Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

Feeling really down, just wanted to post my worries somewhere

I've only posted once before and I have so much I want to say, but right now I just need to share my problem with people who understand. To skim the surface, my situation right now is that I have applied to retake my final year of my degree due to chronic procrastination problems.

I've submitted my case and application, stating the problems I've had during my final year and how I plan to overcome it in time for the next semester. But the head of my school said that I need my GP to confirm my condition.
So, I went to see a GP last week: I told him about my problems this year and that my uni required a certificate confirming my mental problems. He seemed completely like he didn't believe me; almost like he thought i was just lazy. He said that he can't write anything until he gets a letter from the uni about my application, even though I showed him plenty of emails solely about my reapplication. 
So I decided to see another doctor today, in hope that he would be more understanding. I went in really hopeful, but instead he just passed my off again, saying that I need to get a letter. I've contacted my uni and they said that they don't normally give out letters about these things; that GP's normally just write about my condition!
I went out of the doctor's office feeling one of my lowest ever. I don't like using the word depressed, cos I think it's really severe, but I truly felt depressed for about an hour after the appointment. 
The thing that annoys me the most is that none of the GPs know anything about my condition; I haven't seen them about it before last week! So all they would really be doing is just writing down what I say!
I feel so down.... Does anybody have any wise words or advice?
p.s. my plan now is to go to my uni tomorrow and perhaps try and see what they can do for me...

You'll find someone

Just keep looking, and you'll find someone who won't just write off your problem as laziness.  Check at the school and see if they have any recommendations -- people who have worked with students who have had similar problems.

I'm in the US, so I think of a "GP" as a "general practitioner" -- a physician as opposed to a psychologist.  You might do better at finding a psychologist who will write you a letter and also help you work your way into new habits.

Like I said, check at the school and make sure you have their requirements clear.  Find the right kind of person to attest to your problem, and then spend the summer working on it.


Councellor is not enough

Hi Flexiblefine, that's reassuring advice. I guess its part of my problem as a procrastinator - when things are down, I make them even worse than they may be. After I left the office, I genuinely felt one of my lowest ever. But after having a few hours of reflection, reading advice from you guys, I feel better. 

In regards to looking for a psychologist rather than a GP, I'm already seeing the educational councellor at my university already. I've had two appointments and she has said that she will write a supporting letter, but they said it is not enough, and that if I have a medical problem then a GP would be able to diagnose it.
The actual email from my Head of School, 
"Dear Steven,


You are making a case for being allowed to retake your final year based

on medical evidence that you were and are medically unfit to study. 


If this was and is the case then a medical practitioner will be able to

explain the medical problem. Furthermore, a medical practitioner will be

able or not to certify when you are fit to return to your studies.





Depression is a medical condition

If you don't mind my asking, Steven, have you been diagnosed with depression? If you are taking medication for such a condition, you might talk to the prescribing MD. Otherwise, you may also ask your counselor to refer you to a psychiatrist.

One minor point for consideration is the fact that you probably should have already been referred for a medication evaluation by your counselor, if your depression is severe enough to interfere with your day-to-day functioning, which it sounds like it is. If you have discussed your inability to function with your counselor, you might point this out to the school administrator, letting him know that you have had this issue for some time and your counselor did not offer to refer you for further treatment (a potential liability issue for them that might emphasize the seriousness of your situation).

I would highly suggest being seen by a psychiatrist, whether your counselor refers you to one or not. Mood-instability can cause a number of symptoms, such as sleep disturbance, inability to concentrate, and ambivalence, which would make it very difficult to focus on your schoolwork. If you have had difficulty making yourself get out of bed or taking a shower/getting ready for the day--you may have clinical depression or another type of mood disorder. A psychiatrist would be able to diagnose you and provide documentation of you psychiatric medical condition.

No I haven't been diagnosed

No I haven't been diagnosed with depression. Like I said, I think depression is a very strong word and I wouldn't like to use it lightly; like an excuse. I don't know if I'm depressed or not but I'm definitely a chronic procrastinator, and as a result, this year I have experienced recurring bouts of extremely low moods, each normally lasting at least a week. I have also experience recurring sleep distubance over the last year; essentially I've been sleeping every other day. And yes, I've had the worst academic year ever. I'm usually an A grade student and I've always been successful academically but this year I've failed my degree. The only major point I'd like to mention at the moment is that I've also gained about 3 stones this academic year, mainly from confort eating.

I have been feeling like this for about 1.5 academic years but I didnt seek help until recently, after I realised that I have completely failed my final year, and thus my degree. I've seen a counselor 5 times already and at no time have they mention a psychiatrist. I have another 5 appointments other the summer, aiming towards a full recovery. I wouldn't know the first place to start looking for a psychiatrist, and would probably need one that wouldn't charge given my financial situation. However, even if I do get a psychiatrist I'm scared that it will be too late for me if I want to retake my degree....

Like I said, after my intial GP meeting, he requested that I give him some kind of written request from my university before he even considers writing a medical note for me.

So I went to see my Head of School today to simply write a simple request for me to give to my GP but instead I recieved more bad news. He said that he found it hard to understand why my GP simply won't write me a note, that GPs are used to writing medical notes for employers. I said that the counselor I have been seeing has written an accompanying note to go with my application. He countered it by saying that the UNIVERSITY RECOMMENDED counselor that I have been seeing is not "medically qualified enough" and that only a GP's letter will do.

He then added that since it was a mental problem and that I didn't see my GP until late, a GP would simply be relaying what I would be saying in written form and so I might find it hard to find a GP that would do this.Another piece of major bad news is that he revealed, for the first time, that my application for retake was actually submitted too late, for technical reasons! But for the sake of things, he is willing to "entertain the notion of a retake".

His whole demeanour thoughout our converstaion though suggested to me that my chances of a retake are slim at best. The only good (relative) news was towards the end of the conversation, when he said that he will have a quick chat with my GP about what the university requires.

I can only hope that somehow:

1) the head of school takes pity and convinces the GP to write a medical note for me.
2) the GP writes a good enough medical note that the University Admissions Comittee will understand
3) that somehow this is all done quick enough for me to retake my final year again starting the September coming up.

My hopes are slowly draining away, and I'm running out of ideas of things that I could do. If I don't have my degree, not only will I have waited 3 years of my life (take into account that I got 70%+ marks in my first two years) I will find it much harder to find a job....

I don't know.. I just don't know.

Another twist - this time for the good!

Hallelujah, I've got the GP's letter!

If you remember, I was waiting for my GP to call my Head of School to have a chat about my application. Well the GP didn't call in the end for whatever reason. So I decided to book another appointment to see another GP, a Dr Brown, who was wonderfully understanding - he agreed with me that it was "ridiculous that they will accept a GP's letter even though he hasn't seen me rather than their own Counselors!"

He understood my problem and wrote me a corresponding letter along with a good luck for my application.

I've handed it all in now, and in about 3 weeks time I will get the decision. Still have long odds to overcome (remember this is a late application), but i hope....

Congratulations and good luck!

Congratulations on getting the note -- now you've jumped through all their hoops!

Now you have to work on your part: building new habits so procrastination and other problems don't get in the way of future studies.  You can do it, but it's something you will have to start on each day in order to keep building momentum and making progress.

And if you don't like the term "depression," you might prefer "dysthymia," which is one that was used for me long ago.


Dysthymia defintiion

Dysthymia sounds about right - "persistent mild depression". Thanks for introducing the term.

I've got several appointments with the Educational Counselor over the summer; I've had 3 already and they've been useful. She (women are naturally more understanding than men about things like this) doesn't give direct advice; instead her intention is to try and get me to explore myself, and thus understand why I am the way that I am.

I've already started to try and battle my habits; especially perfectionism, which is the biggest one for me.

Although naturally apprehensive, I'm looking forward to the journey and hopefully the outcome.

Keep it up!

Exploration and introspection can be useful habits.  You might get some benefit out of writing in a journal, which can help get your thoughts out of your head and into a place where you can look at them from new angles.

And now that you have a name for your symptom, you can track down approaches to work on it, too. 


Good Luck!

::jawdrop:: I thought that at least where you are ppl are more progressive when it comes to those things. Over here it seems so embarrassing to even tell ppl or have anyone know you have depression or any mental illness etc. Also many GP attitudes to mental health esp if one were to say ,"I suffer from procrastination (as an example)   :rolleyes: are very poor.  :-? Usually procrastination was considered a form of laziness or just a cycle of time binging of tasks.

Glad that GP was kind enough to just write you a note Smile and the decision will be a good one. If ok to ask what degree are you working on?

Over where Chronic TB? I'm

Over where Chronic TB?

I'm like you Chronic TB, I don't trust my 'friends' enough to tell them about my condition. Like you, I'm afraid that they'll just think its laziness. Luckily, I have a girlfriend who is understanding like no other person could be, and I have an outlet through her. If you can, confide in someone who you truly love or trust....

Yes, I am lucky to have seen a good GP. Although, he was only slightly more understanding than the first GP - he seemed to not think of it as a serious condition, more as a passing by. I don't have any evidence of this, as he didn't say the words, but it was just his demeanour whilst talking to me...

I'm taking a Computer Science Degree, which I personally think is probably the subject most likely to bring out procrastination, due to the perfectionistic nature of activities like programming. Are u on a degree?

glad things are going your way!

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.