Hello there: I am a 3rd year university... - Mental Health Sup...

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Hello there


I am a 3rd year university student who in the last 3 years of being here has lost both my closest grandparents and my boyfriend of 18 months who I thought I was about to spend my adult life with only several weeks before my hand in dates and my exams.

I came completely out of the blue. I mean I know we had some problems but I didn't think it was bad enough to break up over.

I know it may sound stupid but I am really struggling to come to terms with it. I feel like my life is over because I thought everything for after university was starting to plan out. I would move in with his parents and him so I could keep my part time job here until something better came along. But no it's gone. Nothing I say or do will bring him back.

I have found myself in a very low place. I haven't eaten or drank properly for over a week now and I am exhausted. My sleep is so disturbed and I find myself waking up panicking and feeling like I am suffocating. I feel like I am drowning in a pit of despair lurking at the bottom of my stomach. I feel the need to draw attention to myself and I know I am heading in the wrong direction. I self harmed and wished I wasn't alive anymore on numerous occasions because I feel like it would ease the pain. I have turned to drink on a series of occasions. I even called the samaratens several times in the night as I just didn't know what else to do. I was advised to go to a&e but I didn't get there.

Can anyone give me some advice on how to cope? I cannot go on like this.

28 Replies

Hi mulberry, welcome to the site. Nobody here is going to think you sound stupid. We've all been there.

Sorry you're feeling so low. I really feel for you, I was depressed at Uni and very similar to what you're saying. Sounds like you have a lot of the common symptoms of depression. The best thing to do is go to your GP asap and get some treatment - the most effective kind is antidepressants supported by therapy. Hopefully the ADs will stabilise you enough to get everything in by your deadlines, and the therapy will help you go through the underlying emotional causes.

Keep posting on here - there is always someone to talk, and I promise you won't get a hangover from talking to us ;)


Thank you. I gain some comfort from knowing I'm not the only one who has suffered at uni. It's not nice feeling like this. I have an appointment with my go tomorrow and I will try and get my life back on track because I cannot carry on like this.


Hi Mulberry

You're not stupid for being upset & feeling like your world has come crashing down around you. Unfortunately death of loved ones & relationship breakups are something most of us experience and they can be very difficult to deal with, sometimes taking years depending how emotionally invested we were. Not trying to scare you with that because that doesn't mean you'll have to feel like this for a long time.

You are grieving over both things & need to work through it. No one can tell you how to grieve however you know in yourself that you're not doing it in a healthy way. It's very good that you have recognised that & are working at stopping going in the 'wrong direction'. As Themys said having a word with your gp & getting a course of AD's & perhaps therapy would be a good idea, this will hopefully help you to concentrate on your studies. I might be reading into it but don't think that those things happened because you went to Uni. They are not your fault.

As you know this is a very important time for you and you need to do a lot of work so the biggest advice I can give you is to focus on your studies. The time you would have spent with the guy spend studying & focusing on yourself (perhaps with other uni friends you have made). Live isn't over. There will be a future for you after Uni & it can and will be a happy one.

I really hope I'm not out of order here (I questionion everything I do sometimes) but perhaps focus on completing Uni & doing the best you can for your Grandparents? Make them proud. (Again really sorry if that was out of order, my intent is not to upset but point out a potential motivation).

I'm new on here but I've found it quite helpful to vent or ask for advice & to help others a little. If you need it you have people that will listen, support & help where they can.


Hi Mulberry,

Welcome. I'm so sorry for the loss of your grandparents and that you feel so low and are in so much pain. It looks like your break up has initiated your immediate current low mood. Do you have anyone close you can talk to about how you feel? A good friend that you can explain your feelings too? Do you have a family you are close to? Go and see your GP and explain your feelings of loss and grief, they can refer you for counselling and if you agree it would be useful,discuss medication to get you through. This might be sleeping tablets as you need to get sufficient sleep to feel half way okay. Your university should also offer a counselling service which might have a drop in service, please look into that. Take a friend if you need to. They could also advise you on options re assignment deadlines etc, if you feel you might need to defer anything. You are under a lot of pressure at the moment.

It looks like you are grieving for your past loss and what you had planned for your future. A useful aspect of counselling talks about living in the present. It is hard but with your exams coming up and assignments can you try and focus on that? I know this is easier said than done but this might get you through the immediate exam situation. I have been through some break ups where I have been paralysed with grief, thinking about all the things we did, going over everything I had done wrong (note, not focussing on any of his faults) playing 'our' songs etc. I was torturing myself. I'm 43 now but still remember going into work with red rimmed eyes, floating through the day, not engaging with anything I was doing. I found talking to friends/ family really helped after a break up or focussing on things which annoyed you about that person. Or things you can now enjoy which you couldn't with your boyfriend- eating ice cream or watching strictly come dancing or going to an exercise class with a friend.

Try and focus on looking after yourself and being kind to yourself, eat some fresh fruit or make yourself a salad. I ate lots of bananas and mackerel before my university exams, for energy and brain power! Your physical,emotional and mental well being is all linked. What about going out for a walk during the day, just don't pick anywhere you went together yet. The physical exercise might help you sleep more easily at night. Trying to keep busy helps stop thinking about him all the time.

You can't 'control' the planned future you had with him but you can focus on looking after yourself. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you.

In the mid/longer term , please look at counselling to help with your bereavement.

Take care of yourself,

Sarah xxx

Mulberry10 in reply to 21esme

Thank you. I know that I need to focus on myself and getting myself better and up to scratch. I just feel like I have lost a limb. I know I was too dependent on him and took him for granted which I currently am hating myself for.

I definitely understand what you mean about trying to make myself focus on the present rather than the past because it is constantly rotating in my mind and making me feel Ill.

I'm exhausted I can barely sleep, exercise may aid that so I am going to try and walk half way home today.

Hi Mulburry

My depression started at uni, and that was also following a break up. I sometimes think that grieving after a breakup can be more painful than after a death. When someone dies there is usually a definitive explanation; they got ill, they crashed their car, they were really old. When you get dumped it's so confusing. You spend hours and days analysing what went wrong and how you might have saved the situation.

The temptation to make up, and ultimately ease the suffering, is so strong it's like a force field dragging you in. I learned that patching things up only actually prolongs the agony.

To say it gets better is such a crap thing to say, and typing this is actually paining my fingers, but unfortunately it's true. Time is the only healer of a busted relationship. In the meantime, a few things that helped me a bit were:

Don't stress about eating. Just drink plenty for now.

Sleep in the day if you can't sleep at night. It'll help time pass.

Get a new phone number. You won't be looking at your phone wondering if he's going to text.

Delete him from Facebook so you can't torture yourself reading his updates.

Have a good cry every day. One day you won't feel like it and that will feel good.

Share how you're feeling with a friend, or on here. Things seem so much worse when you're trying to answer your own questions.

I hope you start to feel a bit better soon.

Lucy xx

Mulberry10 in reply to Suzie40

Thank you Lucy, it definitely sounds like that is what I need to do. Your advice of what to do is comforting and knowing you were depressed at uni is also helpful because it's hard being away from your family and not been able to just go home when you have tried to build a life here like I have.



Welcome and I am sorry you are feeling so very low but it is only natural when all your plans seem to have collapsed that you will be feeling very low, also you are having to deal with the loss of your grandparents which sound as though they meant a great deal to you so you need to grieve.

It sounds as though you are still at the University and usually they have a really good counselling department so how about talking things through with them as a first move if you have not already done so. They generally have a time of day when you can wait for an appointment, or else you can phone and make one and usually the wait is not long if you stress how urgent it is. Seeing someone there will give you support and may help clarify whether you need to see your GP for some medication though meds are not always the right move when the depression is closely linked to painful life events when sharing feelings about them is generally the most helpful thing.

The other thing is that it is important to make sure your tutor knows something about how you are feeling in case it interferes with your work, universities are usually very accommodating about adjusting deadlines when the reasons are genuine so do make sure that is covered.

I do hope you begin to feel better soon as it is sad to think of you feeling so very low at a time in your life when you have a future ahead of you. What are you studying?


Mulberry10 in reply to Hidden

Thank you sue. I definitely feel like I need to speak to uni and I will go over the options with my councillor in the morning. She always makes me feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Hidden in reply to Mulberry10

that sounds great!

Thanks everyone for your support. It is nice to hear that people understand where you are coming from at such a rough time in my life.

I cannot describe how exhausted I am, I woke up at every hour in the night panicking because I couldn't cope with being alone. This low low stage in my life is really grinding on me and it is difficult to find a way out. All I want at this stage in my grief is for my ex boyfriend to comfort me and tell me things are going to be okay. He says he still loves me and wants to be with me but the relationship just wasn't working for him anymore. I mean I knew we had faults but I never thought it would come to this.

I have had several panic attacks because I just have so much on my plate. All I want to do is go home to my family but I need to be at uni and I need to try and challenge my sadness and emotion into finishing and trying to move on with my life. It is just too painful at the moment to try and move on and think about my future.

I do have friends and family I can talk to but my hour of need is always during the night when I don't want to bother them and this is when the horrible thoughts and feelings begin. It currently feels like there is no way out. My closest friends are back home or elsewhere at uni. The only person who ever made me feel safe was Chris. He made me feel happy and better and I explained this to him. Unfortunately he just keeps saying that the relationship wasn't working for him and there was no way that we could be together. Regardless of how I was willing to try and make things work. All I want is his comfort right now and a chance to be together again. I cannot imagine my life without him.

Do any of you reccommed the anti-depressants and do you think I would be prescribed them?

I use my councelling service at uni and I have done for the past 3 years. Got an appointment tomorrow.

Hidden in reply to Mulberry10

Hi again

I am glad to hear you are using the Uni counselling service, they are usually well qualified and seeing them is faster than waiting for an NHS appointment.

I was struck by your saying you couldn't cope with being alone and that all you want is comfort from your boyfriend, also that all you want is to go home to your family. It sounds as though you are insecure and anxious when you feel you have to take care of yourself. Those feelings are quite common when people leave home and go to Uni - having a boyfriend will have been providing you with security and now you no longer have the relationship in the same way you are feeling its lack which is only natural. However I get the feeling that you were more dependant upon your boyfriend than felt right for him and I wonder whether you have always been insecure or had difficulties with separations, for example going to school? Sometimes when we are very dependant upon other people for our inner security it is because we either were, or felt we were, alone in the world at a young age when not being able to depend upon others would actually have been dangerous. Now, as an adult being alone is not actually dangerous for you but you are continuing to feel as though it is. I think CBT might help you to understand how you get locked into that incorrect pattern of thought and how to break out of it. Feeling panicky as a result of being alone will restrict your life which would be sad as you are clearly intelligent and able to make a life for yourself so do see your GP who can refer you for CBT.

A more adult feeling when alone is loneliness and when any relationship ends it is hard not to feel lonely. Your boyfriend is a very significant figure for you and anticipating his loss will leave you feeling a huge gap in your life. I imagine that if you move on from feeling panic you will discover much deeper feelings of anger and grief - anger that he brought to an end your plans and hopes for the future and grief at the loss of that times you might have had together. If you are able to let him go and grieve his loss then I think you will be in a better position to form a relationship that is less dependant and more realistic for adult life. I do not mean to sound hard, but being so dependant upon him would not have been a good basis for adult living. It is good that your boyfriend still wants a relationship with you but until you have come to terms with your feelings of dependence and are able to offer him an adult relationship the prospects of it working out are not great.

You can be helped to move on from that position into one where you are able to cope with being alone in the world - which we all are - if you can do that you may find the relationship has more chance of working out for you both.



Not a big fan of anti-depressants because I don't like the idea of having to rely on them but they can help. I recently started taking some & apparently it can take a few weeks for them to kick in fully. For me I don't plan on being on them for long I just want them to help with the initial crap I'm dealing with (like you a huge part of it is from a breakup) and then with a little counselling I can learn to deal with the crap or learn to let it go bit by bit.

He sounds like he was a large part of your life. With him not taking up that part it doesn't mean that life is over though, ok? I hate the old cliche of "time is a great healer" b.s. but it is true that over time you will hurt less. Try not to focus on tomorrow or next week or the future, for today simply get out of bed, have a shower & put some clean clothes on that you feel good & happy in and go for a 5 minute walk. Hopefully it will be a little sunny but if it rains then still go for a walk & if you have a little cry then let the rain wash away the tears (god that sounds so girlie - sorry I sometimes use humour as a way of deflecting things if I open up a little or go to a place that I feel a bit emotionally uncomfortable - and I sometimes apologise a lot apparently).

Good luck, you will get there in the end it's just the initial part is really sh*t and sometimes you have to force yourself to do what's best as opposed to what you want to do


Hi all, so great to see the support flooding in. Your advice is really striking a chord with me.

I would like to know what CBT is? I do feel like I was extremely attached to my boyfriend and I do feel like I have always needed to feel wanted and heard and that is probably the root of my problems as I am not feeling that way anymore. I feel lost and alone and the more time I dwell on things the more I want to be with him and him to tell me that I am going to be okay and that we can work things out to suit both of us.

I would really like to avoid taking anti depressants. My dad suffers from depression and I have seen how dependent you can come on them.

Also I find myself texting Chris all of the time, it's like I'm in a nightmare and I am going to wake up and he's going to be there and we are going to be fine.

I'm just finding it really difficult to move on and not think about him and keep hoping that he is going to come back to me.



CBT is Cognitive behavioural therapy. It's a talking therapy that tries to help us to change thought patterns or how we think about things or ways we think about things i.e. to stop thinking about negative thoughts but try to focus on positive.

The only way you can get him back is to stand on your own two feet. Now I'm not saying you would get him back by doing this, or guessing why he broke things off, but for some guys it can be a little daunting feeling like you are having to look after another person as well as yourself. As you are feeling, it can be a little intimidating standing on your own feet.

Can I ask, were the two of you equal within the relationship? When you were feeling a bit low was he strong & supportive and when he was a little low you were the same for him? Or was it one person getting or giving more into the relationship, not more in time but of effort and of themselves? Off course only share as little or as much as you feel comfortable with.


Thank you. I will mention it at counselling tomorrow.

I feel like the relationship was balanced but I took him for granted and didn't want him to see his friends. I just wanted him to spend all of his free time with me because I felt like I didn't have anybody else to turn to.

I know I have to stand on my own two feet and I have to stop pleading with him to take me back but I don't feel ready to let go.

I went to the hospital this morning and they wanted me to speak to a crisis team but I left because I didn't see how it could help me. I'm exhausted and I am having to put in so many hours at my part time job. I also feel like I am abandoning my uni work because I cannot concentrate.

Hidden in reply to Mulberry10

I completely understand when you say about not feeling ready to let go. I understand how someone can feel absolutely desperate & lost without someone (I mean desperate in a panicky sense or feeling). But you know what? Being desperate & lost isn't going to help you or help you get him back. Would you say that sometimes you can come accross as (for want of a better word) "needy"? Now it's ok to be like that but for (I believe most) guys someone who is too much & wanting all their time can be difficult to accept. We all need our own space & time to ourselves perhaps guys more than girls do, and from my experience girls initially can find it a little upsetting & take it to heart or feel it's a slight if a guy wants to be on his own or with friends for an hour or two. But it's not intended as a slight or mean that we don't want to be with a girl. A car can be driven on a full take of fuel for hours & hours but eventually you will need to stop & refuel. Giving a guy a little time to himself is like refueling so that he is running at optimum when you are together.

Think about this, while you are "pleading" with him & contacting him lots you aren't showing your best side or letting him miss you. As difficult as it may be for you to do if you are able to get to the weekend (ideally Sunday) without being in contact he will be more likely to miss you, especially if you used to spend all day Saturday together. Don't think that you then have to contact him at the crack of dawn on Sunday, hell the longer you leave it then the more chance he'll have to miss you. Off course the opposite could potentially happen but if that does then wouldn't that also show you that you can cope for at least a few days without him?

Do not think of a relationship (or life for that matter) as a sprint that has to be won right now, it's more like a marathon that takes a while to do, so you have to look at the long distance and not what is right in front of you.

Hope this helps.


Thank you James, that is so helpful.

Yes I was needy. I took him for granted and didn't allow him to have anytime to himself and I am sure that by begging him constantly and like you say, not giving him a chance to miss me is probably going to drive him further and further away.

It all sounds so logical and the advice that I would give to give to anyone but right now I am hurting and I just do not know how to let go.

I'm just going to have to try and be the bigger person and stop contacting him because it's driving him away and making him think I am a psycho. It's just so hard when I am still completely and utterly in love with this person and would do absolutely anything to be back with him. I had built bonds with his family and I will be sad to see them go too.

Wish we could just work it out!

I miss him so incredibly much.

I also feel like I need to let him go I just can't.

Hidden in reply to Mulberry10

Think of the bigger picture. Running after him now will chase him away & you will lose him for good. That I can pretty much guarantee. But if you are able to hold back then you have a chance not a guarantee but a chance, although I don't know how much of a chance, of getting back with him. But you must, absolutely must (for you and for him or any future relationship) work on yourself so that you can be happier in your own skin. Take the next few hours, have some lunch, go for that 5 minute walk, listen to some upbeat music. and later get the uni books out and spend 60 minutes doing some of that. Don't think about Chris but try hard to concentrate on that for the hour. I can make another guarantee that if you do those things you'll feel a little happier come 8 o'clock tonight.

You cannot win Chris back today, but you can lose him for good today. It might take a week or a month or longer but you could (COULD) win him back but only by giving a little space & time

Something just occured to me. You are in the third year of uni but you were with Chris for 18 months. So how on earth did you survive uni for that first 12 months before being with him??? Something to think about girl :)

Mulberry10 in reply to Hidden

You are absolutely right. There isn't a chance for us at this moment but it know he wants to be friends so at least I have that to think about. I must be driving you mad with my upset and heartbreak.

I have just never felt so low and upset before. You are right. I need to let go of him and try to focus on myself because I have a degree and the bigger picture to think about.

Right now it just feels like the end of the world. I'm currently working and this is helping me through it. I am leaving here at 6 which will allow me some time to myself this evening. I need sleep, I didn't sleep at all last night. Every time I woke up I panicked and called the Samaritans because I didn't want to bother my mum during the night. I must admit some of them were really helpful but some were really rude especially when I asked them to call me back. 2 of them just didn't and I was in need.

I must admit that does me laugh before Chris I was fine I had grown into my own and I was happy, he just offered me the deal and of course I agreed. He made me feel like a princess. I feel like I still need him. Coping alone is hard especially when that person cuts all ties after speaking to me everyday for the past 18 months.

Hidden in reply to Mulberry10

Don't worry you're not driving me mad, not yet anyway lol. I just know what you're going through & know how much it hurts. Hate all the old cliches but whoever said "you never know what you've got until it's gone" was annoying but damn was he/she ever right.

You were ok before him & you'll be ok after him (or fingers crossed with him at a later date) but once you get through this - and you will get through this - you'll be a stronger person better within yourself & in relationships.

Oh when you go to the gp perhaps ask about sleeping tablets? Just a thought.

Stilltrying_ in reply to Hidden

This is all excellent advice from JimDon and others. Girl give yourself some time to get over this. I would definately cut out all the texting thing; that is going to drive him nuts; but also for God's sake give yourself some time to get over this and to think how you can build yourself up in the longterm. You were ok before him, you'll be ok after him. (as JimDon

said and it's true) When you were involved with him your neediness came out and that is eventually what felt too much for him. So , when you've recovered from the initial shock just think about how to build yourself up and how you can actually FEEL less needy in your next relationship. There may even be a chance for you two to get back together you know if you were to be a little less needy; I have that feeling. But if not, then make it happen with the next guy. Make sure you're at that point where you are secure enough in yourself. You are doing well already so don't be too hard on yourself as you really are young and in some ways it is quite natural for you to be like this; just a bit more self assurance and you'll be there. xxx PS Know what you mean about the Samaritans; some of them are good, some are not but they are always there and you would not have phoned had you not needed it. So good on you for phoning and for discriminating between who/what can help and who/what can't. You'll get there; just a minor adjustment needed in your case as i'm sure you have a lot to offer both the world of work and the world of relationships.

Take care, Gemma x

Thank you gemma. I honestly think my dependence on him drove him away and he felt like he couldn't breathe. He felt like he was constantly

Upsetting me and letting me down if he couldn't be with me. It's a very difficult situation for me to come to terms with, truth is I miss him as a person not just what he did for me.

I would hope we could be together in the future.

Ps. Samaratans were in some

Ways helpful and in some ways not. Anyone reading this do not be put off because they really are an ear of reassurance at the other end of the phone.

I don't think anyone would be put off the Samaritans from this. I think it is great that they are a 24 hour listening service. I understand your feelings; they are natural; i wonder what he will be thinking/feeling about it? Actually I am wondering how men cope with this sort of thing and what they do feel/experience (but that is more of a personal interest than to do with you)I'm sure he will not just have dismissed you but maybe just found it too much at the time. X

It is fantastic. I have no idea what he is thinking and feeling - I do know that he is trying to get over me by just not speaking to me. I need to try and detach myself because I have been trying to make him realise how much the relationship means to me but at the moment it just isn't working unfortunately. I think in all honesty he did find it all too much and wasn't willing to upset me by letting it get a few months down the line and us having a messy break up.

I do understand where he is coming from but without trying to sound selfish, I think he is only thinking of himself which is actually what I need to do!

Yes I agree. I hope this evening goes well for you :)

Mulberry10 in reply to Hidden

Yes the cliches certainly don't seem to help which is rather depressing. I just feel like it is all my fault and no matter what I say or do he won't come back to me. Fact is I really miss him as a friend and a boyfriend.

I know that time is a healer and give me a couple of months and I am sure I will be back on the road to recovery. I just feel like I can't let him go yet.

I want to because I want him to realise what he has lost, however I just know his mind is made up.

I'm going to meet one of my friends this evening from uni and see if I can take my mind off things.

I think sleeping tablets sound like a good idea because I have become dependent on alcohol.



How are things?


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