Having just experienced my first exam season at university, I have just gone through one of the tougher times in my life. I have fluctuating anxiety disorder and one thing that causes it to flare up hideously is exams. As soon as I began to revise over Christmas a niggling part of me knew that history was going to repeat itself when I got into the exam room. You see I have a history of getting sat down with the paper in front of me and freezing up. The anxiety induced panic attack leads me to have a complete and utter mind blank (handy….nice one brain) and stare dazedly at the paper for the length of the test. This has happened 3 times already and sure enough my brain decided to leave me and I wrote nada.
Now, although it is somewhat of a disaster as I will of course be given an ungraded mark, there is some consolation. My condition along with my depression is on record with the Disability Support Office at my university. This allows me to apply for a mitigating circumstances form and hopefully be given an uncapped retake in the summer. Which is what I want more students who suffer from mental health conditions to be aware of. There is help available if you tell someone. I have had an entire support plan put in place which is tailored to my specific needs. So please don’t struggle in silence. Speak to student services, they will be able to help you. Make them aware of everything, even things that you may think are irrelevant as they will take them into consideration and try to find a solution.