Hi there. I'm a 24 year old undergraduate student. I've struggled with OCD and ADHD since childhood, but ~two years ago new symptoms appeared and the severity spiked, all very suddenly, and I've been basically non-functional since. Looking for other students to talk to for support. It's been difficult for me to find anyone who can relate to what I'm going through, especially near my age.
I am currently in my 7th (yes, 7th) year of undergrad. I received one degree, but I am going for something completely different now. However, I'm struggling, and I don't know if I should keep trying, take a break, give up, or what.
I used to be an exceptional student. I had not gotten anything less than a 4.0 in a class after my freshman year. I struggled with OCD an ADHD then too, but not like this. I was able to manage my classes, social life, etc.
Until ~2 years ago. Everything suddenly went down hill. I cannot organize my life let alone my classes. I spend more time alone in my room pulling out my hair, blinking my eyes, trying to figure out what's wrong with me (all of these I had never had problems with before), than I do studying, socializing, or enjoying myself. In the past year, I've failed two classes and gotten a 2.0 or 2.5 in the rest. I had never even come close to failing a class before all this happened...
I don't go to class. I don't read the book. I try to learn all the material the day before the exam. And then I get mad at myself for failing. I've wasted so much money and time and seriously fucked up my GPA.
But I love what I'm studying. And I know that I could succeed if I could put in the time. I want nothing more than to make this happen. So each semester I tell myself that I will be better this time. I won't procrastinate. I won't give into my OCD. I will follow the studying schedules I make. I will wake up to my alarm and I will go to class. I will wake up from this nightmare. I will be "me" again.
I can picture myself doing these things. I know the "me" two years ago would be able to do it.
But I continue to fail. I continue to sleep through class. I continue to pull out my hair, squeeze my face, blink my eyes, hold my breath. I had every intention of doing it right this time. But I keep finding myself trying to learn the entire unit the night before the exam, yet again. I ask myself, where did that time go? What did I do instead? And honestly, I don't know the answer to that. I have been doing nothing else. Just sleeping, pulling, checking, etc. Nothing worthwhile.
So I ask myself if I should keep trying. I'm signed up for fall classes. And I'm again able to picture myself doing it right this time. It seems like it will be so easy to wake up tomorrow and return to the old me.
But I can't afford to waste another semester of student loans. So my mind is telling to drop out. I can't continue while I am ill. But what happens when I drop out? Probably nothing. I'll probably continue my terrible new lifestyle of nothingness, except now I won't be adding to my pile of debt, or moving in any direction whatsoever. If I drop out, I will have nothing motivating me. I'll just be stuck in this funk of nothingness.
I want my life back. This is not me, it never was. How can my memory of myself be so vivid and real, so within my reach, yet so impossible to grasp?
I do continue to have hope, and I refuse to give up. I changed so dramatically and suddenly once before, so maybe I am capable of changing again, to who I used to be.
Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that I have somehow managed to hide nearly all of this from my friends and the rest of the world. Nobody has a clue that I've changed or that I'm struggling. I couldn't expect anyone to understand. I would much rather tell someone who might at least remotely get it.
I do have doctors I see, and supportive family and friends I could turn to. So I am ok and I am safe. But I do hope that I can find someone who I can relate to.