Club PA 2.0 has arrived! If you'd like to access some extra PA content and help support the forums, check it out at
The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Picking myself up

wiltingwilting Registered User regular
edited August 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So my masters dissertation was due today and at about 6am my will broke and I couldn't continue. It wasn't a case of not being able to finish in time. Rather I had become physically and mentally exhausted, my heart was trying to escape from my chest and I just couldn't face another ten hours of frantic activity.

I emailed my course director to let him know what happened. I'm not sure if it is possible to get deferral on the day of submission and I didn't ask for one. I don't know if I could use it if I got one, even though I am only a few hours work away from completion, I just can't take it anymore.

I've slept for the past four hours or so but my body is still reeling from the stress.

I can't really face any of my university friends now, obviously they are going to be out celebrating. My best friend in the course knows anyway. My folks are sickeningly supportive as usual, the first thing I did was call them, and they are talking about me flying out to where they are on holiday at the moment or flying in to visit me. I don't know, I have no desire to do anything right now.

I've been lost in the woods for the past couple of years, trying to find a career path, a life path. This year has been really good for me in terms of showing me I'm a socially capable person, but I still face the hurdle of convincing myself I'm a professionally capable person, and you know, actually being successful in the wonderful job market with my super employable skill set.

I don't feel like the work I've done over the past few months was a waste. This sucks a whole bunch but its life experience, the world will keep turning.

But I don't know what to do with myself for the next few days and when I recover from this I have to get back to the real world and go on the job hunt, which is pretty much the most terrifying thing I can conceive of. A year and a half ago I was at a point where I would rather die than do that, and I got a mental health reprieve. So I guess the outcome today was also the product of slowly building up anxiety that I am approaching that hurdle again. I was at my most content a few years ago when I had a job in a warehouse just moving boxes around and didn't have to deal with any people. I just want to be back in a position like that, where I'm a functional person, but the idea of handing out my cv/resume and going for interviews is nightmare fuel. All I want to do is live, be person who stands on his own two feet, but it seems so impossible.

wilting on


  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Hokay. I know you think you're done and you're quitting and that's it. I really do. But email your course director and see what your options are anyway. They might be able to give you a day, a few days, or even a week.

    You're a few hours of work away from having your dissertation in, and it feels like you can't do it anymore. But it's not the end. Finish your dissertation.

    There is almost certainly something you can do. Take any deferral you can get, any reprieve you can manage, do absolutely everything you can to get through this. You can do it. Hell, you're almost done.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    Thanks ceres. My program director is trying to help me, and my crazy Dad will apparently be arriving in the city in the few hours.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Good. Your crazy dad sounds awesome.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    Absolutely finish your dissertation.

    I would recommend talking to a counselor or a therapist about your anxiety.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    This happens all the time. At my institution (USA) you can delay your defense to a following semester and enroll in a 0 or 1 credit hour course to maintain status, it may be possible to do that same at your institution.

    A dissertation or thesis is a lot of mind-breaking work. Like most students who are under the gun here, you are going to 100% stress. Relax, there is likely a way to rectify this and complete your degree. Remember, the institution wants you to complete, as dropping out during your dissertation looks bad for accreditation.

  • TerraTerra Registered User
    Does your school have a walk-in, but not necessarily emergency, counseling place you could go to today? They can advise you on what to do in he short term and help advocate for you with your professors if you want.

  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Caaba Beankomy XobthroRegistered User regular
    You are literally hours away from a masters degree. Go do whatever it takes to finish it. That still leaves you with the option of going and working at a warehouse or McDonalds or whatever for the rest of your life if you decide that is what you want to do. If you don't finish it, it is unlikely that you will have the option to go the other way and get a job in your field.

    And I won, so you lose,
    Guess it always comes down to.
  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    I don't see any reason why you should walk away from your thesis. In my experience schools want you to graduate, and are pretty willing to work with you. Of course in my experience you also schedule your own due date for your dissertation, so maybe my experiences aren't related to your situation, but it seems very likely that your advisor will have multiple options for you to continue. While the professors on your committee will probably not be too thrilled about you missing your deadline, I highly doubt they would throw you out over it if you went in immediately to try and fix the situation.

    I do mean immediately too. Don't take a week off, don't even take a day off. Go in as soon as possible to see your advisor and find out what your options are. I'm not saying you need to finish your dissertation now or else; it may be best to take off a little bit of time and de-stress. But DO NOT just disappear from school for a week. Make sure your advisor knows exactly what is going on, and is ok with whatever time you are taking off.

    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • KiplingKipling Registered User regular
    If you think you are the first person a professor has seen have some sort of panic or anxiety attack in your situation, you are sadly mistaken. Bipolar triggering, ulcers, psychosomatic illnesses, and a bunch of other things I bet. I had the "flu" for half a week when I realized that I needed to push back my defense date. Except it was just allergies, and my brain was taking everything to be the end of the world at that point in time.

    You need to talk to your advisers about it, even if you perceive it as a fault on yourself. It's not, and it will help.

    3DS Friends: 1693-1781-7023
  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    ceres wrote:
    Good. Your crazy dad sounds awesome.

    This. Your dad sounds awesome. I would have killed for supportive parents like that growing up.

    Anyways, take a breath, relax, realize this isn't the end of the world, and finish it!

  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    You're almost there!! Just fucking muscle through it! Go do some wind sprints, punch a tree, and get back to it

  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    Thanks for all the responses. I'm guessing I won't hear anything about what is going to happen about this until monday. I totally understand all the arguments to just do it, I've told it to myself a thousand times, and if I get an extension obviously I really won't have choice but to try ... but I really don't feel like I can face it, very difficult to explain. Maybe a full nights sleep will change that.

  • MrMonroeMrMonroe Registered User regular
    You might not be able to hear this, but

    You're not in a unique situation. Plenty of other people have gone through this as well. You need to go approach your college's help line, and be sure that you do it formally. The administration will not share your information with anyone.

    I am sure you can finish; you only have a few hours of work left! Talk to your prof! They'll likely be really cool about it and will do anything to make sure you finish school.

    The worst thing you can do is hide from your responsibilities. If you tell your prof you're in trouble, she or he will be far more likely to come up with a plan to solve the problem than if you totally ignore them.

    You're almost there, and I know how you feel, I really do. Don't let this fuck up your life.

  • jamesrajamesra Chicago, ILRegistered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Heir wrote:
    ceres wrote:
    Good. Your crazy dad sounds awesome.

    This. Your dad sounds awesome. I would have killed for supportive parents like that growing up.

    Anyways, take a breath, relax, realize this isn't the end of the world, and finish it!

    Thirded, or whatever. I have an awesome Dad (although I didn't always realize it). Let yours come and help you get yourself sorted. Finish your dissertation; if you are this close you'll wonder for the rest of your life. If you are most of the way through the program, they want to help you. I had my own (undergrad) freak-out, throw it all away moment, and despite an awesome Dad and what could have been a supportive environment, I let my issues get the better of me. Don't do this. Let people help; even if all you can do for the next few days or more is roboticly go through the motions people program into you, do it. No matter what you end up doing with your life, you won't regret finishing this, but you may well end up regret not having done so deeply.

    And I know all that sounds like pressure, which I'm sure is the last thing you need. I don't know how to avoid that --"don't make this unforced error" is a kind of pressure. But you clearly have support. Use it.

    jamesra on
    "Everything in war is very simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. The difficulties accumulate and end by producing a kind of friction. . . . This tremendous friction . . . is everywhere in contact with chance, and brings about effects that cannot be measured, just because they are largely due to chance" Carl Von Clausezwitz. (1832),
  • QuantumTurkQuantumTurk Registered User regular
    I would be eat my trousers level surprised if the school won't work with you on this. You have already done a LOT of work I presume, and they recognize that, and will help you wrap it up in a nice package that gives you the masters degree. It may mean adding a semester or even a year (though this seems unlikely) but you definitely CAN finish. And it's great that you have all of these supportive friends and family. You can and will do this.

  • wiltingwilting Registered User regular
    Yeah, so update, I was trying to get work done over the course of the weekend but little came of it. My intention was to email my course director on Sunday evening for him to read Monday morning but I couldn't muster anything very eloquent. Anyway my Dad emailed him in the end, and my home GP sent him a letter this morning. I don't know what was in that letter but the Dean of Postgraduate studies is requesting 6 months leave from the 1st of August on my behalf, meaning I will have a month after that to finish (before the end of Feb).

    I don't have to do anything myself, it is all being sorted now. I'll be in the city for another couple of weeks to see off my friends who are moving away, sort out my new flatmate etc. After that I'll probably head home for a while, I suppose see my psychiatrist there. After that ???.

    So yeah, 6 months. :shock:

    Thanks again for the in-thread support folks, I showed my Dad the messages extolling his virtues.

  • beavotronbeavotron Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Edit: you fixed it! Yay!

    Future anxiety advice:
    If you have an iPhone or an iPad, there's an app you should download. It's called "take a break" and it really helps me with my anxiety. I have terrible stress management skills, I basically work myself into a frenzy and then explode. This app has done wonderful things for me. If you don't have an iPhone or iPad, there are alternatives on the Internet I'm sure. Worst case: turn off the lights, sit in a comfy chair, turn on music or sounds you find rhythmic and soothing and take 6 deep breaths focusing only on the breathing. Its been my personal therapy for a year now, try it!

    beavotron on
Sign In or Register to comment.