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Insomnia

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by PittMedicine, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. PittMedicine

    PittMedicine Membership Revoked
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    I understand the stresses to get good GPA and good MCAT and the sleep lost by the average, typical pre-med student. Sometimes, it goes overboard, and this is sometimes called "pre-med" syndrome. I don't care about strictly maintaining straight As, and I'm not a book worm whatsoever (never have been really)-I have excellent ECs.

    For some reason, I have trouble sleeping at night. Some nights, I NEVER fall asleep-my eyelids just shut to let them rest. I am constantly anxious about the future, and not just for medical school admissions purposes, but for what I'm going to be once I get accepted (assuming I get in somehwere).

    I never thought about it when I was little. I'm not sure if its b/c I'm hitting 21 years old and beginning to see the bigger picture, but I constantly ask myself what this is all for-the satisfaction and luxury of an economically stable job?...thats not it. Decades/Centuries from now, my name will be but a dust particle in the wind. I want to do something special-not for myself-but for humanity.

    But, I'm scared, b/c I fear a limited potential in my intellectual capacity to do something special. I think about this every night. When I die, I want to know that I did something for humanity-whether it was developing some surgical technique that enhances skin graft macthing or something else (doesn't have to change the world).

    Do I just need to take a break or something at let my emotions reside? B/c the more I ponder this-the more I'll end up at the same dilemma that fooled even Aristotle-purpose of life?
     
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  3. DropkickMurphy

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    I suggest finding a hobby that takes your mind off of school related issues. Personally I took up building clocks as a hobby back when I was an EMT as a way to unwind (no pun intended) because it required me to focus on something other than work. Fishing, hunting, camping and stormchasing are all other relatively relaxing activities that I endorse and participate in. Perhaps one of these or something else well get your mind off of the stresses in your life.

    Another suggestion that often works well is getting some exercise- even if it's just getting out and taking a 30 minute walk through a park or your neighborhood. It certainly can't hurt and it might just do the trick. I do recommend using sleeping medications as a last resort because they can cause all sorts of other problems (from dependency to memory problems). I hope this helps.....
     
  4. gossmer

    gossmer Senior Member
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    This is all normal pre-med angst. Everyone has gone through it to some degree or another. I suspect it will pass once you get into school.

    In the meantime, why don't you talk to your doctor about something to help you sleep? Speaking from personal experience, there are drugs you can take that will let you sleep without leaving you hungover in the morning. It's not a longterm solution, but it could help you break the cycle of sleep deprivation caused by stress causing more stress and sleep deprivation.
     
  5. astrife

    astrife Senior Member
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    This is too philosophical for me. You know the reason you want to be a try so hard, and are always anxious about the future? It's because within your genes as a human male you are programmed biologically and psychologicaly to attain a high status/lots of resources. In today's world your mind has honed in on the MD profession as your way of accomplishing this. And the only reason this is programmed into you is because your species is trying to attract a female and engage in a pair-bond relationship to ensure offspring development.

    Aside from this... life is what you make of it. What I bet will happen though is you will burn out from this for a little while, and then take up the status gaining mindset again sometime in the future.
     
  6. queenalex

    queenalex Junior Member
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    Sometimes, the biggest (and often the most realistic) impact one can have is to those around them. That means being a good friend, a good doctor, a good parent,etc.
     
  7. drmota

    drmota 2K Member
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    i was just about to comment similarly to this. it sounds like you're coming to terms with reality, the meaning of life etc... and maybe disappointed with what you're finding. I dont know thats just a guess. But the best way to go about your life is to just immerse yourself in the moment and the process of living. You reminded me of that John Lennon quote about how life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. You gotta focus on the day to day life that you lead and come to realize that you're one of the 6+ billion people on the earth. If you're gonna make an impact to benefit all of humanity, awesome. But that won't happen for years down the line most likely. so just focus on the now and spend more time with your friends having a good time. life's too short to worry.
    -mota
     
  8. queenalex

    queenalex Junior Member
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    Right, and one can't plan to make a huge impact on humanity. Lots of people intend to do it by finding a cure or inventing something, but few actually accomplish it. Then there are those who unintentionally make a huge impact on humanity without the wish to ever do so. One can, however, plan to make impacts in his or her own personal lives and accomplish them. It's kind of like investing. Do you gamble big or play it safe?
     
  9. MDCali

    MDCali Senior Member
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    Excellent advice! Seriously, live in the moment. It takes work not to keep thinking about things in the future, but it's possible. The best advice is to live in the moment. As another person posted, finding a proactive activity (like clock making, hiking, or whatever) will help put yourself in the moment. Your brain never shuts down, so try slowing it down by immersing yourself in the moment. That will make it easier for you to sleep. One good way to practice being in the moment is to eat a fruit extremely slowly and savor every flavor. I think it's a buddhist practice. Hope that helps a little!
     

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