How to study when depressed and anxious

student overwhelmed with studying

Student overwhelmed when studying

How to Study when Depressed and Anxious – Do you feel anxious when studying?

It doesn’t matter if you’re studying at University, high school or even at work. Studying can be a stressful task for anybody from all walks of life, so you’re not alone. In this post we’ll offer suggestions and tips on how to study when you’re depressed and anxious!

Types of Study Stress

Before we get into our tips on how to study with mental health conditions, we’ll talk about the different kinds of study stress and how they can impact how to study when depressed and anxious.

High School Study

During High School, this is more or less the first time students get exposed to the stress of studying.

Sometimes, it is a stress they put upon themselves such as cramming and putting it to the last minute, but it can also be brought on by teachers, scaremongering their pupils into thinking they will fail unless they get ‘good grades’ and retain a safe, secure job.

picture of students studying
Students studying at the library

College/University Study

Many people regard the process of studying at university one of the most stressful moments in their life.

This is because of several reasons such as being conscious of the large tutition fees borrowed or spent, getting the first taste to living independantly from home like cooking, and getting experience in money management.

All these factors can be super-stressful if you don’t know how to deal with them one-by-one.

If you’re a medical student (especially a veterinary student), expect 5 years of continuous studying and assignments, and that’s not even including higher degrees up the scale!

Common University Study Mood Killers

  • Playing video games
  • Throwing dorm parties
  • Not turning up to lectures
  • Using social media whilst inside a lecture
  • Going out when conscious study is needed to be done (procrastination)
  • Not sleeping well due to poor living conditions or other reasons
  • Not studying in a quiet area like the campus library

Job & Work Study

Unfortunately even in the most demanding positions, studying does not feel like it is coming to an end.

If science or law is your forte, there will always be something new to learn about which involves looking through a textbook or Wikipedia. Something new will always crop up you’re not sure on.

Common Work Study Mood Killers

    • Arguments with wife or children
    • Sleeping badly
    • Financial stress and unpaid debts
    • Loss of close friend or family member

How can I study with Anxiety?

Do not take illegal, harmful drugs

Drugs like Marijuana, MDMA or LSD can increase the likelihood of panic attacks, especially if you’re having a bad trip. They can change your brain chemistry too over time, causing you to feel feelings such as paranoia.

scientific diagram of a drug
MDMA Scientific Representation

Maintain your focus on the present moment

Whatever is going on right now, it can be managed with patience and focusing on the present.

If you’re anxious, you’re likely to indulge in thought styles and patterns that deter you from seeing the world as it is, and retreat inside your head and exaggerate things.

Such examples include:

      • Fortune Telling (thinking you’ll get an F in that essay)
      • Mind Reading (My boss is thinking of firing me. He’s called me in for a quick chat)
      • Personalising (It is my fault I don’t study. My parent’s must think I’m a failiure. I’ve let myself and everybody who cares about me down

Do less anxiety-provoking tasks in important study

Some people get married, have kids and make life-changing decisions when in a period of crucial study.

If you know it will take continuous guts and courage to push through, don’t do it when studying! Hold those situations off for another time whilst you concentrate on studying.

This does include not working a job if you don’t have to (if at college)

Jobs at college can distract you from your studies especially if you suffer from social anxiety

Limit cell phone and social media use

Studies show cell phone use can negatively affect mental health

If you don’t need to use your phone or login to Instagram to study, do not do it! Challenge yourself not to.

How can I study when depressed?

Eat healthily

Eat your 5 a day – fruit or veg, as long as you’re getting nutrients. Don’t eat Dominos pizza every day!

vitamin c picture
Picture of Vitamin C

Studies show people with a bad diet is common in developed countries.

If you’re depressed, you may likely resort to ‘comfort’ food like ice cream or pizza, when in moderation is fine but not continuously!

Use your college counsellor or Human Resources department

There are many benefits to using mental health services you may not be aware of.

These services can be free of charge depending on your place of study or company, so make the most of their services before you have to pay!

CBT treatment can change your styles of thinking, and general counselling can just help you to talk what you’re going through and express your concerns.

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