Feb 19, 2016
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If you had mild depression, hypomania, functional despite ADHD, coping with high base levels of anxiety or phobia, etc. is it unwise to go forward through undergrad and medical school without medication? Without any treatment at all?
 

NotASerialKiller

2+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2015
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Medical Student
If you had mild depression, hypomania, functional despite ADHD, coping with high base levels of anxiety or phobia, etc. is it unwise to go forward through undergrad and medical school without medication? Without any treatment at all?
Going without treatment? No. Going without medication? Sure, it completely depends on what you're dealing with. And even if you gave the specifics of what you're dealing with personally, people on SDN wouldn't (shouldn't) be able to tell you exactly how it has to be treated, you've got to figure that out with a therapist. For mild anxiety, maybe seeing someone periodically and finding a few techniques to calm yourself down would be sufficient. Maybe it wouldn't. We can't tell you.

edit: Changed my response slightly, I misread something
 

Crayola227

The Oncoming Storm
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
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If you had mild depression, hypomania, functional despite ADHD, coping with high base levels of anxiety or phobia, etc. is it unwise to go forward through undergrad and medical school without medication? Without any treatment at all?
Yes. It is probably unwise to go through medical school, just because it could result in your death. But that's true of any student so I don't say that I discourage you on the basis of mental health, but more on the basis I discriminate against medical school for anyone's health.

I would take all of your issues VERY serious because the combo of them and medical school really could be that dangerous.

Just consider it as carefully, and be as perpared, and check the safety equipment for doing this as you would for skydiving and jumping out of a plane.
 

studentdocftw

M4
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Apr 30, 2015
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Medical school is full of anxiety-inducing situations (day before first exam, first dissection, first encounter with patient on your own, etc.). If your anxiety is already above baseline, it would be wise to get it in control. Last thing you want is an anxiety attack or mental breakdown during a critical moment. As others have alluded to, your first step should be to establish a personal relationship with a therapist/psychiatrist, we on SDN don't have the privilege of knowing you or your unique story.
 

Boogy'sChick15

2+ Year Member
Nov 9, 2015
194
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Pre-Medical
Agree with the above ^^^. A friend of mine tried to trudge through undergrad despite the fact that he felt unstable. He wound up dropping out halfway through one quarter because it became too much for him. Turns out he had become depressed and developed a mild case of anxiety that required medication, and wasn't able to come back till the next quarter. Had he addressed it before it overwhelmed him, he probably could have avoided having that on his record. Keep in mind, that was during undergrad and not medical school. I can only imagine how difficult it would have been for him if it was medical school. Please don't take mental illnesses lightly, it can be dangerous if not properly treated.

If you are asking this question for yourself, it is probably best you bring this up to a therapist. They have been trained to give you the help that you need, whereas most of us sdners are merely premeds and med students.
 
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Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
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Yes and yes.

Med school is a furnace and I've seen it break even healthy students. the #1 reasons my school loses students to dismissal, withdrawal or LOA is due to mental health issues. Don't be a non-compliant patient. You'll have plenty of those as a doctor.





If you had mild depression, hypomania, functional despite ADHD, coping with high base levels of anxiety or phobia, etc. is it unwise to go forward through undergrad and medical school without medication? Without any treatment at all?
 
Jun 24, 2016
17
15
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided), Pre-Medical
I was struggling without treatment for my mental health during my senior year in high school and for my first 2 years in college. It has been a long and hard journey. Simple things like responding to emails or finishing easy assignments were difficult. Although I didn't drop out or lose my scholarship, I was not living up to my potential and I was not doing well mentally, emotionally, physically, etc. I recently received a proper diagnosis and have started medication that has honestly turned my life around. It's been night and day. It's so surreal because I feel as if I'm functioning like a normal person right now. Seeking treatment does not have to mean receiving medication as someone stated earlier. I've heard of people with ADD that can function well with a proper diet, daily exercise, and nutritional supplements. But please talk to a trusted healthcare provider and bring up any and all concerns or questions you may have. I don't know where I would be today if I hadn't opened up about my struggles and sought treatment.
 
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Promethean

Syncretist
5+ Year Member
Jul 2, 2014
3,366
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Why? Why on earth would you do that?

If you had one leg, would it be smart to decide not to wear a prosthetic, not to use any assistive devices, no crutches or wheelchair, just to hop along on the one leg everywhere?

Sure, you probably could. You might even do pretty well. But you'd have spent a ton of extra energy and wasted opportunities to have put that effort toward more productive activities. More likely, somewhere along the line, you'd fall flat on your face and lose everything you'd worked for. You might even hurt yourself in some permanent way that would keep you from getting back up and starting again.

Mental illness is a medical condition. Treat it. There are a range of treatment options. You don't have to take any one particular medication, or maybe any meds at all. Just do something.
 
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Mar 5, 2016
3
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I struggle everyday with questioning whether or not medical school is something I can handle. I always had moderately high anxiety, but it was only during spring finals week of freshman year that I had my first attack/breakdown. I was alone at school and had to be hospitalized for exhaustion, as I developed severe insomnia and would go days without sleep (only making my anxiety that much worse). When my panic levels just kept rising that summer, even though I was at home with my family, friends and dog - I sought out treatment. I saw a therapist biweekly, and decided I did not want to go on medication unless I absolutely had to, and therapy helped a lot. Just being able to talk to someone who is totally objective, who won't judge you but will listen to you, is an incredibly relieving feeling. As a sophomore now, I still have moments where I find myself in a panic, or feel myself begin to descend down that mental spiral into hopelessness, but I now have a lot of tools and techniques that I didn't have before. I still think medicine is a good fit for me, but I stopped pigeon-holing myself into the "MD or bust" mindset. Don't put too much pressure on yourself, and remember that you are probably in the best and most exciting time of your life right now, so don't spend every of it worrying about becoming a doctor.
 
OP
Turambar
Feb 19, 2016
79
67
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for replying, everyone. I'm sorry I didn't come back sooner, I'm struggling quite a lot but I've had a pot of tea this morning and have the need to flick at my keyboard for a bit. I've been seeing a therapist for a year now and have made progress in many ways, but I've worsened considerably in a short period of time and I plan meet with a psychiatrist to be evaluated at their recommendation. While I have reservations about being medicated, because I don't want to lose my highs, my the lows are really what made me create this thread and are ultimately my reason for seeking help. I think it is in my best interest to be open with the physician and follow his prescribed treatment as many of you have suggested.
 
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MareNostrummm

D.O. Class of 2022
2+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2015
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Given the right circumstances, anyone can be prone to mental health problems. Take care of yourself now and it will pay off later.
 
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MareNostrummm

D.O. Class of 2022
2+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2015
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Agree with the above ^^^. A friend of mine tried to trudge through undergrad despite the fact that he felt unstable. He wound up dropping out halfway through one quarter because it became too much for him. Turns out he had become depressed and developed a mild case of anxiety that required medication, and wasn't able to come back till the next quarter. Had he addressed it before it overwhelmed him, he probably could have avoided having that on his record. Keep in mind, that was during undergrad and not medical school. I can only imagine how difficult it would have been for him if it was medical school. Please don't take mental illnesses lightly, it can be dangerous if not properly treated.

If you are asking this question for yourself, it is probably best you bring this up to a therapist. They have been trained to give you the help that you need, whereas most of us sdners are merely premeds and med students.

If he sees a school psychiatrist/psychologist he could potentially have it removed from his transcript, if he proves that he was officially diagnosed.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
15,076
22,322
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Had horrible anxiety (many extremely debilitating panic attacks, etc) before I joined the Navy. You can PM me if you want (don't worry, joining the military isn't my answer!).