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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: How do i convince myself that i'm not stupid?

 rina - Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:49 pm

I had to defer from university because i was very depressed and feeling extremely low. I am going back to university in September 07 to finish my degree, but I don't know how i'll cope when i get a low grade!

In my first year i got really upset if my marks weren't great, i found it hard not to sink into a depression, got to the stage where i was not eating or drinking and thinking about suicide!

I want to get a degree, i just find it hard to except that my best isn't the very best no matter how hard i try!

The worst case senario apart from failing, is getting a third! If that did happen am i still a worth while person, surely there is more to life then good grades.

I can do a degree, passed my first yr, so i'm not completely stupid, but i feel really stupid and dim all the time and it sometimes gets to the point when i feel like i can not go on, because i feel really dim!

How do i convince myself that i'm not stupid and i can do well in life by completing my studies!

Scared becuase i do feel very low at times and have thought about leaving home, just walking out, and finding somewhere to curl up in a ball and hide on the streets! But i can't because I'm going back to university, might be working abroad this summer as well, so I have got loads of positives in my life but I feel like i just want to disappear!
 Dr. K. Eisele - Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:32 am

User avatar Rina:

I notice that you live in the UK. You used a term I'm not familiar with--

The worst case senario apart from failing, is getting a third!

At any rate, you sound overwhelmed with all those wonderful positives you mentioned, and yes, you do sound depressed. You do not sound stupid!!

You need to find a psychiatrist and/or a therapist to talk to about your feelings, so that you can figure out why you feel you need to get stellar grades all the times. I'm glad to hear that you value good grades, but a flawless academic record is not necessary for you to be successful. In the US, many employers don't even ask about grade-point average. They just want to know that the applicant did obtain a degree.

Take it easy on yourself. When you begin to think you are stupid in this kind of situation, it could become quite easy fto lose control and end up not taking advantage of available opportunities, not to mention that your expectations for yourself are not realistic.

If your best friend was generally a good student, but did not do well in a course, what would you tell her? If you're like most people, you would simply say, "it's okay, there's always next semester."

Do find a psychiatrist or therapist right away, though. It is not healthy to live with depression, and it is an easily treatable disorder;.
 Marceline F, RN - Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:45 am

User avatar Dear Rina,
I agree with Dr. Eisele, it would be of great value for you to make an appointment to see a mental health professional. It sounds like somewhere in your background, you have been given unrealistic goals and have developed both a drive to try to attain them, as well as a certain dread that you will never be good enough. You may discover that in your childhood, you were required to "measure up" to a standard that you either could never reach, or your teachers/parents/bosses never intended you to be able to reach. Sometimes people levy these expectations on other people in order to elevate their own status (even if only in their own eyes). It is always unfortunate when people step on others in order to "rise above" and to feel that they are the greater ones.
I commend your inner drive to succeed, and that you recognize that knowledge is power. I heartily encourage you to continue your education. You may wish to start by completing some studies in a local school or VoTech (vocational tech), in a topic that you enjoy, find interesting, and have perhaps already had a measure of success with. This way you can prove to yourself that you can indeed complete what you started out to do; be encouraged that you have accomplished one more step closer to university; and start to still the ugly "voices" in your head trying to convince you you are inadequate. You certainly are NOT! You are a unique individual who deserves to develop self confidence, and achieve success!
 rina - Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:24 am

Thanks Dr K Eisele,

You are right, it is not necessary to obtain high grade to become successful. I am sure there are other important qualities in a person other than just being brilliant acedemically.

I might see a therapist, thanks for the advice.

I don't know wheither it is the same in the US as it is in the UK, but when doing a degree the lowest pass mark you can achieve is a third, then a 2.2, 2.1 and a first being the highest grade. What i meant by the term (worst case senario apart from from failing is getting a third) is if I only achieve a third that is really rubbish because it is the lowest mark you can get.

Anyway thanks for the advice.

Hi Rspct4rth,

Thanks for your advice. It really hit home reading your post. I remember in childhood I always felt as though I had to achieve a certain standard and these standards were impossible to meet. All through primary school i felt stupid and a low achiever! Now I am at university and feel as though I need to prove to myself and others that I am no stupid.

I aggree it's good that I'm determined but i do find if my expectations are to high, they're impossible to meet.

Anyway thanks for the advice

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