Graduate School Struggles

Hi. I'm very grateful to have found this support forum.

I am a single woman in my early 40s. I became unemployed about three months ago, when my job as an academic advisor for adult B.A. students was eliminated for budgetary reasons. Being terminated was a traumatic experience but I used the situation as an opportunity to accelerate my progress in graduate school. I am currently in my penultimate term of an M.A. Program in Information Technology in Education, with a concentration in Instructional Design and Development. Due to the lay off, I am taking three courses this term instead of my usual two.

I am struggling with my energy level, ability to concentrate, and overall motivation in a way that has become pretty debilitating. A short paper on the interesting topic of three-dimensional Web applications for medical education is now nearly two weeks overdue. If I were able to generate some focus and self-discipline, I could probably finish this paper in a single afternoon. I don't know what's wrong with me. When I sit down at my computer to write, I instantly become disinterested and overwhelmingly tired. It's true that I have always struggled with a difficulty maintaining discipline and a desire for unattainable perfection. But my current struggles are threatening to derail my standing in graduate school at a time when I'm so close to completing the degree.

In terms of my mental health as an adult, I have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder with co-occurring depression, generalized anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Although life has been punctuated with pill overdoses, emergency room visits, and brief hospital stays, for the most part a strong personal resiliency has enabled me to overcome obstacles. Although I've had debilitating crises, I've had equally remarkable recoveries.

These days, though, I feel as though my dreams are slipping away. The threat of failing this term does not seem to be enough of a motivator to get back on track. Where is this incredible fatigue coming from? Why can't I sit down and simply write a eight-page paper on a topic that, at heart, does still interest me? What's wrong with me? How much risk do I have to experience before I can snap out of this dangerously ambivalent/frustrated frame of mind?

If anyone has experienced a similar kind of discipline/focus struggle in school, I would so appreciate hearing from you. All insights and thoughts are welcome. Thank you. ~ Christine

Hi, Christine, I'm Merri. It sounds like you have been going through alot! Like you, I am currently working on a graduate degree. I am planning on going into a "helping profession". As part of that, it has been stressed in my classes that self care is very important!
At first I though self-care was about eating right, exercise, get enough sleep, etc. We've all heard that stuff a million times...anyway I have been studying self-care more in depth and have come to adopt more Eastern philosophies in my life.
Ideas such as having alone time to think and reflect... and even to feel all those scary emotions we keep trying to push aside or deny.
Another idea is to focus on learning so that you will have the knowledge you need to help others, rather than focusing on achievement, competing, being perfect, or pleasing others.
Also, I feel fuzzy-headed and need a nap sometimes...i just blame it on being in my late forties...if ya know what I mean.

Try these sights Dr. Oz had a whole episode of energy boosting ideas and the drink Green monster really is wonderful. I know people who have had different versions of it even and say its fantastic and really helps. So does
wheat grass if you have that squeezed to get the juice. I used to drink that in smoothies even just a shot of it helps and doesn't make you jittery like caffine does. Also green tea helps with energy and i drink that working as a Veterinary tech instead of coffee and it really works all day.
Also try Ribose you can get it in liquid or gel caps. u can add it to tea as a sweetner. Also cyanne seasoning to cooking helps boost energy levels. Consult a Dr. or pharmacist before trying certain herbs like Ribose i belive it doesn't interact with any medication but you just want to be sure because i know some of the supplements etc can counter react with perscription medication. So try that :)

Chrisesta is there a possibility of menopause being a contributing factor along w/the other disorders???