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Completing My Education while Managing Mental Illness

I have not posted in a while because I have been having difficulties managing my time and stress levels effectively since school started. I know that I am not the only one that struggles to find balance as a person living with mental health issues. A recent study published by the National Alliance on Mental Illness revealed that up to 64% of college students living with mental illness ultimately drop out of school due to difficulties with their illness. Although this is an alarming statistic, I must say I am not that surprised.

6 Comments to
Completing My Education while Managing Mental Illness

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  1. Dani,

    As I read your article, it reminded me of my disability and problems while I was in school. I was first diagnosed with depression 12 years ago. I started in school in the fall of 2008 and I was struggling really bad but managed to get A’s in 75% of my classes. It was only recently (earlier this year) that I was diagnosed with bipolar. This is the main reason why I struggled because the medication I was on was not working like they thought it should.
    In July of this year, I graduated with a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice with a 3.72 GPA. I still had some difficulties managing work, the disease and school but I did it. To make matters worse, I was enrolled in an online university which brought on new challenges.
    I don’t know exactly what it was that pushed me so hard to complete my degree but I did. I pushed myself to the limits. I just wanted to say that I know you can do it. I did it and I have faith in anyone who is either considering or in college now with a mental illness can do it as long as they strive for it.

    Good luck in the future!

  2. Hey congratulations on returning to college! Working with the College’s Disabled Student Programs & Services is a good idea. They are on your side and want to see you succeed. They also help you set realistic goals and want you to achieve them. It’s great to hear that they are helping you. More students living with mental illness should take advantage of the services available. I wish you good luck during finals and know you’ll do well!

  3. Hi Dani!

    I’m so happy to hear that you’re back in school and doing well! 🙂 Congratulations!

    I’ve been in and out of college since right after I graduated high school and there have been many times where I felt so depressed, unmotivated, and lost that I just gave up and left. I have depression that until this past January went undiagnosed. I know that the depression and its effects on me played a major role for the difficulties throughout my college experience…in high school I always got As and Bs, so I know I’m smart enough to do the work.

    I had no idea that so much help was available in colleges for those who deal with mental illness. My college has an office for students with disabilities, but I had always thought it was for those with physical disabilities or had a hard time learning…it never occurred to me that mental illness was something they also helped with.

    I think I may make an appointment to go and see someone in the office at my school…Thank you so much for your post and sharing this with all of us! 🙂

  4. I am so glad to have read this. I am currently in the last few weeks of a college upgrading class, & will be starting another program shortly after. I have Bi-Polar Disorder & definitely plan on going through disability services when I apply for my college course in September 2014. In the meantime I am going to do a course for people with mental health &/or addiction issues, so I will have some leeway there. It will also help me to take a few courses off my first year of college. This just shows me that I’m doing things right & gives me encouragement that I CAN do it, & finish it too. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Thank you for the comment! It is so awesome to hear of someone doing well. 🙂 I’m glad that you are working at your goals. I know with the commitment you have to utilizing all your resources you will do great!

  5. I am glad to have read this. It was within my first search results of “finishing education and mental health”. Curriculum is not an issue for me. The timing required, lack of understanding and flexibility on part of instructors, and being around students (and commuting to campus): these are my issues. I am fatigued by worry that accommodation will not be enough. I am in need of independent studies and a student liaison, which I have through DPRC at my university. But, the services are on overload. Also, instructors are not well-educated in these areas. Many of them do not know how to handle such students. This is frustrating.

    First world problems: will I graduate and exit traditional education?
    Is this worth the price in mental strain, stress, fatigue, and missed wages I could have made working.
    Could I have given myself the same education … Or better.

    I am struggling in deciding what to do with myself, as I await going back on meds, this week. Is any of this really worth it…

  6. Im a 45yr old mother of 4 I dropped out of shool maybe 8th grade I am also schizophrenic Im a recovered addic alcoholic of 6 yrs I wont to go back to school but im so full of fear I get frustrated very easily and distracted aswell . Im Afraid I feel dumb.

    • Tiara,

      Only you can stop yourself from succeeding. If you really want it, go for it. Look into school air s. The school has programs that are there to help with people like us who has a disability. You can do it! I have much faith in you!


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