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May. 5th, 2013 | 06:42 pm
posted by: planetariium in crazy_academics

Hi there!

I'm going to be taking a few online classes this summer as a way to transition back into school after having to leave college a few years ago due to depression and social anxiety. Has anyone had experience with online learning, particularly while dealing with depression and/or anxiety? I've never done it before so I'm not sure how to mentally prepare. Any tips?

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Comments {6}


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from: pipsophiepip
date: May. 5th, 2013 11:50 pm (UTC)

I finished my bachelor's online, like 18 credits, I think. It's a lot more reading than traditional courses, and a lot more writing. Classes I've taken have also had many "discussion board" requirements, sometimes requiring 5-6 posts per week, which can be difficult to psych yourself up to do if you are feeling depressed (because, depending on the class, sometimes it's like pulling teeth to get the discussion going, and, other times, it feels a lot like busy work).

Anyway, more reading and writing, but also more one on one with professors, sometimes, in the form of emails and sometimes skype/etc. It's great for social anxiety.

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from: freetobeme18
date: May. 5th, 2013 11:59 pm (UTC)

I love online coursework. It's especially helpful for my depressive episodes and social anxiety because I don't have to talk to anyone in person, or even leave the house if I'm not up to it, and I can work from whatever I want and more at my own pace. You do have to be more independently-motivated, though, and structure your own time. It helps to think of it as a regular class and come up with a structure that you'll follow, dividing up the work by day and maybe setting aside particular times of day to work. Good luck!

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from: in_excelsis_dea
date: May. 6th, 2013 02:55 am (UTC)

I have taken an incredible amount of online courses, including things like PE and Bio. I have ADHD as well, so sometimes keeping up with the online courses is hard (I'm going to have to cancel and repeat one course this semester because I totally forgot about a few key assignments), but as long as I keep up, they are brilliant. When you're depressed and dealing with anxiety, they're particularly helpful because you don't have to see these people ever. Unless you take multiple classes with the same professor, they're not going to remember you -- and even then, unless you do something to stand out, it's doubtful. There's a huge degree of anonymity, which is very helpful. I once didn't go to my on-campus classes for two months -- I was having nightmares about them and couldn't even go past the stop for the Uni on the subway or bus without getting a panic attack -- but I was able to keep up and do well in my online classes.

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from: amigone
date: May. 6th, 2013 03:17 am (UTC)

I have GAD and I have done my entire degree online. This is my last semester.

I do well except for exams I get freaked out, and handing in papers.

Stay on task, stay caught up, and you will do great!

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a plena calle

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from: aplenacalle
date: May. 6th, 2013 06:10 am (UTC)

I've taken a couple so far, and they were very textbook-based. The professor would also post pre-recorded lectures/powerpoints and we would have 15-20 question quizzes weekly or semiweekly. In one of the classes we sent in paragraph-long "responses" via discussion board about three times a week, but there was always a big long-term paper or report or whatever.

Don't have to get up and out and see strangers. The schedule (if there is an official one) and assignments are really structured and predictable, which was nice for my anxiety. Other than that, you can do work on your own time. Sometimes graded more generously than traditional classes because there are usually more students.

Because it's online and you're alone, it's really easy to stop preparing and just look up answers as you go. Obviously if you make it an open-book class you're not going to absorb as much, but I can't say too much against this because I have done it :P It can feel like you're shouting into the void because you don't really get feedback.

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Teh Dino!

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from: dinogrrl
date: May. 7th, 2013 02:17 am (UTC)

Well...seems like I'm the only person replying who really didn't like doing an online course, especially in relation to my depression/anxiety. To put it nicely. That being said, I'll try not to be too biased in my suggestions:

Be prepared to spend a LOT of time working on the course. Pretend you ARE going to a classroom. Set a schedule for yourself, and log into the course at the same time every day. Turn off all distractions while you're in 'class'--tv, phone, all internet except the course site, etc. I even had to shut my cat out of my room because she likes to be all over my computer when I'm at my desk. Don't hesitate to contact other students or the professor if you have any questions.

Online courses take a lot of self-discipline, which can be either good or bad. Just remember that you're taking a class, not chatting on LJ, and you should be fine :p.

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