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Anxiety and ADHD

I want to quit my grad studies after 1 day. Help!

I’m a 28yo female and have had social phobia and GAD since my late teens. I began a (second) master’s degree yesterday and, before attending my first class, I asked my husband and parents to make sure I don’t quit (because I’ve already done this once before several years ago). After class yesterday, I was very happy about my new studies and extremely excited to start. I was so excited about it all that I talked about it to everyone all evening until I started to repeat information to the same people. However, this morning, I woke up feeling as though I had completely changed my mind. Almost like I’d talked myself out of it, without even talking to myself. All day I have felt exhausted, with no energy and I’ve barely spoken to anyone. My next class is tomorrow morning and I’m really worried about going back.

I was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD last year by my doctor. She, and my psychologist, said I enjoy ‘shiny new things’ but don’t want to stick at anything. I have taken medication for anxiety in the past (nothing right now) but have never taken anything for ADHD.

I already have a master’s degree so I know I can do the work, but I have no idea why I’m feeling so miserable about it today. How could I possibly have lost interest in something that I was so excited about yesterday?!


Could it be that you have developed psychological defense mechanisms over the years?  These things did help at one time, but the circumstances have changed and they have become a hindrance. 

In my I tend to have low motivation to make an effort, because if I am just going to fail again, then not having tried in the first place protects me psychologically from the greater disappointment of trying and then failing.  Or so I think.  A therapist may have something different to say about it, but that is the conclusion I came to after much thought and self-examination.

So you may have one of these defense mechanisms under the surface affecting your behavior, which is kind of like a bad habit of thought.

Perhaps remind yourself that ths is a possibility, and then tell yourself that you are going to make a conscious decision that you are going to choose a different behavior?

Posted by mudscientist on Jan 29, 2014 at 6:16pm

Thank you mudscientist, I think you are correct.

What you said about the defence mechanism makes a lot of sense to me - it’s as though my brain is telling me to quit now before I end up getting too involved, by making friends or not being able to back out of the commitment.

I went to class today (after having a bad anxiety/panic attack this morning) but things were good. I just hope I can consciously control my feelings towards my decision, as you have said, to ensure I don’t feel overwhelmingly excited and then depressed about it in the same day again.

Thanks for helping me figure this out. I have made an appointment with my doctor to see if medication may be the best option to help control my emotions and, in turn, my decisions.

Posted by zebra61 on Jan 30, 2014 at 3:48am

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