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Worried about the Future

Hi everyone :slightly_smiling_face:
Here is something that has been on my mind for a while now. Something that is bugging me a lot lately. Well the future. I am worried that I dont have much to look forward to. I think that I can function right now but instead of growing it feels like my state of relative stability is getting challanged. I feel like I can’t grow past a certain point.

I am supposed to be studying for my psychology enterance exams and I am trying but it doesn’t go nearly as well as I had hoped for. It takes me a lot of energy to focus on it. I generally dislike learning things from books even tho I like reading. I preferre to listen rather than read. But I have to read these books to prepare. The competition is also great. Each year over 1000 apply and they take only 60. I am trying to force myself to study but that is not very effective because ordering your body is so much easier compared to ordering your mind.

I am starting to feel very unmotivated. I have watched a video where some kind of expert had a presentation about jobs and people with mental illnesses and one thing that he said was that when you compare most people within the same age group and educational level the people with mental illness earn overall 70% less money than their peers without mental illness. He also pointed out some other things I can link the video if anyone wants to see it, it is quite long tho. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gIUrncSQ48w

I am starting feel demoralised. I don’t even know what I want. I am starting to feel empty. I don’t know what my future looks like and maybe I don’t want to know.

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I watched the video up until the question and answer session. There is more than one approach to becoming educated, majoring in psychology. I had a couple of psychology and sociology classes in junior college. A four year state college is pretty much obliged to accommodate applicants from a junior college, at least that’s the way it is around where I am. If you want to get into this very competitive program, one thing that might help is to talk to one of the counselors there, and ask what might give you an edge in the competition. Sometimes it’s having already taken related classes, or work experience associated with mental health issues.

There are a lot of audiobooks available at Amazon, and elsewhere. Have you heard about the “Mozart effect?” It relates to research that indicates listening to Mozart, and other similar classical composers, helps a person understand and remember more as they are studying. I do it a lot and it really seems to help.

Dr. Frank’s perspective on the future of people with mental health problems is pretty fatalistic, and does not take into consideration that in many cases people who have learned to manage their symptoms, can be extraordinarily effective in helping others. I have known several people who were attracted to the profession initially because they were seeking to understand themselves.

Finesse and balance is required, in how to look at the future. It’s useful to visualize, and have goals, but they need to be flexible. It’s really not possible to know whether or not the path taken is the right one, until you start traveling on it. If your concept of what you want your future to be like is inflexible, if it becomes apparent that you need to change paths, it will be a very unhappy experience. Who knows, maybe you will change your mind, and go into social work. Assisted living facilities employ activities directors and recreational therapists. I believe any professional field involves psychology.

Your future is like a smorgasbord, and this is the time for you to do some sampling before you decide how you’re going to fill your plate. Consider also, a great many successful people changed their major course of study multiple times.

Looking to the future can be overwhelming. When it feels that way, maybe the best thing to do is focus more on immediate goals and objectives, like organizing or rearranging furniture or doing some kind of hobby thing. Sometimes I would tell myself “okay, that’s enough worrying for today. I need to find something to do.”

I think you would be an absolutely wonderful therapist, but I also think you would be wonderful at a lot of things.

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Hi Ashwell,
I know how you feel ._. I hate that feeling of not being able to concentrate on your studies, you try your best to get through it but it’s your brain that just refuses.
I have a few tips
1: Try to “trick” your brain. It’s difficult, but make your brain think it likes studying. Say things to yourself like “oh I can’t wait for this, oh I love studying, oh I like learning about this, I really love psychology” until you integrate that way of thinking in your brain. Kinda like psyching yourself up! It can be quite difficult yes, but if you force yourself enough its possible.

  1. I also hate reading words on a page, much easier to listen. If it’s possible try to find a course online that can talk to you about it. I use to use crash course to learn about philosphy, binged the whole thing. Here’s a playlist on psychology:
    https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGMVCsud2sqX1F5BkUp7yiIFcGtFjb1hZ
    I also watched these a couple years ago, idk if it’ll help but I did it back when I had enough mental capacity to focus on something for more than 10 seconds :sweat_smile:
    https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGWZcX7Xxfc8IeVJ5EGV2iQPGLCuu1yAI

  2. Just an offer you could have someone tutor you, or read back the lines. Whether it be someone you’re enrolling with or s friend. (In fact, if you really need help, I wouldnt mind joining a call to read things to you ^~^ I know how frustrating it is to not have a helping hand to rely on ✿) : I’ve noticed when I study, I honestly feel like there’s someone I could just study with read it back to eachother until I could understand it. Though when doing it, I could not have any discractions, it only worked if there was nothing on my mind to worry me, so you’d have to make sure nothing in the back of your mind is the sole reason you can’t focus in the first place, because if so then this is a mental issue that’s causing the problem and not just the normal “I am a goldfish” situation.

Hope any of these help,
-X

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This line popped out for me when I read this earlier and I’ve been thinking about it. Seems like you’re stuck and treading water, doesn’t it? I’m kind of in the same situation right now.

I know so much about BPD, but until I take the next step and learn how to apply everything I’ve learned, I won’t be able to grow and I’ll just continue treading water. Therapy is the next step for me and I have to open that door and walk thru it.

What do you need to be able to take the next step in your growth? What door are you standing in front of?

Just some stuff to ponder. :hrtlegolove:

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Hi Wings

Well I am not from the USA and the way our Universities work here is different but I appretiate the advice tho.

Well there are not many czech audiobooks on amazon. I know the Mozart effect but I think it has largely been disputed but I could be wrong. I will give it a try. :slightly_smiling_face:
I thank you for the other advice. I will try too keep them in mind. Thank you. :wink:

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Hey @Ashwell,

I remember struggling a lot with focus as a student… I didn’t admit yet that I was in depression though. :man_facepalming:

Do you know if there are specific arrangements available in order to pass the exams? (and afterwards to follow the classes). Since you are already in the medical loop (therapy, medications) it might be possible to have adaptations based on your needs, if mental health is recognized as such in your country. It tends to be more and more though, especially for students/in learning places. Since you are also working, it is also a legit question regarding your future schedule if you are selected after the exams.

Something worth to check out maybe?

As for the audiobooks, not all of them are available, especially not college articles and publications. However, I would recommend you to look into tools that are used by students who have visual disabilities. There might be ways to create your own “audiobooks” based on digital versions of books (and .pdf articles) and the help of automatic readers softwares. Same for taking notes - some good text-to-speech softwares could be of a great help and save you a lot of time/energy.

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Hi Micro :slightly_smiling_face:
Thank you for your support. Well psychology is the hardest school to get into. The studies themeselves are not that hard in comparison and I think I would be able to handle it even without special adjustments. The problem is getting there. Being in the top 60 from 1000 is a difficult task. The exams are made out of three parts. First is the test, and there there are two rounds of interview. There are like 10 books I have to read and those are just the mandatory ones. So yes I am pretty worried. How am I supposed to compete with people who are able to prepare without problems and dont have any mentall illness and are probably twice as much motivated to get there where as I just want to go there because it is one of the few things I would consider worth studying. I am going to try but at the same time I know that objectively speaking my chances are slim.

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It is completely understandable to be worried. The outcomes are important, and the process is pretty heavy. Honestly, I am proud of you for pursuing this personal goal; I know it’s easy to say, but, you can’t fail as long as you try.

Being depressed requires special adjustments for many of us - no shame in that -, whether it is officially with the insitutions concerned, or just on your end in the way you organize yourself. Right now it is stressful because you are starting to focus on all of this, and you face some overwhelming walls. It’s kind of a sudden wave to process. After the panick will settle a bit, you will find some clarity. The process of learning and adapting will also progress as you continue your studies.

I have graduated twice - got a master in Anthropology, and a bachelor in Social Work (based on Europeans equivalencies of course). All of it while being heavily depressed, anxious and not even on therapy. Not saying this to brag or anything (honestly, it has been quite a nightmare sometimes and I wish I had the help I needed at the time), but only to say that it is possible to get where you want, even if it requires to strategize more than someone who doesn’t have a depression. Mental health struggles can make practical assesments and commitments more difficult, it requires us to be more creative somehow, but the more you keep learning to know yourself while learning to study as well, the more you will gain insights regarding your own needs.

As for now, I would encourage you to get practical informations regarding the length of the books and prepare a reading schedule for yourself. Just that. The more you set up concrete perspectives, the more your anxiety will lessen. Although a plan is made to change as you go to - being flexible is okay! Having a first estimation of how long you would need to take for one book, and so on. You will also need to take personal notes as you read. A good way is to ask yourself how to summarize each chapter and what are your personal takeaways. At the end, these notes will serve you to prepare your exams once you’ll get closer to the date. Personally, I always took writing notes, because I find it easier to lose focus on a computer screen. Then I would type them out on my computer, which reactivated my memory of the reading. It also helps to memorize and process more what is read (but we are all different for that!).

Maybe it could help if you would share, after each chapter or book, your notes and takeaways here as journal entries? I’ve often wanted to do that myself with personal mental health readings. Just a thought, if it can help some accountability.

Try to also identify a time of the day when you are more easily focused, and keep that time to read/study. Make sure to take breaks regularly. Prepare some rewards/cool things to do after each session too. :slight_smile:

I’m all about reading things, personally, and have my own share (limited) training in general psychology (psychanalysis, systemic and developmental mostly). I’m more than willing to read some books alongside you if it can help/be a motivation too, even though it would probably be in a different language on my end. :slight_smile:

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Something I forgot to mention, is to take frequent breaks. Research shows that anybody’s ability to focus starts to fade after 20 minutes or so. That’s why it’s easier to remember the first 20 minutes of class than the rest of it. While you are reading, get up and walk around a bit every 20 minutes or so. At least it’s worth a try. My studying tends to be slow because I stop and visualize things in my life that relate to whatever it is that I’m reading, or just create a visualization that corresponds to the material.

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Idea. I literally did this to study for grad school comprehensive exam. Wish I had known it earlier. Read the major points into a recorder and then just listen back as much as possible. I listened going too and from work. Before long, of course I knew what I was going to say before I said it. Literally, the only thing I had to “study”…which I had written down to help for quicker review, was lists of things types of questions. As test approached I really knew the stuff and felt no need to cram. And it came to me during test.

Another method is to make up your own test questions and then write the answer. You can do that on recording too. But in these, pause just a little before you say the answer because then you have time to answer before it says answer on the test. Most subjects have only certain topics for which questions can be derived. So pretend you have to make up the questions and the possibilities might jump out at you. That is almost like a study partner.

If you can review old test question types? Figure out the point the question is trying to ask. Learn the point. They might ask a question differently but it is recall of the same topic. That is hint to also have that topic on your recording.

Keep in mind, most exams are derived from experts getting together to decide what they feel the candidates should know. Knowing this, you can reverse engineer standard tests.

Again, I wish I had known these techniques many years earlier.

I guess what I am suggesting is concentrating on developing some new study techniques. And the above also uses sort of the audio book technique but works because it is specific and you made it.

Also, do this is spurts, don’t try to do it all at once.

Anyway, since there is more study to come WHEN you get in the program, good to know a variety of study techniques.

Amazingly, I had never really thought of making recording going over main topics I needed to know and just listening to it a lot until someone said it to me. But it worked GREAT!

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Good idea, but my voice is so monotone I’d put myself to sleep. :sleeping:

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Well there is some thought to sleep Learning! Lol I listened while going to and from work. Monotone will do you well when you are a professor.

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Do you remember the old TV show, “The Wonder Years?” Ben Stein was a history teacher, and it was a running joke that no one could stay focused when he lectured, because of his absolute monotone speech.

I have been told that during stressful situations, my voice has helped people remain calm, so it has its advantages.

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Hi Listening2Day
Wow these were some nice ideas. Thank you. I know that something similar already suggested @Wings. I will definitely try your suggestions. Thank you again. :slightly_smiling_face:

Yes. I remember some guys in my class used to imitate him.
But, yes that could help.

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