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04 March 2011

Oh look, it's the sun... woohoo!

I'm gradually starting to come out of the fog that was February. It was a pretty unproductive month, I missed a lot of classes and some homework, and basically fell behind in all of my classes. I feel better since I've started trying to regulate my sleep pattern, although it's not a habit quite yet. I'm trying to self-enforce a rule of bedtime by 0230, so I can be up around 0930. The eventual goal is waking up and studying a bit before class every day, or getting things done around my apartment that need doing. A set sleep pattern also helps the meds work; if I sleep until 1100 in the morning, I've essentially missed my morning dose of bupropion, and often my first class as well. (I've noticed that sticking to a schedule every day with meds seems to help as well. Still working on that, too.)


I've also had trouble getting to the library; the one that's closest to my apartment is usually close to full at night, and I've found it difficult to study there. I have, however, found another library that's much less populated at night (although it's only open until 2000). If one option doesn't work, try another one. Some places are comfortable and some are not.

I (finally) went to talk to the disability resource center this week; I was very happy to find out that if you have a disability (such as PTSD) that keeps you from getting out of your apartment and off to class, there are accommodations that can be made.  Deadlines can be extended on assignments, notes can be made available, a plan can be established for keeping up even while missing class. This all has to be negotiated with each professor, but having a letter from the disability resource center at least shows your request is legitimate.

It doesn't take much to fall behind, just a single assignment missed can throw you off. That anxiety spreads to other classes, and then you're walking around in the fog. It's difficult to ask for help when you're spiraling downward; you tell yourself that you can handle this, you just need to get caught up a little, but that never happens. Pretty soon you're afraid to go to class, much less sit down with all of your professors and ask for more time on assignments. Then you're afraid to leave your apartment. PTSD makes you avoid, numb, shut down. Next thing you know it's a month later and you're screwed if you don't do something.

(I've had this problem before, even before I knew I had PTSD, and it's taken a lot of work to get to a place where I can recognize what's going on. It still takes some distance for the train to stop, but it doesn't automatically derail.)

I managed to get to *most* of my classes this week; I have one class that I haven't been to for quite a while, and that's the one that causes me the most anxiety. I'm going to talk to that professor next week, and explain what's happening. I might even explain why my hands are shaking while I'm doing the explaining. Or not. This weekend, I'm headed to one of the libraries that's open late. I have assignments to finish.

It helps that the weather here has been a little better, too. I don't seem to handle the dead of winter very well.
 

1 comment:

  1. Helpful - this post spurred me on to talk to my university's "accomidative services" department. God knows if it'll do any good, but if it can convince my professors that I don't just skip class for the hell of it, it's a step in the right direction. Thanks! :)

    ~AJ~

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