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Featured Ready to have a nervous breakdown / End of University depression.

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Frostee, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    Tuesday will be my last exam of my time at University and will ultimately be the beginning of the end for my education.

    University has been a nightmare for me, as I am sure many of you know from my posts.

    What I can’t deal with is the depression that I am having at the moment in struggling to succeed academically and also to secure a job.

    I have already gone to one Assessment centre and was rejected - there I had a two hour maths exam which I couldn’t prepare for AND a group discussion. I then applied for another job at that company and I have not heard anything for two weeks, so I assume that’s another rejection.

    I have looked at all of the people on my course’s LinkedIn and a lot of them are on course for 1st class honours! Terrifying! Past Secondary school classmates are working in large companies such as J.P. Morgan and living in Japan. Here I am not even graduating yet.

    I feel that I’m looking into a career of misfortunes and hold backs. It’s going to be a long haul for me before I get to where I want to be. And I’m going to be held back majorly.

    This last exam is an essay based exam and I know that’s going to be a nightmare for me. I will not meet their expectations. I am dreading even going in to the exam because it’s going to be a challenge for me.

    I just wish the tremendous work and stress that I put in would show up on the paper as such!

    I am feeling very defeated right now. I am not considering going to the Graduation. My mother is nagging me to go. I don’t have any friends who will be there, I will be alone. I can see myself crying at the event, with just me and my parents - feeling so embarrassed and weak that I don’t have any friends here or no one cares about me. The whole thing will remind me of how horrible my experience here was and I probably will feel very, very sad and cry. Yet my mum will be sad that I didn’t go but I would only be going for her.

    This is supposed to be a time of celebration yet here I am feeling that I want to run back home and cower into a box in my bedroom.

    I am up against a lot of people who are well beyond my capabilities and I am going to have a nervous breakdown. I cannot cope with this - it is causing me so much stress, anxiety and depression. It’s ruining me.

    I don’t know what I am going to do. I can’t physically cope with this stress.

    How am I, a person with Aspergers who has to work really hard to excel in anything, going to compete with people who are living in Japan and have First Class Honours degrees? I cannot match that, so what am I going to do?

    I physically cannot cope with this stress anymore. I have gone to my limits of education and capabilities, I am not THAT smart, I cannot compete with these people who have A*’s etc.

    Please someone help me so that I can become successful without this condition holding me back. It’s not fair!

    These people are going to make me have a nervous breakdown. They are just so competitive and dog eat dog. I can’t, I just can’t compete with them. I am out the door before I even get in - they are that competitive.

    I can’t do this anymore!
     
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  2. H-Kath

    H-Kath Member

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    If it makes you feel any better I just bombed the placement exams for the main sequence in my program. I had full blown anxiety attacks and spent a good portion of the day in tears.

    Getting a weekend job has been a nightmare even though I have quite a bit of work experience, it's just all people based and the last traumatic even I went through seems to have permanently taken my ability to test without a mental health episode or pass myself off as socially competent.

    I didn't go to my B.A. graduation. I didn't think any of my relatives would actually show, they didn't for my wedding. I had no friends. If I make it through grad school I'll walk for myself because this has been a nightmare.

    What are the options for work in your field? Is there anything you can do to work on future assessments or maybe a less stressful route for your career? Is there anything you can do for yourself to recuperate?

    When I was getting down on myself today my partner reminded me that it's normal to take longer to get through things with a disability. She got her B.S. at 32. I graduated a month before 31. Her classmate with Crohn's needed nine years for his B.S. and did not have a sparkling G.P.A. but still earned it.
     
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  3. shysnail

    shysnail Well-Known Member

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    You're going through a lot right now. The end of university is definitely a harsh time with a lot of pressure, so no wonder you're feeling completely overwhelmed. In terms of the graduation ceremony, don't go. I say that categorically. It does not matter. Your mum will get over it. You can do without that hanging over you as a should-I-shouldn't-I thing. Just decide now that you're not going and then that fragment is over.

    In terms of looking at LinkedIn and finding a job and everyone else is in Japan and doing high-flying jobs, well, good for them. But that is not your life. Maybe you're jealous and it feels unfair. I know that feeling really well. Why do I have to be this way, that I can't live like everyone else? I also know people working abroad. I would have LOVED to do that. But I couldn't do that because I'm autistic and it would have broken me. It is a shame, it makes me sad sometimes that I don't have a job I love, I'm not on a path where everyone's impressed and thinking I'm doing so well. But you know what? I'm surviving as best I can. I'm doing what IS within my capabilities.

    It's been a few years since I was at university now, and I've done that whole transitional university to job thing. It's stressful as heck. But it will pass. You WILL find a niche. Maybe you won't work at JP Morgan. But you will find a job somewhere, somehow, and it will be okay. Maybe not great. Other people will be doing better than you (although, there will also be people doing better than THEM, too, don't forget). But you will be doing what you can.

    Being autistic feels like being dealt a rough hand, without a doubt. But right now, you are just going through a really painful transitional period and things WILL lessen and you will feel better again. Try to be a little more gentle with yourself. Things aren't going to go better just because you're beating yourself up.
     
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  4. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    I have high career ambitions, because I feel that I have the potential to get into these high calibre jobs. I don't feel that my skills and my attributes go against me - it's the caveats of the disability that pull me down and don't allow me to access my full skills set.

    I would hope that I don't end up in a dead end job after doing this degree, or I will feel that it was a complete and utter waste of time, financially particularly.

    I know that a job in JP Morgan straight after graduation was never going to happen to me. But maybe a job somewhere more moderate could be a possibility?

    Ultimately I do have two career goals and once I reach those goals I will be satisfied:

    I. Become an Airline Pilot.
    II. Earn £100,000 a year - adjusted for inflation.

    Alongside living in the United States.

    Those are both high calibre ambitions, BUT they are ambitions that I believe are possible for me and not completely out of question.

    Ultimately my main goal now, is to maximise my potential.

    At the moment, I am just wondering if going to University was the right choice for me as a person with Aspergers? Should I have done my University Degree online and spread it out more to enable me to achieve a higher grade? Would that have been more realistic?

    I know when I was here, there was a gal who had spread out her degree over a few years and is doing much better without all of this stress and anxiety. I just wonder how some Aspies are able to excel well academically and form social relationships without all these struggles that I have? Because believe it or not some Aspies excel in University.

    The Graduation thing - well i'm hymning and haring about that. It's something that i'd only go to, to not feel the regret that I hadn't gone. There is now only one chance for me to go and I really worry that'd hit me big time if I did not go.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
  5. shysnail

    shysnail Well-Known Member

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    I don't think your ambitions would be impossible for you, either. I'm sure you do have a huge amount of potential.

    Although, I'm kind of curious that your two ambitions are actually kind of dissimilar. I'm imaging what you've studied at university isn't related to becoming a pilot? Do you feel, perhaps, like what you want is actually very general, a sense that you've "done well" in objective ways? Obviously I don't know you or your life, but the ambition to have a high salary, although you've picked a specific number, is actually quite general. I mean, it's not of itself a career path.

    So I'm curious. Do you want to be a pilot (even with a potentially lower salary) because you think you would love that? Or because it would be well-regarded by others? Why do you want to earn a lot of money?

    Not trying to be contrary or suggest you couldn't do these things, I'm just wondering why these are your aims specifically.
     
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  6. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    One of the hardest things to do and still trying to come to terms with it, is surrending myself to the idea of being disabled and that way, things start to happen, that if I was stubborning rejecting, I would be in a bad place and thus, what I am saying, is to do the same, because your life is more important than your death.

    I am also learning to say: no. My husband has tried to be as your mother is being, but knowing how I am in social situations, I know have made it quite clear that I am not going to please others in this way, because I am fed up with feeling miserable and that leads to, I guess, depression.

    I feel better for at least, not giving in to others, who "mean well", but have no idea of the impact on us.
     
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  7. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know? V.I.P Member

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    100Kpa even in US dollars is a pretty lofty ambition and one which will take most people a long time to achieve unless they have "connections" which you appear not to have.

    Perhaps your best chance lies with pursuing a career that is both fulfilling and utilises the skills you have learned. Employers are starting to recognise the value of neurodiversity in the workplace and that can only grow. IBM spearheaded this with their "Ignite" initiative which is leading to other employers taking notice in other fields. In 5 years time your prospects may not look as bleak.

    IGNITE ASD
     
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  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Life, let alone employment success does not follow in a predictably "linear" trajectory. It's always tragic to see so many people who follow life to the contrary (including myself) who assume and maintain a narrow path of objectives to achieve some goal they have in mind, etched in stone.

    Tragic because the reality is more often than not an inability to achieve one's goals whether it's due to their own making, or something completely beyond their control. Not to mention considerations of job markets and the economy at large. Both which ebb and flow with time. Equally one must be careful not to assume that once they have a college degree, that doors in the job market automatically open. It's not necessarily true, often depending on the type of work involved. Some employers wait to see how entry level prospects do in the real world before hiring them. A policy that may not be advertised within the job market.

    Perhaps even more tragic, is how often people ignore the real gap between what they construe as "success", and their own happiness. More often than not, such considerations tend to be mutually exclusive of one another. Sad, but true.

    In other words, it's to your advantage to be more "fluid" about your possibilities. If your sense of ambition follows a rather narrow path, indeed expect to be having to compete with people who are flat our better than you are in every way. Better to open yourself up to other possibilities, which might be more advantageous with your autism as opposed to work that may be quite arduous given your neurological nature. You might even find there are jobs out there for you to excel in that you presently aren't even aware of. Having narrow and lofty ambitions in a complex and intensely competitive job market is a recipe for disaster unless you are absolutely at the top of your class, and at the top of "your game".

    Broaden and mitigate your ambitions, and don't ignore the importance of being happy with whatever line of work you end up with. You don't have to eliminate that bar for what you consider to be "success". Just lower it enough to pragmatically match your abilities rather than to rely on your expectations alone.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
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  9. GadAbout

    GadAbout Active Member

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    Hi Frostee.

    I want to say first, I'm sorry you feel so much stress. You don't need to go to your graduation ceremony. I didn't, and my mother nagged me too, but I still didn't go.

    Second, I want to say your career ambitions are out of line with your reality, and I know that bites to hear me say it, but really. You are about to have a nervous breakdown (you say), you think you would be in tears at a graduation ceremony, and yet you want 300+ people to trust you with their lives as an airline pilot? That job is really tough to get, and it requires nerves of steel and great emotional stability, and yes, they will fire you if you start to have meltdowns at work. And they should.

    Earning $100K a year is maybe more realistic, but it's still gonna be a tough slog. I don't know what your efforts at employment have been (summer jobs, internships, etc.) nor what your degree is in, but if you decide now, that you will never be satisfied unless you earn that golden number, you are setting yourself up for a life of disappointment. Try holding a job, any job, for at least a year and re-assess your life plans.

    So chill out any way you know how (I would suggest a run, or going to the college gym and using an exercise bike, or something similar) and get through your first barrier - the exam on Tuesday - and then look at your next steps. And tell your mother "sorry, mom."
     
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  10. oregano

    oregano is on I-5 btwn Calif and Jefferson

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    I personally went to my community college graduation (American "community colleges" are sort of like halfway stations between high school and university, where kids who bombed HS-like me-can get up to speed to transfer to a university. I wasn't able to satisfy GPA or course requirements for a university though.) just so I could show everybody who thought I was a loser and wasn't worth educating-including the staff at one CC I flunked out of and then got kicked out of-that I really could do it. Sure, only my parents were there, but that wasn't the point. Unfortunately, I graduated in June 2001, and then after 9/11 there were no jobs at all. So I never did get employed.

    All the kids from my HS have degrees from really prestigious universities and really impressive resumes and really important, very high paying executive careers, and I sit at home and rant at the internet and only excel at being a useless eater. I simply don't have their intellectual capabilities. I have been reading some of the above responses, and I think they're right in that your goals are unrealistic. If you don't have the intellect and temperament to be an airline pilot, you never will be one. A lot of commercial airline pilots come from the Air Force, they have proved themselves in battle.

    I read recently of a guy who was a real moron yet he managed to become a spine surgeon mainly by schmoozing the right people. He killed one patient and destroyed the lives of 33 more with botched surgeries (because he didn't know what he was doing) before he was stopped. He was sentenced to life in prison. If you can't do something, you simply can't do it, and if you try you will fail. Having lots of money isn't as great as it's made out to be, ask any lottery winner.
     
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  11. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    I understand that you are trying to make me feel better by outlining some flaws of having 'lots of money' - but that's not my concern. My aim is to reach a financially comfortable lifestyle. I don't want to have people telling me of the negatives of that.

    I want to know how I can reach that with my disability.
     
  12. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I didn't read every word of every comment but I read most and didn't see anyone point out flaws of having money. I only read people pointing out that it may be an unrealistic aspiration and to have flexibility in your goals because life is chaotic and generally doesn't adhere to one's expectations.
     
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  13. GadAbout

    GadAbout Active Member

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    Pass your exam on Tuesday.
     
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  14. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It's only one more thing, get through that and then work from there. The only future that you need to think about for now is the exam. Do this in steps, exam, marks, graduation. After that you can focus on the next achievement. You can do this, I barely slept more than a few hours a night for years at university, I still graduated. You have gotten through so far, don't throw it away by overthinking all this. You will do well.
     
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  15. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I want to add, Frostee, that we have a dreadful tendency to compare ourselves.

    I have felt so miserable, seeing my sister's adult off spring on facebook and how active their lives are and how much I am not a part of their lives ( personality issues). My husband has said that I am the auntie and thus, should remember that, but well, I was thrust into that situation and in truth, pretty clueless on what being an auntie is.

    Because of comparing, it has made me feel ill ie a sort of heaviness and sinking feeling and too warm. But, you see, I was doing it to myself. Not forced to go into Facebook and see them. I have done so willingly. And in truth, their lives are not that great. Typical nts and well, they look cheap, the way they dress.

    Once I started to rationise on the comparisons, I started to feel better and can stop myself now.

    There are going to be very successful people; but it does not mean they are truly happy.

    Also, beware of photoshopping. What would you think if you found out that actually those classmates, were at home and pretending to be successful?
     
  16. tlc

    tlc Well-Known Member

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    I agree, one step at a time. Right now just concentrate on the exam.

    I never went to my college graduation. It would have cost money and time, and I didn't want to give that place any more of either of those. When I got my engineering degree, I got what I worked so hard for, that's all I needed.

    I wouldn't be envious of those others. With the JP Morgan execs and all, it's not all sunshine and roses like it appears on social media. One thing that is all too common with high end jobs like that, is high stress, responsibility, and risk. Executives who spend long nights at the office or weeks or months away from home on business trips. And when they do come home, they usually bring their work with them, and are stressed out 24/7. Many times it's enough to break families apart. And with all that money, yes some people still live simply and stash it away for the future, but most end up living the lifestyle to match the income. And high risk, when a hiccup happens in the finances, they're in really bad shape. Look what happened in the housing crisis, lots of high end property owners lost a LOT of money. With my humble house, it barely affected me.

    I don't know what wages are in your area, but that's the equivalent of $126.644 US dollars a year. Even if I had taken my engineering degree to the stressful big city of Detroit, I wouldn't have made that. I got my degree and have been working in the industry since 1996 and I just recently broke the $40k barrier. But it's so much more peaceful and easier to live up north, to me that is more important. And with what I learned, I was one of the highest skilled in the department. You can take your knowledge and totally rock a small place with your skills if you so desire.

    Do what makes you happy and what makes the best lifestyle for your own needs. Don't try to live the lives of others. You probably wouldn't want to anyway.
     
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  17. GadAbout

    GadAbout Active Member

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    Frostee, how did your exam go?
     
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  18. Eythora

    Eythora New Member

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    I think that overall, you are experiencing something very common to seniors. There are so many possibilities (including failure) and to top it off, you are usually completing your final classes that may be the most difficult ones yet (such as senior seminars). Feeling overwhelmed is pretty normal and scary. Sometimes I think that it helps to remind yourself that this is normal for a transition period, even if it is pretty terrifying (and I am not trying to minimize that).

    In terms of graduation: Do not feel like you have to go if you will be uncomfortable, but you can also change how you think of it. It is a celebration of you and your accomplishments, not a celebration of how many friends you have. It can also be a way for your family to celebrate with you. If you really decide against it, maybe suggest to your family that you do something special in private where you would feel more comfortable.

    Your dream job and your ideal pay range probably will not happen right out of the gate, so try to be realistic about it or you may be setting yourself up to fail. Most jobs will require an undergraduate degree, plus X amount of years of experience or a graduate degree. You may need to get experience doing something you do not enjoy that much or which does not pay you a lot, but that's a stepping stone.

    It is just like school in a way; you have to take the often boring, "this feels like a waste of time" foundational courses before you can get to some of the really good stuff. Employment can be like that, too. Apply to jobs that you really want, and apply to ones that just fit your general background. Hope for the best, but prepare for alternatives. You could land a dream job, or you could gain experience while you continue to seek out the dream job.

    Try not to compare yourself to others. I do this, and I should take my own advice, but just try to always do your best. I think we often see what others are doing, particularly on social media and the like, and get the impression we are less than. That person with the great job living in Japan could You have done something very awesome in getting your degree, you have accomplished it even with the challenges you have faced, and that's awesome.


    Regarding the income of $100k: Your best bet is more education, 3-5 years experience in whatever field you are entering, or working for specific sectors. That might also mean moving, which is more change. I have found that government jobs, including local government, in high-income areas often pay more than the private sector but I live in the DC area.
     
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