i'm a college freshman, and i live at school. i just got finished with mt winter break, which was the first extended period of time i've spent at home since i started college.
last year (my senior year of high school), i was really sick. my thyroid gland completely stopped working, i had trouble keeping food down, i was severely clinically depressed, and for a while i developed a fairly minor eating disorder. i also slept very little, about 3 or 4 hours a day, and about twice a week i didn't sleep at all.
i slowly got better, and by the time i left for college, i felt better than i had in several years. i kept feeling healthy all the way through the first semester.
when i got home for winter break, my symptoms started coming back.
i figure it happened for a few of reasons. i have a complicated relationship with my mom that tends to stress us both out pretty badly, so that doesn't facilitate feeling great. also, i think i probably associate my house (and especially spending most of my time there) with the time that i was sick. and of course, without stuff to occupy my time, i have plenty of time to worry too much and get preoccupied with my body image and things like that.
bottom line, it makes me nervous to think about living at home over the summer, though i'd be working. i'm terrified of getting depressed again; i don't know that i could handle it. i feel like i don't have a place to go home to. does anyone have a suggestion for anything i can do to try to avoid relapsing?
Most colleges have counselling services. You might seek out yours. I think that you are right in believing that apprehension might lead to a self-fulfilling prophesy. Whilst it is unlikely that a medical condition, such as your thyroid problem, would actually reoccur, just worrying about it might bring on symptoms. Best head this thing off at the pass and deal with it now than this summer when you are home again.
As a number of Scarleteen members have posted over the years, going home for a summer after the relative independence of living at college can take some re-adjusting.
------------------ I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
thanks a lot for responding. i've looked into (or rather was forced by student health services) the counseling available on campus. the thing is, i have an incredible therapist at home with whom i've built up a good patient/doctor relationship. the thought of going through all my relevant history with a new therapist who may or may not be a a good fit for me isn't too appealing.
i do have the option of scheduling phone conversations like appointments with my therapist from home, which i will look into more. unfortunately, time becomes an issue. it's also hard to tell myself to go through all the emotions of therapy when i'd otherwise be feeling fine at school.
i've discussed this with my parents, and they understand the problems i'm having and want to do what they can to help. they're willing to keep paying my tuition even if i end up needing to find another place to live, but i would provide for my own residence, which would be very difficult.
i guess i just really don't know what i'm going to do over the summer. i really feel that living at home will lead me down the path of depression. plus it's just upsetting to think that my home isn't a place i can go if i need to.
If you feel you can't go home, you may be right.
The fact that you are already willing to seek help and talk to a therapist is very encouraging.
Perhaps you could move in with a kindly relative and find a job in their city; it worked quite well for my brother this previous summer.
Or how about a combination? Why not go home for a couple of days, arrange to talk to your old therapist at home, and then, if it still won't work out, arrange to get out of there again? Think of it as a 3-4 day break!
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