Homeschool, Public School and emotional disorders?

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Homeschool, Public School and emotional disorders?

Postby Spazola » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:37 am

Hello all. This is my first post on this forum, so if this thread is in the wrong place, I apologize. <3 Also, I'm sorry this is so long. If you have the patience to read through this, you are an amazing person. XD

My name is Jessica, and I am currently attending a public high school as a Junior...but I wasn't always in public school. In fact, I was homeschooled from Kindergarden through my freshmen year.

When my first year of high school came around (still homeschooled), I became involved in my local high school's theatre department as a member of the technical crew. I absolutely LOVED it...the time I spent putting my heart and soul into that play was the happiest I have ever been.

After weeks of hard work and dedication, our first performance came around. I was stoked...until a school administrator came to speak with me moments before the performance. Apparently, they "found out" that I was a homeschool student (not that I was hiding it), and had to remove me from the production. No amount of reasoning from me, my mother or other students would sway them...the most they would give me was a free seat to all of the performances. I was absolutely crushed.

That summer, after a lot of debating and arguing with my parents (they wanted to continue homeschooling), I was enrolled in said high school. My first year was great--it was all so new to me, even standing in line for lunch was like an adventure. I got along with all of my teachers and made straight A's. I only ran into one bump--Geometry, where I had to work like a madwoman to keep my grade above a C (this later lead to a diagnosis of a mild learning disability, but that's another topic).

This year, however, has been much different. I suffer from a severe form of depression (called "Atypical Depression") and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I had these issues even while homeschooled, but as the pressure of the public school system got worse, so did my mental state of mind. It's much harder to hide your problems when you're unable to work at your own pace, have a rediculous amount of homework each night, plus rehersals from 6pm to 9pm each night. My insomnia reached it's peak, and my eating slowed dramatically. I'm currently being treated with individual therapy and Prozac, but again, that's another topic.

Academically, my emotional issues have caused my grades to plummet; I can't pay attention, I sleep in class, sometimes I don't even care if I fail. I used to be an estatic over-achiever, so this is a huge problem.

Recently, my mother asked me, very gently, if I would like to return to homeschooling next year. I told her no, but I've been considering it ever since. Here is a quick overview of the factors I've thought of:

--Homeschooling would relieve a lot of anxiety, which could, in turn, improve my depression.
--All of my close friends are graduating this year, so next year could be extremely stressful in the social aspect. I'm avoidant in my classes enough as it is. XD
--Homeschooling would ease the stress of preparing for college by providing more time (as I'll be a Senior next year).

But then...

--If I cannot fight my way back into my Theatre Department, it is likely to cause me to feel more depressed. I have committed ALL of my free time to that program, and have been Assistant Director for the past three productions. I love this program with all my heart and soul, and having it removed from my life will be difficult.
--What if my mental state DOESN'T improve?
--My transcripts might be difficult to transfer and get screwed up in the process.
--I'm excited about some of my classes next year. Giving those up will be hard.
--I'll miss my teachers. In fact, I'll probably miss the school in general.

Any advice would be tremendously appreciated. <3

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Postby Theodore » Sun Mar 08, 2009 9:14 am

Hard to give advice without being in your shoes. I will say that part of the problem is likely that you're just not getting enough sleep, as a result of piles of homework plus all the time you're spending in theatre. Perfectly healthy people can develop all sorts of mental and physical problems when sleep-deprived. My advice is to either cut out the theater productions, or homeschool and try to find a theater you can contribute to that's not at the public school. No point killing yourself. Also, eliminate the Prozac - side effects include insomnia and irrational anxiety, exactly the sorts of things you don't need right now. It's much better to regulate yourself with proper diet and exercise. Keep in mind, however, that you can't just quit Prozac cold turkey, you'll crash badly 2-3 weeks after you stop taking it. You need to gradually reduce the dosage, preferably after talking to your doctor and/or reading up on the subject online (if you don't think your doctor will be receptive to the idea).

As for your specific concerns...
-- There are theater programs not in the public school system. You just need to find them (or create your own)
-- Even if your mental state doesn't improve (and there's no reason why it wouldn't, if you cut back your school time to 3-4 hours per day...) at least you won't have to be around a bunch of people while you're feeling miserable.
-- Don't worry about your transcripts. The school will have to supply you with a copy of your transcript if you're officially homeschooling, and even in the worst-case scenario where they refuse to do that for some stupid reason, you're going to want to CLEP or AP for as many subjects as possible anyway. Nationally standardized test scores trump transcript.
-- Take one or two community college courses, then. The work load will be small enough to manage.
-- Can't be helped.

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Postby Jazzy » Tue Mar 10, 2009 3:36 pm

I agree with just about everything Theodore suggested. There are probably some community theater groups in your area that you can get involved in.

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