Post # 1
First some back story I guess,
I am going to graduate in May with a Bachelors degree and Fiance is in his 3rd out of 4 year program for Electrical Engineering. He already has a 3 year diploma in Mechatronics. (Canadian equivalent to an Associates Degree here in the States.) Since he is deaf, he studies more than a normal student would, spending a lot of time reading and with tutors so he is on track with everyone else.
Lately though he has had absolutely no motivation to study. In fact, he is supposed to be studying right now, but he is instead taking a nap.
I’m sure he is quite mentally exhausted, he has been going to school for the past six years all year round, even in the summer. But Future Mother-In-Law says that he is depressed and insists that he goes and sees his doctor to get anti-depressants. (She was depressed for years and years)
I am not only hugely against anti-depressants whenever possible, I’ve known nothing but bad experiences with anti-depressants, but I honestly don’t feel that he is depressed.. I think he’s just mentally exhausted. I’m not sure how I can help, and he says that he knows he has no motivation, and he’s just tired of going to school. He’s also told me a few times that he knows this isn’t my fault at all, but since I’m graduating this May, he just wants to be done as well. Keep in mind that I’m 19, and he’s 24 so I can see where he is coming from on that front. Sometimes I joke that I should go to grad school so that he isn’t feeling that way, but I’m also exhausted from school, like him I went through the summers and overloaded on every semester to graduate early. I don’t really want to go to grad school right now. Maybe yes after a few years, but not now.
I don’t know what to do or say to help him out. I don’t mind if he goes to see his doctor, I’m just wary of the doctor putting him on anti-depressants when thats not what is going on.
Anyone have any insight? I know I didn’t really ask a question… anything would help though.
Post # 3
I think wether he is depressed or just exhausted, visiting a counselor at school (if you have them) could be helpful, they could give him advice for managing time and stress and getting through this degree. I would not recomend going to the doctor for anti depressants at all. They’re meant to be used in conjunction with therapy, but doctors are very quick to just prescribe them and send you on your way. I’m not totally against them, they can help people who have a severe chemical imbalance, but I do take issue with how and why they’re prescribed, and I think most people who are mildly depressed would benefit more from counseling or therapy than drug therapy.
ETA: I’ve been tempted by the idea of going to grad school just because my SO is likely going to be in school longer than me, but I’d really advise against taking on the expense/debt/stress of grad school unless you have really specific plans to do something with the degree. This is advice I got from current grad students who were starting to regret it a bit.
Post # 4
@miss.wiggums: When I was doing my engineering degree my housemate (also in eng) used to sleep instead of study when things got tough, eventually failing a course. The following year, she did get anti-depressants and therapy sessions but only took the pills for a short time, about 3 months before going off of them (on her doctor’s advice) and she did much better and seemed much more stable for the rest of our degree program which was another 1.5 years, and ever since then has been fine, working, etc.
Anyways, the point of this anecdote is that he may need anti-depressants, but it doesnt mean he is going to have to take them ‘forever’ or even a very long time. If he does need them at all, it will be in combination with seeing a therapist of some kind.
Regardless, he should go see his doctor, describe how he is feeling, see what they say and take it from there. Also, if you are worried about a misdiagnosis, there is nothing to say that he can’t get the opinion of more than one doctor.
Sorry that you are in a hard situation. I hope it works out.
Post # 5
Your diagnosing him before he has seen a doctor. His mom is right let the dr make the call also your experience with medication may not be his . Antidepressants have helped many people.
Post # 6
Please don’t diagnose him. He needs to see a doctor and get a proper diagnosis and help. Maybe he is anemic.. Maybe he is exhausted. Maybe he is depressed. But without tests and an examination no one can make a definitive diagnosis. Also, please don’t let your hesitation with the use of anti-depressants get in the way of encouraging your Fiance to see a doctor. In the end, that could hinder his progress towards resolution of this situation. I hope everything works out for him.
Post # 7
I didn’t mean to diagnose him, but shes so certain it frustrates me, they don’t talk very often.. maybe once a week. Wheras I talk to him everyday.
I have no issues with him seeing a doctor, like I said earlier though, I’m wary of someone just giving him pills and moving on. He’s very happy and alive when he doesn’t have to study.
It’s just frustrating to see that he can’t get studying done like he should be.
I did suggest that he should talk to his advisor or counselor to get some feedback and academic support. He took it pretty well and said he would.
Post # 8
yeah I cannot study this semester for some reason either. I’m not depressed and I’m not too tired either. I mean I am tired of school in general. I am just not interested. I like my major and everything I just do not want to focus. Nothing I can really do about it besides keep on truckin. I do my assignments on time, and getting Bs and A’s on tests. I just am not studying as hard as I should. School sucks, as long as he doesn’t start failing classes or start skipping classes he is prolly fine. I would just remind him of what his goals are, and why he is in school in the first place.
Post # 9
Don’t nag him to study. He knows he should study. If he’s exhausted all the time, have him see a doctor– maybe it’s a sickness, maybe it’s mental– either way, it’s for a doctor to determine.
Additionally, anti-depressants work for a lot of people so I wouldn’t write them off just because you’ve heard some bad anecdotes.
Post # 10
Speaking from personal experience with depression, I think I agree with the other bees that he needs to go see his doctor.
I spiralled out of control into depression along with being anemic and my fiance (now husband), his father died suddently and it just was the final straw. We went to go see the doc and took a test and spoke at length about what was going on, symptoms and options. Especially with my anemia… I was lethargic, napping for hours, going ot bed early, not enjoying anything anymore and my focus was lost completely and my work suffered.
(Also keep in mind I have also spoken to a counselor and was told I was showing “signs” of despression but she put me on a fitness regimine first and foremost… I worked out 4 times a week and didn’t improve as I was getting worse and worse.)
So yeah, with our wedding looming, and after talking with the doc, anti-depressants were the best option for me and my Fiance and we decided with our doc’s guidance to go on them, and after the 2-week period I couldn’t believe how much better I started to feel. I started to smile again, things didn’t seem so “bad” and even my paranoia or bad feelings went away and even though I still struggle with tiredness because I am anemic, they have been the best thing for me, and us! Got through the wedding stress so well!
Best part is, the doc will wean us off them starting next month with a lower dose and then after 6 months we should be able to try going off of them.
LONG STORY SHORT (sorry bees, just trying to help!)… have a doc do the deciding about what is up and I hope that somehow your Fiance gets the help he needs one way or another!
Post # 11
The 3rd year of engineering is really like year 4 of a normal program and hes done 3 years before that. Thats crazy amount of school. Honestly, I’d leave him be. Everyone gets burnt out, its stressful and tiring. Quite frankly it felt like I was always in school, in some sort of lab, using my stupid calculator or writing a report. Lunch and dinner were the highlights of my day. Having friends in the program helped completely, I hope he has friends as well.
Is he doing an internship? Maybe getting some real world experiance would boost his morale? Also I found the busier I was the better at studing I was – becuase I didn’t have any free time.
Post # 12
By The Way, some people have to stay on anti-depressants for years, if not their whole lives. Depression is sometimes a chemical imbalanace that counseling does not help.