I've spent three semesters at University so far. The first two semesters I did very poorly, but at the very least passed more than 2/3 my classes. This last semester, I did not pass a single class.Not because I am stupid, but because of my own personal decisions. And thinking about it only makes it harder. I've been suffering dysthysmia and social anxiety for a while, and as of this semester I've battled with highly addictive behavior, most specifically marijuana, alcohol, and cigarettes. I don't blame any of those substances for my actions, but I know that my behavior has caused me to stop wanting to go to class, to do my work, to do anything other than escape reality by being drunk, high, or a combination thereof.At this point I feel lower than low, and I've already seen a psychologist and a psychiatrist about this. It seems that all they want to do is put me on medication, and I cannot have that. I've seen what antidepressants do to you. I've been through counseling and don't want to continue that route because I feel as though the counselor just keeps looping me around and around, not really answering any questions to the problems I have but rather circling around them and barely seeing what is really wrong.I want to make a change, but every time I try and muster up the courage my mind gets depressed because of the horrible situation I've led myself into. I don't know how I would go about starting to change. I mean, I've quit cigarettes (again) and I'm sure that's a start, but right now I have a terrible urge to go out and party and hang out, and that is exactly the kind of behavior that put me in this position in the first place.I guess my biggest fear is that I would go day by day trying to better myself only to succumb once again to my own laziness and psychological addiction.My biggest problem is that I feel that if I do my work and actually do what I am supposed to do I should be rewarded. And how do you reward a college student who goes to a huge party school and is a fraternity brother? I love to party, and I know moderation is key with everything, but I am so afraid of myself and me allowing the party to continue well beyond the point of enjoyment to where it corrodes my life like it is now.Does anyone have any helpful words of wisdom?
I've led myself so far down the wrong path...
I don't think you should be so scared of antidepressants. They have helped many. There are antidepressants now available that don't reduce libido and make it hard to achieve orgasm like the old ones used to.But for study, what's most important is to get into a study routine. Make yourself a study timetable - a realistic one. Try to arrange it so you study at times and in places where there will be least temptation. If you start early enough and use your time well you can do all your study during the day on weekdays and leave evenings and weekends free. Study somewhere like the library where distractions to other pursuits will be least.In your study timetable, specify which subjects you will study when, and make time each week both for going over theory and for doing assignments. Make it realistic, but then stick to it rigidly - no swapping.No-one expects you to enjoy studying. Doing boring things you don't enjoy is important in real life too, and it's easiest if you can make a habit of it so the routine helps to pull you along.
> At this point I feel lower than low, and I've already seen a psychologist and a psychiatrist about this. It seems that all they want to do is put me on medication, and I cannot have that. I've seen what antidepressants do to you.
And what have you seen? Antidepressants are not a panacea, but they can be a big help for some people in some circumstances. Refusing to even consider them is self-defeating. I've seen them help someone who was in a deep funk for a few months, and he was in much better shape after a few months on Paxil. He stopped taking them (under his doctor's supervision), and remained fine. I'm not saying that that would necessarily be the case for you, but the downside risk is low.
I also dated someone who was chronically depressed (there may have been a genetic component), and she tried a couple of different antidepressants before she found one that helped. The side effect she experienced paled in importance compared to how much they improved her ability to function.
It's also possible that there are environmental things that affect your mental state, such as the food you eat, the amount of sunlight you're exposed to, etc.
> I've been through counseling and don't want to continue that route because I feel as though the counselor just keeps looping me around and around, not really answering any questions to the problems I have but rather circling around them and barely seeing what is really wrong.
Sometimes these things don't have an easy answer, but if there's a biochemical issue, I'm not sure that any amount of talking will help.
Ineligible's advice on developing good study habits is very valuable indeed.