School and Test Anxiety: Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Braaaaiiiinnnns...' started by TheMockingCrows, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. TheMockingCrows

    TheMockingCrows Resident Bisexual Lich

    So. This phenomena is a bit new to me. I recently had a severe anxiety attack during a math test. I then had more smaller aftershock attacks when I continued to bomb subsequent tests with more time allotted so the fear of running out of time wouldn't be an issue. Had more aftershocks that carried me through flunking some things for my language course.

    Off day, right? Right. Took a personal day. Relaxed, de-stressed, did what I wanted to, took some me time, did my nails etc. Then came time for homework and...

    I locked up again.

    It wasn't a full blown attack, but the anxiety, nausea, and cold clammy hands and feet were there. Also there was the forgetting everything and entirely blanking out on the spot. This continued off and on through the entirety of the homework, accentuated by palpitations and extra nausea when I realized I have no idea how to actually memorize all the info I need for this language class. Which is. Less than ideal.

    What's happening with me? Is this just a new thing I need to contend with in this whole academic journey? I've never had test anxiety before, and I really would rather not have all these symptoms just because I get a little stressed out during homework or, God forbid, during class itself.

    Are there things I can do to try to keep this from happening? Tips or tricks to keep myself calm when they start, so they don't go full blown? My usual anxiety coping isn't working, so I'm kind of grasping at straws with 2/3 of the semester to go.
  2. latitans

    latitans zounds, scoob

    would you mind sharing what your usual anxiety coping skills are? i also panic sometimes while studying and taking tests, but you might already be doing the things i try to do.
  3. TheMockingCrows

    TheMockingCrows Resident Bisexual Lich

    Mostly they're breathing, trying to logic my way out of it, trying to focus on a more positive place, and de-escalating so I don't spiral. But hoo boi those sure didn't work that time.
  4. latitans

    latitans zounds, scoob

    okay so i had an experience last year where i panicked really hard on a test, failed it, and then had trouble even looking at the material afterwards without spiraling.

    "talking back" to the feelings did work for me somewhat, but it was really difficult at first. same for breathing exercises, etc.

    i had a bit more success with easing back into the material reaaaally slowly. so, for example, if i normally did 10 problems a day, i tried to just do 2 (and then tried to talk myself into being proud of that). then the next day, i could do three, then five, then eight, etc. etc. until i was back at the level i was before. i also made a conscious effort to start with the easier stuff that i already knew well before returning to the material that had stumped me on the test.

    i should say, though, that this was in an environment when i had one very big exam that i was studying for over a period of months. i still stand by the easing into it approach, but your timeline might look a bit different.
    • Informative x 1
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