we aren’t responsible for our actions but it DOES mean we have to understand morality in the context of people’s varied experiences AND asks for the possibility that if their environment is improved, their ability to function as moral agents also improves.
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