I am 20 years old. My problem is that I am feeling really bad lately. I have always been an academic student until recently. Just this year I started doing very badly. It started off with me just being lazy at first but then it got worse. At the start I was feeling overwhelmed with work and just wanted an out (I was studying for my MCATs and there was a lot of stuff so, I felt overwhelmed). So I ended up watching shows on youtube and the "to do list" just kept getting longer and longer. Then I felt even more anxious but kept pushing work off and kept escaping back into watching shows.
It got to the point where I was not confident enough to write the test so I pushed the date further away with the intention of having more time to study. But then I would return to watching shows again.
It started with me being lazy again and then, as I became more anxious, I watched shows to escape until the last few weeks. Then I panicked. My elder sister helped me through by coming over to study with me every few days. It was only with her there that I was able to focus again, but it wasn't easy to get me to focus. Every time she'd come to help I'd feel resistant inside. I'd feel like I did not want her to come and I did not want to start because it was too hard to focus. But once I focused I was okay. But as soon as she left my focus left and I'd return to watching shows.
I took the MCATs and did well in 3/4 of the sections. School started again but my behavior didn't change. I kept postponing things with the thought that I have time to spare. Then, I was to anxious to start. I found it hard to start assignments or to start studying.
Once I began to study I really did put effort into it. I ended up doing things at the last minute. I would do them the night before or a few hours before the due date. It seemed like the only times I was able to get focused was when I was scared and knew that I had to hand something in. Once I got focused I did put the effort into my work.
Now its been a year and I'm still doing the same thing. I always start with the intention of doing the work, find it hard to focus, end up pushing it to the last possible moment, then get scared enough to force myself to focus and begin.
I can focus though when my sister helps me and makes me work. My grades have dropped significantly but mainly due to tests than to assignments because I can't focus on studying. Maybe I've lost the will to study. I would just like to have your opinion on this because I am feeling distressed and can't really talk to anyone.
Any reply would be much appreciated. Thank you.
THE ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION WILL NOT BE DISPLAYED UNTIL YOU HAVE INDICATED YOUR AGREEMENT WITH THE DISCLAIMER PRINTED JUST BELOW. CLICK THE 'I AGREE' BUTTON TO AGREE TO THESE TERMS AND SEE THE RESPONSE.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.