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Crayola227

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OP -
One of my very best friends in the world suffered from very very crippling anxiety, social and otherwise, and was morbidly obese. I was one of her few IRL friends from junior high.

I have had plenty of mental health struggles myself. I still made it to residency, although I question if it was worth it, but that has less to do with my ability to cope (eg because I did and finished) and more to do with the way medicine is.

Anyway, my friend didn't get help for many many years. She did eventually and has a good career, relationships with family and new friends, and lost a lot of weight most importantly by taking great care of herself, walked off the weight (seriously, just walking, too heavy/knee problems to do more vigorous) and eating a healthy diet (not extreme, just healthy).

You can get better and do this. Sounds trite, but really.

There are separate issues here. If you were having no struggles at all and had a perfect app for med school, I would still caution you not to go / think extra twice about it, explore other careers and medicine more fully.

*You don't have to give up on med school over this*
but regardless should seek help, and consider other careers, just cuz.

As far as your app goes, what has happened can be repaired, it does not mean you cannot get in somewhere despite what has happened. However, that does not mean you should continue to struggle and dig this hole of grades / what not deeper.

I don't know what your finances are re: school and getting help.

I would take time from school or take the least and easiest clases you can that you can do well or may even help you (if you must maintain enrollment for financial reasons). Psychology, sociology, physical education classes (great way to get credit and work out, often Pass/No pass, it OK to have pass/no pass in some classes for med school), health studies, nutrition, stuff like that maybe? Just don't continue to damage your GPA. Better to have a gap and come back strong to explain to adcom than to keep on with grades like this.

You can do some easy extracurriculars to fill in time. Physician shadowing doesn't require much of you besides showing up. I've shadowed psychiatrists, you could contact some directly, or if there's a med school nearby look up what psych's are affiliated with the school and contact them. Shadowing psychs isn't in high demand by pre-meds because it's not as sexy as surgery or other fields whatevs, so they are often thrilled a student wants to shadow (if patients allow, you have to sign confidentiality papers and ask patient permission) and you'll just sit and listen. Psychs spend so much time listening they love to yak given half the chance. So you just show up, put a smile on, ask a few questions, and that's it. You can get a good letter, it looks great to adcom to have this experience and appear psychologically saavy to mental health issues, and you can actually learn a lot to help yourself too. You can also shadow some 12 step programs too. Volunteering. There's volunteer stuff that's pretty low on effort. You can even look on craigslist.

Study groups are a good thing. Cheap campus events even by yourself can get you out and lift your spirits (or skip that if going alone just makes you sadder.) Meetup groups online. A lot of lonely people go there to connect. There are anxiety support groups even.

Speaking 12 Step groups, research some. Google Adult Children of Alocoholics/Dysfunctional families and see if that fits, or Overeater Anonymous (don't know if that fits you), Codependents Anonymous, and online is a website SEA (self esteem anonymous) with great info. If there's a 12 Step group that may apply to you, take the plunge and go. You don't have to talk at these meetings, you can just listen, but it can really help, it's an accepting bunch, a lot of people who will understand and reach out to you if you identify with any of these groups and if they're close by. Some of these groups offer tele groups if no group meets near you. Groups are essentially free, they suggest a donation at each group but it's optional and small like $2-4 per meeting.

I had to look up strategies to make friends when I left high school, because college just doesn't put you with people depending where you live (I can't assume you're in a dorm). There's co-ops, getting a roommate situation.

Go early to class and sit next to someone there and say hi and introduce yourself. Ask what they think of ___ assignment or teacher. When there's opportunity, think of something to compliment someone in the grocery store on.
"I like your earrings. Where did you get them?" "I like that comment you made in class." It seems odd, dumb, forced to your socially anxious brain, but people will either not say much or be excited to talk to you. Little interactions, like complimenting strangers, will make you feel better, I promise. You'll learn how to talk to people again.

So if after a bit of bull**** banter with someone, look at the movies that are currently out, and pick one you think is popular or this person will like, and ask if they want to go. This was how I made my first friends in college. I chatted with them about the class, and then asked about a a movie. I figured the worst they would say was no, and no to a movie I can rationalize as not being personal.

These are just ideas and tips that have worked for me when I was in similar shoes.

GAD responds better to therapy than meds, so don't get too discouraged at this point. You *can* get better.

Feel free to PM me.
 

Affiche

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Thank you for posting this.
OP -
One of my very best friends in the world suffered from very very crippling anxiety, social and otherwise, and was morbidly obese. I was one of her few IRL friends from junior high.

I have had plenty of mental health struggles myself. I still made it to residency, although I question if it was worth it, but that has less to do with my ability to cope (eg because I did and finished) and more to do with the way medicine is.

Anyway, my friend didn't get help for many many years. She did eventually and has a good career, relationships with family and new friends, and lost a lot of weight most importantly by taking great care of herself, walked off the weight (seriously, just walking, too heavy/knee problems to do more vigorous) and eating a healthy diet (not extreme, just healthy).

You can get better and do this. Sounds trite, but really.

There are separate issues here. If you were having no struggles at all and had a perfect app for med school, I would still caution you not to go / think extra twice about it, explore other careers and medicine more fully.

*You don't have to give up on med school over this*
but regardless should seek help, and consider other careers, just cuz.

As far as your app goes, what has happened can be repaired, it does not mean you cannot get in somewhere despite what has happened. However, that does not mean you should continue to struggle and dig this hole of grades / what not deeper.

I don't know what your finances are re: school and getting help.

I would take time from school or take the least and easiest clases you can that you can do well or may even help you (if you must maintain enrollment for financial reasons). Psychology, sociology, physical education classes (great way to get credit and work out, often Pass/No pass, it OK to have pass/no pass in some classes for med school), health studies, nutrition, stuff like that maybe? Just don't continue to damage your GPA. Better to have a gap and come back strong to explain to adcom than to keep on with grades like this.

You can do some easy extracurriculars to fill in time. Physician shadowing doesn't require much of you besides showing up. I've shadowed psychiatrists, you could contact some directly, or if there's a med school nearby look up what psych's are affiliated with the school and contact them. Shadowing psychs isn't in high demand by pre-meds because it's not as sexy as surgery or other fields whatevs, so they are often thrilled a student wants to shadow (if patients allow, you have to sign confidentiality papers and ask patient permission) and you'll just sit and listen. Psychs spend so much time listening they love to yak given half the chance. So you just show up, put a smile on, ask a few questions, and that's it. You can get a good letter, it looks great to adcom to have this experience and appear psychologically saavy to mental health issues, and you can actually learn a lot to help yourself too. You can also shadow some 12 step programs too. Volunteering. There's volunteer stuff that's pretty low on effort. You can even look on craigslist.

Study groups are a good thing. Cheap campus events even by yourself can get you out and lift your spirits (or skip that if going alone just makes you sadder.) Meetup groups online. A lot of lonely people go there to connect. There are anxiety support groups even.

Speaking 12 Step groups, research some. Google Adult Children of Alocoholics/Dysfunctional families and see if that fits, or Overeater Anonymous (don't know if that fits you), Codependents Anonymous, and online is a website SEA (self esteem anonymous) with great info. If there's a 12 Step group that may apply to you, take the plunge and go. You don't have to talk at these meetings, you can just listen, but it can really help, it's an accepting bunch, a lot of people who will understand and reach out to you if you identify with any of these groups and if they're close by. Some of these groups offer tele groups if no group meets near you. Groups are essentially free, they suggest a donation at each group but it's optional and small like $2-4 per meeting.

I had to look up strategies to make friends when I left high school, because college just doesn't put you with people depending where you live (I can't assume you're in a dorm). There's co-ops, getting a roommate situation.

Go early to class and sit next to someone there and say hi and introduce yourself. Ask what they think of ___ assignment or teacher. When there's opportunity, think of something to compliment someone in the grocery store on.
"I like your earrings. Where did you get them?" "I like that comment you made in class." It seems odd, dumb, forced to your socially anxious brain, but people will either not say much or be excited to talk to you. Little interactions, like complimenting strangers, will make you feel better, I promise. You'll learn how to talk to people again.

So if after a bit of bull**** banter with someone, look at the movies that are currently out, and pick one you think is popular or this person will like, and ask if they want to go. This was how I made my first friends in college. I chatted with them about the class, and then asked about a a movie. I figured the worst they would say was no, and no to a movie I can rationalize as not being personal.

These are just ideas and tips that have worked for me when I was in similar shoes.

GAD responds better to therapy than meds, so don't get too discouraged at this point. You *can* get better.

Feel free to PM me.
 

md-2020

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If you look at his post's, you can see that @md-2020 comments with a lot of certainty on WAMC and other boards, as if he is an adcom or inside the admissions process and not just another premed kid. I've yet to see his legitimacy as an authority figure on these matters and it's hubristic assertions like this that do a huge disservice to this community and the people reading his advice.
Christ, looking at his comment history sickens me. He's not even accepted to med school lol. Let's get this straight: he gives advice on topics that he's not an authority figure on and he passes judgment on people's mental states? Textbook god complex at its finest.
Way to make it a personal attack on me. If you must know, I post with certainty b/c I am more certain than your typical pre-med user.

Both of my parents are/were adcoms and through them I have read many med school apps & attended numerous in-house adcom seminars over the years. Even when I wasn't planning on pursuing this field, I've always been curious as to the type of people the profession attracts.

Since circumstances have dictated that medicine will be the path for me, I've applied much of what I had seen in both accepted and rejected applicants into my own pursuits and application.
God-complex? I guess I hear something new every day. Sorry I don't word things reverently enough for you.

This will be my last post in this thread, I'm sorry that some of you took offense to my post.
 
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The irony: md-2020 complaining when people attack him based on his post history, when he did the exact same thing to me in a previous thread of mine. That's karma for you.

Yes, because those with anxiety and depression never get a handle on it. Give me a break.

The lack of education on very common mental health issues here is absolutely mind blowing.
What I find mind blowing is the misconception that depression/anxiety have anything to do with grades. I've been depressed, undoubtedly more so than the OP. My grades didn't slip at all during this period. The only times I received poor grades, were when I attempted courses that I was not cut out for (such as history or art). Far too often, I've seen people delude themselves into thinking their poor performance is due to "mental conditions," when in reality, they'd have performed just as poorly without said conditions. The OP noted that: "I can't retake classes if I'm just going to do badly." That's a very valid concern IMO.
 
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The irony: md-2020 complaining when people attack him based on his post history, when he did the exact same thing to me in a previous thread of mine. That's karma for you.



What I find mind blowing is the misconception that depression/anxiety have anything to do with grades. I've been depressed, undoubtedly more so than the OP. My grades didn't slip at all during this period. The only times I received poor grades, were when I attempted courses that I was not cut out for (such as history or art). Far too often, I've seen people delude themselves into thinking their poor performance is due to "mental conditions," when in reality, they'd have performed just as poorly without said conditions. The OP noted that: "I can't retake classes if I'm just going to do badly." That's a very valid concern IMO.
  • Mental health issues have a lot of to with your school performance. Depression will lead to apathy, and anxiety will make it difficult to study.
  • Generalizing your incident is not appropriate. You are one person not a thousand.
  • Mental health disorders are very, very chronic. It is possible one may suffer from dysthymia which went undiagnosed and unnoticed. This leads to my first point, so your statement is unfair to make.
 

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Way to make it a personal attack on me. If you must know, I post with certainty b/c I am more certain than your typical pre-med user.

Both of my parents are/were adcoms and through them I have read many med school apps & attended numerous in-house adcom seminars over the years. Even when I wasn't planning on pursuing this field, I've always been curious as to the type of people the profession attracts.

Since circumstances have dictated that medicine will be the path for me, I've applied much of what I had seen in both accepted and rejected applicants into my own pursuits and application.
God-complex? I guess I hear something new every day. Sorry I don't word things reverently enough for you.

This will be my last post in this thread, I'm sorry that some of you took offense to my post.
Do you like apples???
 
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lalex

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Hey guys, I'm still reading the replies but wanted to say, I don't not have friends because I'm a sociopath or have terrible social anxiety. My anxiety centers around constant thoughts of what I have to do (studying/laundry/etc), so going out and having fun? Nah, instead I stay in my dorm planning to do work.

I openly shout to the professor in 100+ lecture rooms, I laugh and joke around all the time, and I'm sure no one in my classes would assume I struggle with things as much as I do with how happy I always seem.

I absolutely agree with the weight gain. I just ordered too much take out. :) Also, I'm almost 6 foot tall, 30 lbs gained me 2 pant sizes. I love working out and tracking macros, but again, it takes time and my anxiety centers around not having enough time.

I will not go to medical school 30+ lbs overweight and not knowing how to balance my time.

I just don't know where to go from here.
 

Pusheen

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Just by seeing your posts I know we come from fairly similar backgrounds. I can't stand the overprivileged smart***s with the mommy and daddy in high places who come on here like they know the world and are all that.
People who actually deal with and overcome stuff like social issues, financial problems, mental health issues, and lack of a support system will get farther in the long run imo.
 

Pusheen

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Hey guys, I'm still reading the replies but wanted to say, I don't not have friends because I'm a sociopath or have terrible social anxiety. My anxiety centers around constant thoughts of what I have to do (studying/laundry/etc), so going out and having fun? Nah, instead I stay in my dorm planning to do work.

I openly shout to the professor in 100+ lecture rooms, I laugh and joke around all the time, and I'm sure no one in my classes would assume I struggle with things as much as I do with how happy I always seem.

I absolutely agree with the weight gain. I just ordered too much take out. :) Also, I'm almost 6 foot tall, 30 lbs gained me 2 pant sizes. I love working out and tracking macros, but again, it takes time and my anxiety centers around not having enough time.

I will not go to medical school 30+ lbs overweight and not knowing how to balance my time.

I just don't know where to go from here.
You're fine. Plenty of people deal with these things and overcome them. Poke around here for useful information , I know this website has been super helpful to me as a pre-med.
 

md-2020

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Just by seeing your posts I know we come from fairly similar backgrounds. I can't stand the overprivileged smart***s with the mommy and daddy in high places who come on here like they know the world and are all that.
People who actually deal with and overcome stuff like social issues, financial problems, mental health issues, and lack of a support system will get farther in the long run imo.
Ok I lied about being done with this thread, I need to respond to this.

Just because I have exposure to a certain field/profession through my family makes me "the overprivileged smarta** with the mommy and daddy in high places?"

You have no right to categorically assert that I have not been through just as many difficulties and hardships as any other pre-med applicant. That would be both inaccurate and presumptuous.
 
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Pusheen

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Ok I lied about being done with this thread, I need to respond to this.

Just because I have exposure to a certain field/profession through my family makes me "the overprivileged smarta** with the mommy and daddy in high places?"

You have no right to categorically assert that I have not been through just as many difficulties and hardships as any other pre-med applicant. That would be both inaccurate and presumptuous.
I'm sorry, but that's exactly how you presented yourself in the post explaining why you are more confident.

If you have been through such difficulties, you would not make careless and ignorant remarks about anxiety, overeating, and social problems (that are very common I might add). Alternatively, even if you did not have troubles, you could acknowledge that you are lucky to be in such a position and have more compassion and understanding for those who do.
We don't have to fight about it, I am just explaining why people are reacting so violently to this and why this attitude in general bothers me.
 
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md-2020

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I'm sorry, but that's exactly how you presented yourself in the post explaining why you are more confident.

If you have been through such difficulties, you would not make careless and ignorant remarks about anxiety, overeating, and social problems (that are very common I might add). Alternatively, even if you did not have troubles, you could acknowledge that you are lucky to be in such a position and have more compassion and understanding for those who do.
We don't have to fight about it, I am just explaining why people are reacting so violently to this and why this attitude in general bothers me.
My post was a direct response to people questioning why I word things with confidence on SDN, not an attempt to show off my family swag or something.


Personal struggles come in all different shapes and sizes. Just because I have not experienced overeating does not mean I have not faced many other challenges, some of which have forced me to sit down and reconsider my entire "life plan." You know how that feels? Really, really, sh***y. Imagine being told right now that you have no chance at medicine and multiply that by x1000 and we're approaching the state I was in not too long ago.

Tell me that's a first world problem, because it sure didn't feel like one.
 

Pusheen

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My post was a direct response to people questioning why I word things with confidence on SDN, not an attempt to show off my family swag or something. It is like you saying you know alot about, say


Personal struggles come in all different shapes and sizes. Just because I have not experienced overeating does not mean I have not faced many other challenges, some of which have forced me to sit down and reconsider my entire "life plan." You know how that feels? Really, really, sh***y. Imagine being told right now that you have no chance at medicine and multiply that by x1000 and we're approaching the state I was in not too long ago.

Tell me that's a first world problem, because it sure didn't feel like one.
Look, all we can go by is by the things you have said. I'm telling you why those things bother myself and others. That combined with the fact that you touted your background as something that gives you more credibility. From this, it is inferred that you think you can make these judgements on the OP based on your background, which frankly doesn't come off too well.

Maybe this is not an accurate reflection of your character and intentions, but that is how it came across through the internet. Maybe I was a little harsh, but we're all just going based off of what we see here.
 

md-2020

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Look, all we can go by is by the things you have said. I'm telling you why those things bother myself and others. That combined with the fact that you touted your background as something that gives you more credibility. From this, it is inferred that you think you can make these judgements on the OP based on your background, which frankly doesn't come off too well.

Maybe this is not an accurate reflection of your character and intentions, but that is how it came across through the internet. Maybe I was a little harsh, but we're all just going based off of what we see here.
I was intending it solely as a response to the "god complex" post but I understand your point.
 
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HarryH00d

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Edit:

I take comfort in the fact that Adcoms/screeners/paid reviewers will easily be able to connect the dots on this one too.
 
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What's even more pathetic is being an online social justice warrior and teaming up to mock someone for giving their honest opinion.

@rachiie01 Ok, you disagree with him, what's the purpose of insulting him? Are you that mad? Get over yourself...

@lalex I'm guessing you came on this board for genuine advice, not for false positive reinforcement. There is a golden question you have to ask yourself; how badly do you want to be a physician? If you are truly passionate about being in healthcare and believe you would be happy doing this as a profession, then by all means try and fix your mental problems first and go for it. If you're not, I suggest you turn towards another career path. It's not that being in medical school is stressful, but so can being a doctor, you're in charge of people's lives and well-being. There are solid careers out there that aren't as mentally taxing.
Do people have any idea how ridiculous they sound when they pull the "SJW" card?

"butthurt"? what are you, 12?
 
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It only gets harder, ESPECIALLY time management and anxiety.

A successful med student is:

1. Smart
2. Good test taker
3. Good social skills
4. Hard worker
5. Good coping skills

You don't need all 5, but prob at least 3.

There is no shame in realizing now that medicine may not be the best fit for you.

If that motivates you to prove me wrong--great. Otherwise I agree with everyone else to work on you first, then (maybe) consider med school.
 

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The pre-___ threads never cease to entertain...

As if getting a PhD or Masters is "easy." It's hard and I commend students who pursue it, in a way, more than people who pursue medicine.

I think a lot of people don't realize how stressful college can be for some people. OP realized this and decided to get help. That's more than a lot of people (especially pre-meds) are willing to do.

In a way, being pre-med is more stressful for some people than medical school because they have to fight thousands of applicants for a seat and they have to come up with back up plans if they don't get in.
Change "some" to "almost no one" and you'd be correct. Pre-med was a joke compared to med school, even with the stress of trying to get accepted. Just because college is stressful doesn't mean it compares to med school, just like med school doesn't compare to residency. I'd also argue that a master's is easier than med school. Although both a master's and PhD are a totally different type of 'difficult' than med school.

Hey guys, I'm still reading the replies but wanted to say, I don't not have friends because I'm a sociopath or have terrible social anxiety. My anxiety centers around constant thoughts of what I have to do (studying/laundry/etc), so going out and having fun? Nah, instead I stay in my dorm planning to do work.

I openly shout to the professor in 100+ lecture rooms, I laugh and joke around all the time, and I'm sure no one in my classes would assume I struggle with things as much as I do with how happy I always seem.

I absolutely agree with the weight gain. I just ordered too much take out. :) Also, I'm almost 6 foot tall, 30 lbs gained me 2 pant sizes. I love working out and tracking macros, but again, it takes time and my anxiety centers around not having enough time.

I will not go to medical school 30+ lbs overweight and not knowing how to balance my time.

I just don't know where to go from here.
Crayola gave a great response, but I'll add my .02.

The first step is to seek real, likely professional, help. If you're struggling this much with undergrad, med school would likely crush you. I'm not saying that to be mean or because you have GAD, I'd say the same to anyone with your stats applying. Either way, I would never recommend that anyone with an unresolved/uncontrolled/unmanaged mental issue enter medical school. I say this as someone who sees our school's counselor on a semi-regular basis and as someone who has seen mentally stable individuals completely break down under the pressure. So I'd put any hopes/plans of med school on the side-burner until you're confident that you can successfully manage your condition under excessive levels of stress.

Once you've got that going, you've gotta fix your grades. They're way too low, even for many DO schools. Figure out if you can do some grade replacement for AACOMAS, and do a little research on post-bac programs and SMPs. Med schools in general are far more forgiving of a low GPA if you've got a master's with a 3.75+ GPA attached to your application. Plus, by doing one you'd be able to gauge whether you're ready or even capable of handling med-school level classes. If you realize it's not for you, then it'll be easier to drop or just finish the year out and move on with your life.

I'd also consider looking into other fields/careers as a back-up. Not because you can't make it or because you should give up, but just because you should always have some sort of back-up plan no matter what you're doing. Besides, you may end up finding some other job that you're more passionate about.

The last thing I'd advise is to get out there and do some clinical volunteering or shadowing if you haven't already. Med school is different than what most people expect it to be, and actually working in healthcare is incredibly different than most people without experience expect it to be. There's a reason that so many physicians end up wishing they'd taken a different route, and a big part of it is unrealized expectations. This is, once again, advice I'd give any pre-med as everyone should be certain that medicine is what they really want to do before they even apply to med school.

Good luck with everything, and feel free to pm or ask whatever you want.

Do people have any idea how ridiculous they sound when they pull the "SJW" card?

"butthurt"? what are you, 12?
Well, you did stumble into the pre-allo forum...
 
Oct 22, 2014
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@Stagg737 I'm not trying to say medical school isn't stressful, but you can't say that being pre-med isn't stressful. If it was a cake walk, there wouldn't be pre-meds on here desperate to know what their chances were of getting in or post a thread as soon as something potentially ruining their chances of admissions happened.

I see your point when I said being pre-med is more stressful. From experience, I've seen more people freaked out as premeds than they were in medical school. Almost all of the doctors and students I've talked to talk more negatively about their pre-med experiences than they do about medical school, especially in regards to stress. However, I realize that my experiences don't speak for the general population.

Do you have a Master's and/or PhD? If so, I will understand your point to a certain extent. If not, you can't just say they're easier. I've seen people work their butts off trying to finish their master's or PhD and they work just as hard as a med student to earn that degree. I know someone who was getting their master's and their roommates were in medical school and they basically had this discussion because the med school roommates didn't believe a master's degree was all that difficult to obtain, but it was challenging for the person who had been an excellent student.
 
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OP -
One of my very best friends in the world suffered from very very crippling anxiety, social and otherwise, and was morbidly obese. I was one of her few IRL friends from junior high.

I have had plenty of mental health struggles myself. I still made it to residency, although I question if it was worth it, but that has less to do with my ability to cope (eg because I did and finished) and more to do with the way medicine is.

Anyway, my friend didn't get help for many many years. She did eventually and has a good career, relationships with family and new friends, and lost a lot of weight most importantly by taking great care of herself, walked off the weight (seriously, just walking, too heavy/knee problems to do more vigorous) and eating a healthy diet (not extreme, just healthy).

You can get better and do this. Sounds trite, but really.

There are separate issues here. If you were having no struggles at all and had a perfect app for med school, I would still caution you not to go / think extra twice about it, explore other careers and medicine more fully.

*You don't have to give up on med school over this*
but regardless should seek help, and consider other careers, just cuz.

As far as your app goes, what has happened can be repaired, it does not mean you cannot get in somewhere despite what has happened. However, that does not mean you should continue to struggle and dig this hole of grades / what not deeper.

I don't know what your finances are re: school and getting help.

I would take time from school or take the least and easiest clases you can that you can do well or may even help you (if you must maintain enrollment for financial reasons). Psychology, sociology, physical education classes (great way to get credit and work out, often Pass/No pass, it OK to have pass/no pass in some classes for med school), health studies, nutrition, stuff like that maybe? Just don't continue to damage your GPA. Better to have a gap and come back strong to explain to adcom than to keep on with grades like this.

You can do some easy extracurriculars to fill in time. Physician shadowing doesn't require much of you besides showing up. I've shadowed psychiatrists, you could contact some directly, or if there's a med school nearby look up what psych's are affiliated with the school and contact them. Shadowing psychs isn't in high demand by pre-meds because it's not as sexy as surgery or other fields whatevs, so they are often thrilled a student wants to shadow (if patients allow, you have to sign confidentiality papers and ask patient permission) and you'll just sit and listen. Psychs spend so much time listening they love to yak given half the chance. So you just show up, put a smile on, ask a few questions, and that's it. You can get a good letter, it looks great to adcom to have this experience and appear psychologically saavy to mental health issues, and you can actually learn a lot to help yourself too. You can also shadow some 12 step programs too. Volunteering. There's volunteer stuff that's pretty low on effort. You can even look on craigslist.

Study groups are a good thing. Cheap campus events even by yourself can get you out and lift your spirits (or skip that if going alone just makes you sadder.) Meetup groups online. A lot of lonely people go there to connect. There are anxiety support groups even.

Speaking 12 Step groups, research some. Google Adult Children of Alocoholics/Dysfunctional families and see if that fits, or Overeater Anonymous (don't know if that fits you), Codependents Anonymous, and online is a website SEA (self esteem anonymous) with great info. If there's a 12 Step group that may apply to you, take the plunge and go. You don't have to talk at these meetings, you can just listen, but it can really help, it's an accepting bunch, a lot of people who will understand and reach out to you if you identify with any of these groups and if they're close by. Some of these groups offer tele groups if no group meets near you. Groups are essentially free, they suggest a donation at each group but it's optional and small like $2-4 per meeting.

I had to look up strategies to make friends when I left high school, because college just doesn't put you with people depending where you live (I can't assume you're in a dorm). There's co-ops, getting a roommate situation.

Go early to class and sit next to someone there and say hi and introduce yourself. Ask what they think of ___ assignment or teacher. When there's opportunity, think of something to compliment someone in the grocery store on.
"I like your earrings. Where did you get them?" "I like that comment you made in class." It seems odd, dumb, forced to your socially anxious brain, but people will either not say much or be excited to talk to you. Little interactions, like complimenting strangers, will make you feel better, I promise. You'll learn how to talk to people again.

So if after a bit of bull**** banter with someone, look at the movies that are currently out, and pick one you think is popular or this person will like, and ask if they want to go. This was how I made my first friends in college. I chatted with them about the class, and then asked about a a movie. I figured the worst they would say was no, and no to a movie I can rationalize as not being personal.

These are just ideas and tips that have worked for me when I was in similar shoes.

GAD responds better to therapy than meds, so don't get too discouraged at this point. You *can* get better.

Feel free to PM me.
Thank you for your post, it was very helpful. I am looking into meetings for adult children of alcoholics. I also did get a referral for a psychologist and need to get the ball rolling.

I am pretty terrible at starting conversations. All of my high school friends were made by them starting conversations but this is definitely a goal of mine for my last year.

My ECS are pretty terrible, but I do volunteer in a hospital and plan on starting to volunteer with animals (lowers my anxiety).

My biggest regret is not switching to an easier major before getting better. Unfortunately, I have to graduate with a Bio major but only have upper levels left which are easier from my experience. If I drop any of those classes, which I did all the time in my 3 years, I won't graduate and that terrifies me.
 

hopefulERdoc251

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How exactly am I acting like a doctor? Those are social issues, not medical.

@rachiie01 many many students do not gain significant weight in college, but that wasn't my main point. It's quite difficult to not make any friends in undergrad; in fact, most people (yes, even those with GAD) have to intentionally seclude themselves to achieve this.

I am in way being derogatory to the OP but seriously, can we please admit that having trouble building any relationships in a very social environment (any UG campus) and significant weight gain are concerning--much more so than a 3.0+ GPA? The way some of you are phrasing it, the OP seems to have no issues at all, which even he/she knows not to be the case.
"most people (yes, even those with GAD) have to intentionally seclude themselves to achieve this."- as somebody who works in an Emergency Room where people come in for the sole reason that they are having anxiety attacks, live a day, actually, even half an hour in their shoes.


lol kiddo, I pray to whatever higher order there is that you do not treat your patients like that. You are coming off as an arrogant judgemental prick. There is legitimately zero reason to be derogatory to somebody who is genuinely suffering from a condition like that. Depending on what campus you go to, it can be very much high school-esque. I went to a small liberal arts college where you had a ton of cliques and unless you were part of a sports team or social fraternity, it was near impossible to make a ton of friends. Understand the context before you begin acting like a moron.


Moreover, OP, yes your mental health is an absolute priority. There are multiple ways to help with this, support groups, ect. Find a hobby that you're passionate about and run with it and never look back. Before undergrad, I weighed 210, unhealthy, ate fast food multiple times per week, had lots of other associated issues with that including anxiety and felt like poop. The gym was my refuge from life, you came in with all your problems, you left with none of them. Believe me when I say once those domino's start falling into place, other things including your academics will fall with you. PM me if you have any questions, I'd be more than willing to help out.
 

Stagg737

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@Stagg737 I'm not trying to say medical school isn't stressful, but you can't say that being pre-med isn't stressful. If it was a cake walk, there wouldn't be pre-meds on here desperate to know what their chances were of getting in or post a thread as soon as something potentially ruining their chances of admissions happened.

I see your point when I said being pre-med is more stressful. From experience, I've seen more people freaked out as premeds than they were in medical school. Almost all of the doctors and students I've talked to talk more negatively about their pre-med experiences than they do about medical school, especially in regards to stress. However, I realize that my experiences don't speak for the general population.

Do you have a Master's and/or PhD? If so, I will understand your point to a certain extent. If not, you can't just say they're easier. I've seen people work their butts off trying to finish their master's or PhD and they work just as hard as a med student to earn that degree. I know someone who was getting their master's and their roommates were in medical school and they basically had this discussion because the med school roommates didn't believe a master's degree was all that difficult to obtain, but it was challenging for the person who had been an excellent student.
Depends on where you go to school and what you do as a pre-med. My experience was an extremely easy one, but I was also a relatively poor student in undergrad. I'd say that as a pre-med, you have about 1 year of actual real stress. That starts halfway through junior year when one typically starts looking at/studying the MCAT until the time one is accepted (usually Nov.-Feb. of senior year). Yes, there is some added stress from the idea of not getting accepted, but I think that is largely due to the immaturity and neuroticism of a lot of pre-meds which is self-inflicted more than anything. Medical school is literally 4 years of busting your ass with very few breaks and multiple factors that can make or break pretty much every aspect of your career. Is it some impossibly difficult challenge that some med students make it out to be? No, but I can honestly say that it's the hardest thing I've done in my academic/working life.

I have a master's degree in cell and molecular biology, so I also have experience with that comparison. I'd say getting my master's was far easier than doing well in medical school. However, that's just my opinion. As I said, pursuing a master's or PhD vs. an MD/DO degree are two completely different endeavors. In terms of volume of information one must learn, med school is hands down far more difficult. You also have to have a much wider breadth of knowledge to succeed in medical school, even if you plan on entering a very specific sub-specialty. The other side of the coin is the fact that volume of material/time to learn it is the only thing that I think makes med school difficult as all of the concepts we have learned have been relatively easy to grasp. I honestly can't think of any career that is as hard in terms of the volume one must learn other than possibly law.

A PhD on the other hand, requires one to learn a hyper-specialized subject, analyze it, come up with a novel method to push that knowledge past what is currently known, and design an experiment that can effectively test their hypothesis. In terms of critical thinking and application, I think the PhD route would be tougher. Plus, the cherry on top is that a PhD student can spend literally years conducting research that is fruitless. A girl in the lab I worked in spent 3.5 years conducting her experiment only to find that the results showed absolutely no correlation whatsoever in terms of what she was testing. This was after she had to restart her experiment a year into the project because she realized some of her methods didn't account for the proper variables. So she essentially spent almost 5 years of her life on a project where the results showed nothing of great value. She was the perfect example of why I could never take that route because that would probably devastate me. The big advantage with the PhD is that you can pretty much pick and choose what you want to learn instead of having to learn a plethora of information you may never need to know.
 
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How exactly am I acting like a doctor? Those are social issues, not medical.

@rachiie01 many many students do not gain significant weight in college, but that wasn't my main point. It's quite difficult to not make any friends in undergrad; in fact, most people (yes, even those with GAD) have to intentionally seclude themselves to achieve this.

I am in way being derogatory to the OP but seriously, can we please admit that having trouble building any relationships in a very social environment (any UG campus) and significant weight gain are concerning--much more so than a 3.0+ GPA? The way some of you are phrasing it, the OP seems to have no issues at all, which even he/she knows not to be the case.
The problem with your post is that you stated the issue is a permanent and damning one and attributed it to an inherent personality flaw. OP already identified that the weight gain and lack of friends is an issue. FYI: people who are overweight and lack friends know that they are overweight and lack friends, they don't need you to rub their noses in it. The lack of compassion in your first post is alarming.

Lots of people have trouble making friends in college. College is stressful. For many people, it's the first time they're away from the support system they've had their entire lives. People cope differently and are perfectly capable of overcoming this hurdle and leading completely successful lives.

No one here is saying that the OP isn't working through some issues, we just disagree with you that they're as damning as your first post projects.
ill give a typical SDN response to this: @MD-2020: you are incapable of showing compassion and therefore you will never be a doctor because the only people who are successful in this industry are selfless individuals who operate on a purely altruistic level. those are the only kind of people we want as doctors. the harsh dose of reality you gave that kid was way over the line and you'll probably end up going to a caribbean school.

everyone here gets butthurt over the lamest stuff. your comment wasn't out of line, it was perfectly acceptable, and sometimes people need to truth told to them in a blunt manner.
 
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pyrrion89

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Many, if not most, medical students have or have had a mental illness at some point. And most of them do just fine. I hope you realize your GAD can be treated and managed if you seek out the right help. Having GAD doesn't mean you're not med student material. Best of luck to you.
 

mcatjelly

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Chiming in as another "the lack of education on mental health issues in this thread is disheartening".

OP, I also struggled mightily with anxiety and depression throughout the first two years of college. My self-esteem was so low that I didn't believe I was deserving of friends, so despite living on a campus of 20,000+ people that should supposedly make it near-impossible for me to NOT make any friends, I really did only make one "friend" during that time. And I felt so crappy 90% of the time that sitting down to study felt torturous. My grades were more than fine, but I attribute that mostly to my effective cramming skills.

I will say, though, that you're going to have to make serious changes to your life (which you know) if you are committed to medical school. Therapy is an absolute must, and I specifically recommend someone who does a behavioral therapy (ACT or CBT) if possible. You also need to get yourself involved in an EC that makes you feel good about yourself. Interacting with animals is a good first step, but one where you can interact with like-minded people is even better.

For example, towards the end of my sophomore year I got involved in a campus mental health advocacy organization that totally changed my life and allowed me to surround myself with people who 1) cared about the same things I did, 2) had experienced things similar to what I had, and 3) were thus incredibly supportive of me. I went from virtually no friends and major anxiety about talking in groups of people to acquiring a solid group of friends that I remain in contact with one year post-graduation and becoming president of this org which required me to speak to large groups of people. Best thing I've ever done for myself.

I really wish you the best of luck, OP. <3
 

Affiche

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ill give a typical SDN response to this: @MD-2020: you are incapable of showing compassion and therefore you will never be a doctor because the only people who are successful in this industry are selfless individuals who operate on a purely altruistic level. those are the only kind of people we want as doctors. the harsh dose of reality you gave that kid was way over the line and you'll probably end up going to a caribbean school.

everyone here gets butthurt over the lamest stuff. your comment wasn't out of line, it was perfectly acceptable, and sometimes people need to truth told to them in a blunt manner.
I hope you didn't quote me because you think your comment summarizes my post. If so, your inference skills are deplorable! :laugh:

- I never said he was incapable of showing compassion, just that one post lacked it.
- I never said anything about his ability to become a doctor.
- that first post of his was not a ''harsh dose of reality'', it served no purpose other than to harm and you'd have to be illiterate not to see that.

This forum definitely gives insight as to why adcoms love non-traditional students. The immaturity, lack of experiences (and thus lack of empathy), and arrogance of some of the kids here is ridiculous.
 
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Crayola227

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Hey guys, I'm still reading the replies but wanted to say, I don't not have friends because I'm a sociopath or have terrible social anxiety. My anxiety centers around constant thoughts of what I have to do (studying/laundry/etc), so going out and having fun? Nah, instead I stay in my dorm planning to do work.

I openly shout to the professor in 100+ lecture rooms, I laugh and joke around all the time, and I'm sure no one in my classes would assume I struggle with things as much as I do with how happy I always seem.

I absolutely agree with the weight gain. I just ordered too much take out. :) Also, I'm almost 6 foot tall, 30 lbs gained me 2 pant sizes. I love working out and tracking macros, but again, it takes time and my anxiety centers around not having enough time.

I will not go to medical school 30+ lbs overweight and not knowing how to balance my time.

I just don't know where to go from here.
So some of my advice didn't apply. It helps though because other people lurkers will see ideas if social anxiety is their thing.

I'm glad you'll check out the ACA organization. Really. It's a lot about feeling overwhelmed, anxious, trying to hide that, exerting more and more control to try to combat the anxiety about being out of control, and just feeling more so. It doesn't fit everyone but I think for anyone mentioning what you have it's worth reading the website and going to at least one meeting.

PM me with anything.
 
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Affiche

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Just by seeing your posts I know we come from fairly similar backgrounds. I can't stand the overprivileged smart***s with the mommy and daddy in high places who come on here like they know the world and are all that.
People who actually deal with and overcome stuff like social issues, financial problems, mental health issues, and lack of a support system will get farther in the long run imo.
My parents' credentials are not my own. I don't know why this is so difficult for some kids to understand.
 

nverqrui

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I'm like 90% sure that @md-2020 is delusional. There's no way somebody would insultingly criticize someone with DIAGNOSED GAD and think that they're doing the right thing lol. Then again, he did have a nice sheltered childhood, so maybe his mindset is just that deranged.

For anyone who just got to this thread, be wary of md-2020, Meeehai, and genericpremedstudent. They seemed to have formed their own little gang which promotes and defends insulting mental illness.
 

HarryH00d

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What you're doing is against the rules. Trying to out personal information on members, even if the information is available to whoever searches, is against the TOS.

I'd advise you to delete your post. (I'll delete this too after you do.)
That's a little uncalled for..
Relax. Click his MDApps ID. I was merely suggesting that people do some research before buying into everything MD2020 claims he's done. It's very simple. Did I suggest posting said information on SDN?...No.
 
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md-2020

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Relax. Click his MDApps ID. I was merely suggesting that people do some research before buying into everything MD2020 claims he's done. It's very simple. Did I suggest posting said information on SDN?...No.
I haven't claimed to have "done" anything in this thread.

I made a detailed mdapps at the request of many other SDN users, and in the hope that people will find it useful in the future as reference....not so you can cyberstalk me.

Regardless of your opinion on my posts in this thread I don't appreciate anyone trying to figure out my real identity.

@nverqrui I get it, you hate me, but know that it is completely presumptuous on your part to assume I had a "sheltered...deranged childhood" based on my posts in this thread.
 
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HarryH00d

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I haven't claimed to have "done" anything in this thread.

I made a detailed mdapps at the request of many other SDN users, and in the hope that people will find it useful in the future as reference....not so you can cyberstalk me.

Regardless of your opinion on my posts in this thread I don't appreciate anyone trying to figure out my real identity.

@nverqrui I get it, you hate me, but know that it is completely presumptuous on your part to assume I had a "sheltered...deranged childhood" based on my posts in this thread.
Yah, OK Chief.
 

Affiche

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I haven't claimed to have "done" anything in this thread.
If you must know, I post with certainty b/c I am more certain than your typical pre-med user.

Both of my parents are/were adcoms and through them I have read many med school apps & attended numerous in-house adcom seminars over the years. Since circumstances have dictated that medicine will be the path for me, I've applied much of what I had seen in both accepted and rejected applicants into my own pursuits and application.
 
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I hope you didn't quote me because you think your comment summarizes my post. If so, your inference skills are deplorable! :laugh:

- I never said he was incapable of showing compassion, just that one post lacked it.
- I never said anything about his ability to become a doctor.
- that first post of his was not a ''harsh dose of reality'', it served no purpose other than to harm and you'd have to be illiterate not to see that.

This forum definitely gives insight as to why adcoms love non-traditional students. The immaturity, lack of experiences (and thus lack of empathy), and arrogance of some of the kids here is ridiculous.
The satire was clearly lost on you. I'll take it as a compliment that you think I'm younger than I am, though (29 to be exact)
 

Affiche

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The satire was clearly lost on you. I'll take it as a compliment that you think I'm younger than I am, though (29 to be exact)
Erm...do you know what satire is? Your post wasn't satirical, it drew blatantly incorrect extrapolations lol.
And I'm not sure a 29 year old being perceived as a 21 year old can ever be complimentary :rofl:
Alas, you have yet to contribute anything of value to this thread, so I'll refrain from trying to discuss with you further.
 
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Erm...do you know what satire is? Your post wasn't satirical, it drew blatantly incorrect extrapolations lol.
And I'm not sure a 29 year old being perceived as a 21 year old can ever be complimentary :rofl:
Alas, you have yet to contribute anything of value to this thread, so I'll refrain from trying to discuss with you further.
my post
----------
your head
 

Lawper

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OP -
One of my very best friends in the world suffered from very very crippling anxiety, social and otherwise, and was morbidly obese. I was one of her few IRL friends from junior high.

I have had plenty of mental health struggles myself. I still made it to residency, although I question if it was worth it, but that has less to do with my ability to cope (eg because I did and finished) and more to do with the way medicine is.

Anyway, my friend didn't get help for many many years. She did eventually and has a good career, relationships with family and new friends, and lost a lot of weight most importantly by taking great care of herself, walked off the weight (seriously, just walking, too heavy/knee problems to do more vigorous) and eating a healthy diet (not extreme, just healthy).

You can get better and do this. Sounds trite, but really.

There are separate issues here. If you were having no struggles at all and had a perfect app for med school, I would still caution you not to go / think extra twice about it, explore other careers and medicine more fully.

*You don't have to give up on med school over this*
but regardless should seek help, and consider other careers, just cuz.

As far as your app goes, what has happened can be repaired, it does not mean you cannot get in somewhere despite what has happened. However, that does not mean you should continue to struggle and dig this hole of grades / what not deeper.

I don't know what your finances are re: school and getting help.

I would take time from school or take the least and easiest clases you can that you can do well or may even help you (if you must maintain enrollment for financial reasons). Psychology, sociology, physical education classes (great way to get credit and work out, often Pass/No pass, it OK to have pass/no pass in some classes for med school), health studies, nutrition, stuff like that maybe? Just don't continue to damage your GPA. Better to have a gap and come back strong to explain to adcom than to keep on with grades like this.

You can do some easy extracurriculars to fill in time. Physician shadowing doesn't require much of you besides showing up. I've shadowed psychiatrists, you could contact some directly, or if there's a med school nearby look up what psych's are affiliated with the school and contact them. Shadowing psychs isn't in high demand by pre-meds because it's not as sexy as surgery or other fields whatevs, so they are often thrilled a student wants to shadow (if patients allow, you have to sign confidentiality papers and ask patient permission) and you'll just sit and listen. Psychs spend so much time listening they love to yak given half the chance. So you just show up, put a smile on, ask a few questions, and that's it. You can get a good letter, it looks great to adcom to have this experience and appear psychologically saavy to mental health issues, and you can actually learn a lot to help yourself too. You can also shadow some 12 step programs too. Volunteering. There's volunteer stuff that's pretty low on effort. You can even look on craigslist.

Study groups are a good thing. Cheap campus events even by yourself can get you out and lift your spirits (or skip that if going alone just makes you sadder.) Meetup groups online. A lot of lonely people go there to connect. There are anxiety support groups even.

Speaking 12 Step groups, research some. Google Adult Children of Alocoholics/Dysfunctional families and see if that fits, or Overeater Anonymous (don't know if that fits you), Codependents Anonymous, and online is a website SEA (self esteem anonymous) with great info. If there's a 12 Step group that may apply to you, take the plunge and go. You don't have to talk at these meetings, you can just listen, but it can really help, it's an accepting bunch, a lot of people who will understand and reach out to you if you identify with any of these groups and if they're close by. Some of these groups offer tele groups if no group meets near you. Groups are essentially free, they suggest a donation at each group but it's optional and small like $2-4 per meeting.

I had to look up strategies to make friends when I left high school, because college just doesn't put you with people depending where you live (I can't assume you're in a dorm). There's co-ops, getting a roommate situation.

Go early to class and sit next to someone there and say hi and introduce yourself. Ask what they think of ___ assignment or teacher. When there's opportunity, think of something to compliment someone in the grocery store on.
"I like your earrings. Where did you get them?" "I like that comment you made in class." It seems odd, dumb, forced to your socially anxious brain, but people will either not say much or be excited to talk to you. Little interactions, like complimenting strangers, will make you feel better, I promise. You'll learn how to talk to people again.

So if after a bit of bull**** banter with someone, look at the movies that are currently out, and pick one you think is popular or this person will like, and ask if they want to go. This was how I made my first friends in college. I chatted with them about the class, and then asked about a a movie. I figured the worst they would say was no, and no to a movie I can rationalize as not being personal.

These are just ideas and tips that have worked for me when I was in similar shoes.

GAD responds better to therapy than meds, so don't get too discouraged at this point. You *can* get better.

Feel free to PM me.
A bit long but excellent post.
 
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Affiche

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Holy crap, look at @genericpremedstudent post history. He gets into an argument with virtually everyone he meets. What's that one saying? "If you run into a jerk in the morning, you ran into a jerk. If you run into jerks all day, you're the jerk".
It's worse than I thought it could be! He comes on here, argues with everyone incoherently, then acts like he's above other people because his arguments are called out as garbage. In every. single. post.
 
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Lawper

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It's worse than I thought it could be! He comes on here, argues with everyone incoherently, then acts like he's above other people because his arguments are called out as garbage. In every. single. post.
I sense the ban hammer coming very soon!
I'll call @Goro over then. He loves to hear the sound of the banhammer in action. :naughty::naughty:
 

Goro

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All of you, chill!
 

sharkbyte

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Is it just me or is there a constant cycle of anywhere from 1-3 users at a time on Pre-Allo starting arguments and being disrespectful, then they get banned, and after a little while a new group comes up? Lol. I still remember the havoc wreaked by the Real SVB a few months back
 
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