Burnout causes me to not be able to do anything. Yet I'm forced to do so

Hey y’all

So, I’m going through a whole healing process. Last year at the end of the year I had a complete mental breakdown. I didn’t go to school for a while. Then I decided to work extremely hard to get through to the third year. I succeeded. However, my plan was to do that, then take a year off, and then start in the 3rd year. Or else I would have to do the second year over. I’m at college btw. I’m someone who studies well and I’m generally a straight A student. Even with a mental breakdown I got good grades working that hard. I had to do like 16 tests and 23 projects. I have one project left over which is the biggest one. Except for that, I finished them all succesfully. I’m proud of that. BUT. I knew I was not gonna be ready to go to the next schoolyear immediately. Hence why I wanted to take that year off. The thing is, even though I’m 18 (in my country that means you’re an adult), my parents REFUSED to let me have a year off. My therapist agreed with me. I for once in my life wanted to listen to my body. FOR ONCE. Something I NEVER do (bad habit. I know. Shhh). Then I proceed to listen to my body once, and exactly that’s when I get FORCED to not listen to my body and instead exhaust it. I barely had a summer break because I had to run internship during summer break due to the fact that I didn’t have enough hours (I couldn’t run 5 days a week. Bc of that I didn’t have enough hours). My therapist is very afraid that I’m not able to go to school fully. And I agree. But yet I have to run full schooldays. LONG schooldays. I have schooldays from 8.30 in the morning till 5.00 in the afternoon. No lessons off. Only 3 small breaks. I have 2 days a week off now. But then I have to work on my homework bc after a schoolday like that I can’t do a thing anymore. Then here is the thing that worries me: I can’t get anything done.

This is besides the fact that I have ADHD. The fact that I have ADHD just makes it worse. I can’t get a single thing done. If we have to work at school, I can’t work. I can’t do it. I try to focus. I try to work on things. An hour later I’m still at the very same spot. Maybe I made 2 lines of progress. Even without getting distracted or doing something else in that whole hour. I can’t get it done. I know that that’s because of my exhausted mind and body. But it worries me. It’s gonna give me a bunch of trouble. And I don’t mind doing this year over. But I need a friggin break and I’m not allowed to get one. I’m someone who’s really good at hiding how tired I actually am. So no one knows exactly how tired I am. My parents tell me all the time: Show some perceverance kid. You can pull through. Well yeah, the problem is: I’ve been doing that and more for the past YEAR. There’s a point where my body can’t anymore. And I’m really dang close to that point. It’s only a matter of time before a second mental breakdown comes out. I know it. It won’t last long.

Do you guys have any tips? I’m a foster child and my parents have threatened me that, if I don’t continue school, I have to move out of the house. Then they won’t be my foster parents anymore. So, I’m scared to pull through and tell them that I need a break. I feel like I just should let that next mental breakdown come and tell them: See this is why I wanted a year off. I NEED it. I knew it darn well. I knew it all. I can feel that. Maybe then they’ll listen. My therapist completely agrees with me. But my parents won’t even listen to her. So yeah, idk what to do. What would you guys do? Plz help me?

First of all, speaking as an objective outsider, it’s clear from this post that you work extremely hard, full stop no matter what the circumstances are, so congratulations.

Secondly, as someone who has experienced burnout and DIDN’T take time off, I can tell you that mentally, physically and academicaly I ended up pretty much where I would be if I had taken it off. Despite what people tell you there’s no rush, and barring actual academic/welfare recipient constraints, you can take as long as you see fit to do something - doesn’t make you any less than.

Finally, the prospect of being kicked out if you dont do this is an extremely scary red flag to me. My biological parents have been disappointed in me for sure, but threats of denying me a roof to live under were never on the table. I don’t have a solution for that but I’m so sorry it’s a factor in this for you.

Yeah my brain knows 2 speeds: Working hard no matter what and doing completely nothing. There’s no in between for me. It’s almost Always on working hard no matter what. When it’s on doing completely nothing, it’s not a good sign most of the times. So yeah…

I want to redo the 3rd year if necessary. That’s no problem for me. I do as much as I can. It’s just frustrating that I can’t do anything. I don’t even have the energy to do any of my hobbies and passions. And that tells something. I’d do ANYTHING for that. Even more so then school. But I just can’t. I even kinda lost the passion for it. And that makes me really sad.

Yeah, my parents have Always been super supportive. This is the first time we had this big of a disagreement. School goes before mental health for them apperantely. We never have disagreements. Never. So yeah this is new to me. And I’m scared

I suppose no matter what everyone else around you decides, it might be helpful for you to focus on every small victory no matter how small because everything is twice as hard when your burnt out and it’s that much more amazing that you can do it at all.

Sending you lots of love and good vibes :pensive::gift_heart:

Thank you very much :heart::heart:

This sounds like a really tough situation, and I’m sorry you’re going through it. I relate to the “on or off” brain situation. I’m very similar. I’m either trying to do everything at once, which doesn’t really work all the time, or I can’t start anything, and my brain keeps telling me I have to do things but I simply can’t get myself to do it.

That is a bit scary hearing that your parents threatened to kick you out. You say they’ve always been very supportive, do you think they’d be open to learning more about adhd? Maybe listening to a ted talk or reading about other ADHD student experiences? My dad is pretty traditional and doesn’t really get ADHD, but I think he got something out of Jessica McCabe’s Ted talk. Though of course, it isn’t your job to educate everyone around you, so only you can determine if this would really help.

Another point- have you discussed accommodations with your school at all? Is there a learning center you can go to? Taking Control: the adhd podcast just did a few episodes about college and requesting accommodations that could be really helpful. I didn’t know I had adhd until after college and I would give anything to go back and be able to get the extra help I needed. I remember crying on my bed on the phone with my boyfriend saying my brain couldn’t take it, that I couldn’t do it, that it was just too much. I wish I had known about my adhd then so I could use the resources available to me. It won’t solve everything, but knowing you have folks on your side at school could make a big difference.

I hope you can figure something out. If anything, know that you’re not alone! you sound motivated and determined and you will make it through.

My parents are still supportive of me, except for that one part. Mom is worried about me all the time. But I just can’t get a year off. Everyone around me is supportive and tries to help me through it. But they all disagree with a year of. And that’s frustrating.

At school we have like learning center where you can sit down and learn for yourself. If we have lessons off I always like to sit there, bc the lunch area is usually full of noise and I get overstimulated from that. My friend always goes with me everywhere. She’s really supportive of me, which I appreciate. I have a mentor at school too. I have to let him know every day how the day went.

Today I’m going to the psychiatrist though. We’re gonna talk about medicines. So maybe from tomorrow on I’m walking around with medicines in my system which might help me. Idk how much it’s gonna help me though.

Btw my parents do have this little folder thing which talks about ADHD in adults. I’m not sure if they’ve read it yet, but I definitely want them to. I also get them to understand that certain things are bc I have ADHD. For instance: why I can’t keep my room clean or why I always forget so many things. It’s good that mom understands where it comes from. It helps both her and me. So I think with time comes knowledge for her about ADHD.

It sounds like you’re already doing a really great job and using the resources offered to you. Medication can really change things, I know it did for me! I’m still trying to figure out exactly the right meds and correct dose, but it’s definitely much easier for me to get things done and stay focused with it than without it.

It’s hard, but you’ll make it through, one way or another. Best of luck to you :heart:

Yeah I’ve been on meds since yesterday. The only bad thing is that it gives me terrible headaches. I hope that goes away. If not, we’ll have to try different meds or another way. I’m not gonna walk around with headaches all day long. No thank you :sweat_smile::sweat_smile:

Definitely do not walk around with headaches! :slight_smile: there are a lot of options out there. Keep trying until you find one that works without crazy side effects. Though, it could be something that goes away after a week. I’ve heard this before from others.

That’s why I’m not giving up yet. It was only the second day. We’ll see how today goes

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