The University Diaries: tearful in lectures?!

It was bound to happen. I anticipated it and had somewhat discussed some strategies with my CPN for how to manage this situation. What I didn't expect was for this to happen on a Friday afternoon when I was physically and emotionally exhausted. My resources and tolerance were at pretty much zero and the sound of people breathing loudly was enough to make me want to scream. 

Friday was a long, long day in the medical school. 2 lectures, back to back, then an hour off to recover from the information overload. Then a tutorial with medics, which went down exactly as I had anticipated, then another short break before 2 more lectures. It was following the tutorial that things started to slide a little downhill. 

I was overwhelmed and at a level of tiredness where the slightest noise, any level of brightness or having to move made me want to curl up into a ball and cry. I've been feeling very isolated and alone lately too which is unnerving. During my second break I couldn't bring myself to pick at more than popcorn while drinking copious amounts of pepsi max and water; just sat on a bench trembling. This sounds so pathetic. 

The final two lectures pushed me over my limit. The lecture theater is very noisy and I had to put my hands over my ears to at least limit the sheer volume that was hitting my brain and making me feel dizzy. I wanted to scream at the entire room to just shut the fuck up, or leave. Or both. But I couldn't because I needed to be in these lectures. So I sat there, with my hands over my ears and tears in my eyes. Counting. 

Lecture 3 touched on dopaminergic systems which instantly made me feel a rush of anxiety and almost a sense of fear. I spend my life tip-toeing around my dopamine receptors. I don't want to wake them up too much. I was staring this monster in the face and it wasn't a nice feeling. It's going to get a lot worse in a few weeks when we start our psychiatric lectures.

Lecture 4 talked about consciousness and brain death. This was a lesson in reading the lecture slides prior to attending. Coma was discussed in some detail, as well as brain death following cardiac arrest. While I'm sort-of "over" my experiences of being in a coma and the whole near-death experience thing, nothing prepared me for being lectured about the biological and medical protocol that led to the death of my friend. I don't think I've really given it too much thought before now. I knew what happened to her and I knew she didn't suffer, but to see it up on a screen in a lecture theater was just way too much and I couldn't stop thinking about her and feeling angry/upset/something I couldn't control. I couldn't get out of that room fast enough. 

It's left me quite shaken and I'm not entirely sure how to approach this. I don't even know if it's a problem that needs addressing. I absolutely do not want to be removed from this module because the content is too challenging for me to deal with psychologically. I don't want even more notes to be added to my file for lecturers to see... It's embarrassing. 

It's been a difficult week and my mind is not somewhere I want to be right now. 


  1. I'm sorry it's been a difficult week, talk with the uni support or councilling services and ask about coping skills for the difficult lectures. If it does get too hard then doubly so and talk to Disability as well. If you do need to find a different way of doing those modules or omit them then there is no shame in that. Please don't force yourself to go through them and put your mental and physical health at risk, there's no point half-killing yourself over a module, and no shame in not being able to do it. It takes a very strong person to be able to say "okay, I can't do this and I need to not do this for my own good".

    I hope it gets easier. x

  2. Thank you sweetheart. I've told my mentor and have a meeting with the my mental health adviser on Wednesday anyway so I'll see what they say. Might be a case of having some extra support during 'triggering' topics for a while. I couldn't fathom dropping this module, it's the core of what I want to do after my BSc. What I'd give to be a medic with no feelings... ;) xx


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