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Confused, directionless...

I'm in my early 20's and I am a uni student, I just moved out of home to student accomodation and I happen to have schizophrenia, although not many people know about that. I am studying a double degree and can't decide what to do with my life. I am doing arts and science, and sometimes I feel like my mind can't focus enough or grasp complex situations that arise in my science classes. I've had this trouble for a couple of years now since I had a major psychotic episode in 2011. I feel like a failure if I drop the science component of my degree, it's something I am doing just to prove to those around me that I can actually do it. I don't know what to do for a job, I feel trapped at uni, like I am just wasting time. I don't know if I should drop out, it's something I have been asking myself since I first started uni last year. On the other hand, I had to leave my casual job because I kept making mistakes and had trouble remembering simple tasks because of my transient psychotic symptoms that arise due to my schizophrenia.



I had to move out because my parents are divorced and I felt pressured to be 'an adult'. I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years but he is still not ready to move in with me, so that's how I ended up in student accomodation. I feel confused, directionless, and like there is no joy in my life at uni. I guess I can't see a future for myself anymore. People keep telling me at the end of my degree I should become a high school teacher, but I don't feel like my mind can handle the pressure because I still have schizophrenic symptoms although I try and hide them from everyone except from my mum and boyfriend.


I don't know what to do with my life...I know this is something a lot of young people go through, but it feels so bad and I feel like my options are limited because of my mental health issues.


Thanks for reading this.

Re: Confused, directionless...

Hey @annedert

Have you considered seeing a GP or someone else about your schizophrenia?
It's okay to drop a component of your degree. If you feel that you cannot cope with that component then go for it. Do you enjoy science? Perhaps you can keep it up for enjoyment and that in the future something may come of it. Same with with the arts. If you are doing it because you enjoy it, then keep it up. You'll find that once you leave uni, there will be more opportunities out there waiting for you.

Have you told your boyfriend about your feelings? Does he offer support for you?

I think that seeking professional help might be worth it. You can find online services from the yellow link at the top right of the page or through other means but also face-to-face services through uni, if your uni has counseling services, I'm not 100% sure on that, or through a GP.
Having a professional at your side can help your mind deal with the pressures of the symptoms.

You are strong and brave. Like you said, this is something that a lot of young people go through and they've made it through, just like you will. Have patience and remember to believe in yourself and anything is possible.


Re: Confused, directionless...

Hey @annedert - you're right in that this is something a lot of people go through, and not just young people! I know lots of adults who still don't know what they want to do as a career, and even more who decided on one thing and later switched to something else. That's perfectly ok, nobody has to know with absolute certainty what they want to do straight away! Starting a double degree was an incredible achievement and you are not a failure if you decided to change paths and alter your courses. There is a lot of unneccessary pressure we place on ourselves to be 'success stories' - especially when we have additional hurdles to overcome.

Does your university have an on-campus conselling service? That might be a good place to start. You can discuss your options with them and find our what opportunities are available for you.

Re: Confused, directionless...

hey @annedert how are you going?

YES! lotsssss of people go through this and I wonder if people put too much pressure on having just one career or professional aim in life? I have a lot of friends who dont have one set direction and they have a load of fun because they seem to be really open to anything, they learn a lot and end up doing such a variety of cool things, I sometimes envy them


ElleBelle is right, getting accepted into, and getting this far in a double degree is crazy good! You should be proud of that already

If you arent enjoying the science component dont be afraid to drop it or switch it to something else. While you may be trying to prove to people you can do it, i suppose you are the one that has to do it.. is it worth having a less than great time for other peoples sake?


Do you have a doctor/counsellor/therapist/ someone you see about your schizophrenia? Have you sussed out the uni facilities that you could use to help you like counsellors and stuff? They are nice and close now you live on campus! They might be able to help you out and if your uni has a careers department they could possibly help tee up a new casual job  if youd like to work again


Does your boyfriend currently live out of home too? Maybe he is worried about moving out in general not just moving in with you ?


Re: Confused, directionless...

Hey @annedert 

Thanks for sharing your emotions and story with us on RO! Sorry that you have to deal with so much, uni can be so full on optop of that you are dealing with schizophrenia. Your strength and determination to make it as far as you have is amazing never forget that. I would also recommend seeing your career counsellor at uni to get an idea of what you want to do and strive to get there. If you want to drop a component of the degree because you feel you don't need it then don't be afraid to, if you're 110% sure of it then do it to ease your stress levels. Also seeing your gp is a good idea they can offer you support.

Your boyfriend moving in with you could be a very good thing for you but if isn't ready for it give him time, there is no rush. You seem to have a good relationship and you don't want to push him the wrong way. You said you don't hide your symptoms from your mother, she seems to be an important firgure in your life  don't be afraid to reach out to her i'm sure she would do anything she can to help, as any mother would. 


Stay strong

Re: Confused, directionless...

Hey @annedert

I agree with what everyone has said here and I just wanted to say how strong you are and even though things might look difficult or limited right now, things can change.

Take some time out and have some time for yourself to figure out what you love doing and what you enjoy. Don't live your life to try and prove anything to anyone or try and be something for someone else. Be who you want to be.

We are here to support you and I just hope this helps.

Take care Smiley Happy
**Believe in the power of you because you are your own hero**

Re: Confused, directionless...

Hey @annedert
Thanks for posting. I just want to say you aren't giving your self enough credit... moving out of home and uni is so HARD!!

Uni is a really tricky one, you are at uni for four years to get a job at the end of it. But at the same time is like well I'm doing alll this study for a job that i don't know that i actually want! So i get that ! The best thing for me was to talk to as many career officers as possible or even a psychologist. Have you spoken to your current MH carer? maybe they can suggest somewhere to go? OR if not try your local headsapce
They can put you in touch with some really great services

Re: Confused, directionless...

Hi everyone,


Thanks so much for replying, I really, really apreciate it!


I have talked to my psychatrist about all of this but I find he is not very helpful, he tells me that I will get a better job if I get a degree. Which I know is most likely true, but it doesn't make me feel any better going through the motions in a degree I don't like and am not even halfway through yet. I have also spoken to an early intervention centre for young people with psychosis in my area, but I didn't find them to be very helpful either, I found that they didn't really listen to me and never returned my calls. I guess I have had bad experience with mental health professionals and that's another reason why I feel so stuck, because I feel like there is no where to turn.


My boyfriend listens to me but he still lives at home and is very comfortable there and is loving his degree, so he can't relate, and he just tells me that everything is fine and to stop worrying... Smiley Sad


I have spoken to a career advisor last year, and they just handed me pamphlets about the different jobs I can get at the end of my degree...Maybe I should visit them again? I dunno... Smiley Sad


I just feel so stressed and down and confused. I don't have anyone to talk to, I don't have any friends as I am very shy and I feel like I am drowning.


Thanks again everyone for taking the time to reply, it means so much to me <3


Re: Confused, directionless...

Hey @annedert, sorry that your psychiatrist doesn't sound very supportive. They should be helping you feel more mentally healthy, not making judgement about your career path!


Most unis have a counselling service for their students as well as career advisory stuff, have to tried having a chat to them about your confusion? Plenty of students don't know what they want to do at he end of their degree and a lot of uni counselling services are very used to helping people deal with that, is that something you would want to give a try?  

Re: Confused, directionless...

Hey @annedert,

I really agree with @Chessca_H  - both the wellness counsellors and the careeers counsellors at your uni should be able to give you some helpful support and advice to make your study decisions easier. I'm sorry to hear that you haven't had great success getting support from the other helpers you mentioned. Although it can be a pain, it's worth "shopping around" til you find one that you click with and who you feel is listening to you and giving you decent information.  I hope you find a good counsellor soon. Smiley Happy