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Death, Grieving and Coping With Loss Coping with loss is difficult at any age, but you are not alone during this difficult time. Reach out to other users in this forum.

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Will telling my professor I'm suicidal, depressed and grieving, add to him thinking I'm an attention seeking liar who's a drama queen....? - February 12th 2014, 01:31 AM

I'm a freshman in college and I've had a really rough start to hte year. My grandfather passed away (I've lived with him my entire life so this was especially hard) and a week later I lost my dog, and found out that my dad's friend committed suicide. All this happened within the span of three weeks, and it's really taken a toll. I've gone from never having experienced a lost, to losing so much - and it all happened at once.

So I emailed all of my professors asking for extensions and all of them were super kind and understanding and gave me a more than decent amount of time to get caught up.

Buuut, with my psychology professor it turned out to be a little awkward. I sent him multiple emails within the week, first when my grandpa got sick, then when he passed away, and then a third email about my dog & dad's friend. So I guess I ended up bugging him too much about my life and I felt really bad about that afterward, but I thought I should let him know that I was going to be absent and that I needed some time.

He let me take the exam a day later but I think he thinks I'm lying for attention, or making excuses to get deadline extensions. So I took the exam the next day and I am 110% certain that I failed it (unless my random guesses somehow ended up being right, but, no chance of that). Either way, I didn't understand anything on the exam.

On top of the rough time I've been going through, I struggle with high anxiety and severe depression. And my test anxiety also got in the away of my poor exam score.

I am going to meet with this professor tomorrow to review my exam scores. I want to tell him about my exam anxiety but I feel like at the same time I have bugged him enough about my life, and that he doesn't really care enough.

He's such a great professor, he loves all his students, and is really funny and nice. But for some reason, I get this vibe that he really does not like me because of all this. He either thinks I am a liar or just is annoyed as heck with me.

Either way, he's been acting kind of cold to me and his responses when I talk to him are far more blunt and borderline rude, compared to how enthusiastically he talks to everyone else.

Should I talk to him? I don't want any misunderstandings between us. I also would like to research with him, I think him and his work are really cool. I would hate it if he didn't like me because of something I couldn't control.

I know I seem like a problematic student, but all these things were purely coincidental, and I think he might believe that I am going to be one of those students that has an issue every two days.
                   
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Re: Will telling my professor I'm suicidal, depressed and grieving, add to him thinking I'm an attention seeking liar who's a drama queen....? - February 12th 2014, 01:40 AM

Hey there.

You're not a problematic student at all! It is completely understandable how a loss can influence school performance; especially since you have lost a lot in such a short span of time. I'm incredibly sorry to hear about this, and I hope you begin to find happiness again soon.

Since there seems to be a possible misunderstanding between the two of you, I think you should talk to him. Your grieving and depression is getting in the way of your work and I think telling him would be beneficial to both you and him. If you feel as though writing to him has not worked in your favor, then try face-to-face conversation.

Honestly, if you believe that he thinks you're lying or anything similar, maybe you could mention it to him? Some schools require an obituary or card from the funeral service. If possible or needed, you can present that to him as well. I think that you should be completely honest with him to clear up any misunderstanding that he may have.

Lastly, if he still acts cold to you, reporting this to someone of higher authority in your school is a good idea.

Best of luck to you! Feel free to message me if you need anything.


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Re: Will telling my professor I'm suicidal, depressed and grieving, add to him thinking I'm an attention seeking liar who's a drama queen....? - February 12th 2014, 04:00 AM

It sounds like you're dealing with a lot right now and that it's taking a toll on your school work.

Meeting with him tomorrow is the right thing to do. How much you tell him is up to you, but if he's anything like my professors used to be he may suggest you seek professional help, not because he doesn't care, but because his role with you is professor, not psychologist. You don't know for sure that he doesn't like you because of this or that he thinks you're attention-seeking etc., but I understand how you might be afraid that he thinks that. Part of his job as professor is to help you succeed in his class.

Even if he doesn't suggest that you see a professional, I suggest that you at least try it. You should be able to get free or reduced-cost services as a student and nobody would have to know about it.


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Re: Will telling my professor I'm suicidal, depressed and grieving, add to him thinking I'm an attention seeking liar who's a drama queen....? - February 12th 2014, 04:17 AM

Hi there!

I'm so sorry all this has happened lately. You've been through a lot. Maybe it'd be a good idea to speak with him and let him know that you're worried you annoyed him. Let him know you admire his work and you wouldn't want any misunderstandings between you two. Then if you feel comfortable, I do suggest telling him about it. I highly doubt he'll think you're attention-seeking. And it might be good to have some support. I think it's good you're wanting to reach out.

Good luck, feel free to keep us updated!
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Re: Will telling my professor I'm suicidal, depressed and grieving, add to him thinking I'm an attention seeking liar who's a drama queen....? - February 12th 2014, 02:53 PM

Thank you so much for all the responses everyone, I really appreciate the help and the sympathies.

I'm actually going to go talk to him tomorrow because of some schedule conflicts, so I have one more day to prepare. I don't know how to explain myself to him but the problem is that I think he thinks I'm just one of those annoying students. I mean it's college and he's the typical professor who doesn't really care - I mean, he's a professor, like 70 students in the class, who am I to him? Like to him, it doesn't matter.

But I really have so many issues I could not even begin to explain. I suffer from an anxiety disorder known as depersonalization, as well as depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder. I could prove these things to him if he needed proof but I don't want to give him attitude or anything by proving it.

And on top of this I really care what people think about me, despite who it is, even if it is just some psych professor in my college years. I really admire his work too, I want to do research with him since he looks into things like depression, and anxiety - they're right up my alley!

Anyway, I feel like I'm the one young freshman in there and he likes all these older students so I think he thinks I'm just one big joke student. And I failed the test and I don't know how to explain to him that I'm really sorry for all my tardiness.

All these losses have taken a toll on my already awful mental health and I just really wish there was a way to explain it to him, but he is NOT understanding. As a PhD in psychology, I would hope he would get it but.....

I don't know what to do.
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Re: Will telling my professor I'm suicidal, depressed and grieving, add to him thinking I'm an attention seeking liar who's a drama queen....? - February 12th 2014, 03:04 PM

But it matters to you, right? And if matters to you, I think you should talk to him. Well, if you need to, you might be able to get paperwork from a professional If you're currently seeing one) with your diagnoses' on it. Which disorders are the main ones that are getting in the way of your work? Maybe you could just mention those if you do not wish to explain everything. Lastly, you could write a note and hand it to him in class as well. Keep us updated, if you'd like!


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Re: Will telling my professor I'm suicidal, depressed and grieving, add to him thinking I'm an attention seeking liar who's a drama queen....? - February 12th 2014, 09:55 PM

I know that my university has a counseling and psychological services and I'm pretty sure they can help us in situations like this in order to get the appropriate extensions and such. Perhaps your school has something similar so your professor will know you aren't just making excuses?



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