Surviving University With PTSD

Most of the time I’ll struggle in silence because it’s easier than explaining what’s going on in my head.

Some nights I’m still awake at 4am, with 101 thoughts going through my head. Some nights I’m woken multiple times from nightmares, but both make it incredibly hard to get to a 9am lecture. Some days it’s easy to get out of bed, some days I’m hit with the memories as soon as I wake up and everything, including going to university and finishing my degree seems pointless. Some days are better than others.

Some lectures aren’t too bad, I get there, I listen, and I leave. However, lectures in a confined space, seminars and practical’s are a different kettle of fish.  For me, group work or having to interact or discuss with my peers is a massive issue. It seems daft, but everyone my age is a threat. Similarly the library and canteen are my worst nightmare, swarms of people my age, swarms of people just like him.

I’ve spoken in front of large groups before, some fairly recently, one group was nearly 200 kids, but ask me to talk or do a presentation in front of a few classmates, absolute panic.

I avoid interacting with my peers as much as physically possible. This means my social life is pretty rubbish, people my age terrify me, I don’t feel safe with them. I find I can relate to people older than me, it’s easier to trust them.

One of the symptoms of PTSD is depression, this means some days I have zero motivation, nothing matters, and nobody is important.

Obviously with university comes deadlines, meaning sometimes my grades suffer because I haven’t been able to physically write an assignment. On the other hand, assignments sometimes help by giving me focus, a much needed distraction. Other times, no matter what I try I cannot concentrate.

A lot of the time I am on edge, the smallest unusual noise panics me and it’s like my body is waiting for whatever bad thing is going to happen next. Even when I know I am safe, my body doesn’t. This constant anxiety means I struggle to eat, so I have even less energy than the small amount that I normally have.

Recently I found a little hide away spot at university, a place not many people know about, it’s quiet, which is perfect. I can concentrate there, away from everything.

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