FlawedDoctor

Feeling like a lesser human being

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I am an Indian science student diagnosed with early onset schizophrenia. I turned eighteen last 21st December. I was deeply fascinated by science ever since it was introduced to us. Let's just say I got almost perfect grades -- I wasn't from a top-tier school,  but still I almost always topped the class up till my psychosis became extreme and started affecting my cognition -- And now, my schizophrenia has become obvious. That means although I am a teenager, I am not enjoying life like my peers do. I am not saying "Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my life's ruined" because, well, no girl talks to me -- which is quite embarrassing -- I find pleasure in mundane things like getting decent grades and having conversation with friends. I am a male, and while it's true I have a deep interest to be a normal and socialize and get girls and all, my cognition has limited what I can do and I cannot. Girls will almost always prefer guys who are fitter than me, or well, whose cognition hasn't been affected. This makes me a bit depressed.

Now my aim is to make the world a better place with the help of science. I get decent grades -- not decent enough to get in med school, although -- and I want to get a doctorate in biomedical sciences. My current professors are very supportive and they'll be always there to guide me. Now, I just wanted to tell that I cannot become a doctor, that's what my psychiatrist told me vaguely. Although he did tell me I can become a scientist. I am not that much interested in pure sciences as much as I am interested in medicine. So I have two plans,  plan A to become a doctor (I am eligible for the medical entrance exam) and plan B to become a biomedical scientist and research on diseases. However, there are two things I'd like to ask.

1) As initially I wanted to be a doctor, I feel like I've failed to make the world a better place already. I know how it's like to be ill, and I wouldn't want any ill person to go through the fight for their life alone. Many doctors think only about themselves and not about their patients, I'd love to be one of those doctors who makes their patient's life worth living. That's what I currently imagine how "it could have been" if I was healthy. I am trying to say, I want to be a doctor but I cannot due to my relative bad cognition. I feel like a failure. If I "forget about it" and move on, I'll feel I will never live my life to the fullest.

2) Will I be able to say, help people if I become a scientist as much as I would if I become a doctor? I am a bit obsessed with being helpful, and thus enjoying my own life (giving a purpose to it) while doing something good. All I know is that there is much research going on in medicine, but there isn't any progress in say discovering drugs for ALS. I want to save lives, I want to help the disabled, because I know it's damn hard to live being looked down upon as a lesser human being. I want to help in discovering effective treatments for say neuropsychological disorders. Perhaps for genetic diseases. Just because nothing about me is right, I cannot enjoy life as I see my classmates enjoying, I wouldn't want someone to have a similar life like mine. Or at least a social life like mine.

Here the grading system differs from university to university,  but I got an A in zoology the first semester (now I am in the second semester.) I plan to have zoology as my subject I'll be studying at third year.  My professors have told me they'll provide me all the help necessary, including proper advise. Here if I get good grades in my entire BSc course, I could get admitted in very reputational science education and research institutions if I give the entrance exam and pass it with flying colors as well. That's what I want. But am I making a right decision by ignoring the chance of getting into med school and eventually become a doctor and help people? I am much more interested and competent in medical subjects (like say human physiology which was compulsory in my junior years) than the current syllabus of fish and other animals. Let's just say if it's anthropology, I am very competent and hard working at it.

However the catch is that I am also mentally ill and depressed and anxious. Very severely mentally ill when I think about it, I am able to write like this only after maintaining my cool. If I don't make a difference in this world, I'll probably die  due to self-harm and suicide attempts. Perhaps it's my Messiah complex. I don't know, I am just very lonely and I am like Elliot Alderson from Mr.Robot. I even keep my hair like him. Anyway, this thread is asking for advice and it's already long enough.

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9 minutes ago, FlawedDoctor said:

I find pleasure in mundane things like getting decent grades and having conversation with friends.

so do That...

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Please don't take this the wrong way. We can give you advice about dealing with adversity, but as soon as it becomes all about a mental health issue, the site's policies demand we recommend you see a professional, since nobody should be offering diagnoses over the internet.

That said, I'll make an observation. You're very fixated on yourself, and like many highly intelligent people, if you do that too long you can become hypercritical. You mention that you'd like to help people, so why not try turning that focus on interactions with others, and helping them with their problems? Most people are better at solving other people's dilemmas than their own, and you may find it gives you more confidence and less anxiety about your own competence. 

As for the choice in front of you, it sounds to me like you've set up a false dilemma. Studying zoology now doesn't mean you can't study medicine later, does it? It seems like a similar path and knowledge gained about non-human anatomy often helps us understand our own better. Both fields of study will probably help you develop a more outward focus and give you confidence in your choices and abilities. 

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1 hour ago, Phi for All said:

Please don't take this the wrong way. We can give you advice about dealing with adversity, but as soon as it becomes all about a mental health issue, the site's policies demand we recommend you see a professional, since nobody should be offering diagnoses over the internet.

That said, I'll make an observation. You're very fixated on yourself, and like many highly intelligent people, if you do that too long you can become hypercritical. You mention that you'd like to help people, so why not try turning that focus on interactions with others, and helping them with their problems? Most people are better at solving other people's dilemmas than their own, and you may find it gives you more confidence and less anxiety about your own competence. 

As for the choice in front of you, it sounds to me like you've set up a false dilemma. Studying zoology now doesn't mean you can't study medicine later, does it? It seems like a similar path and knowledge gained about non-human anatomy often helps us understand our own better. Both fields of study will probably help you develop a more outward focus and give you confidence in your choices and abilities. 

Yes I do see a psychiatrist, and he does advise me and tell me things but I am not satisfied with his answers. He told me I cannot become a doctor but I am taking it with a grain of salt. I am not asking for any diagnosis, I'm already in treatment.

Thank you. It seems like a valuable advise to me. I have a few friends, but they don't love me as they love their mentally healthy (almost every) friends. I find it to be depressing. I can wait for my friend circle to be filled with people with a doctoral degree, but it doesn't mean my friends from degree college are worthless or that they shouldn't love me and view me as a normal person. And yes, it  pains me to know I am picking apart myself. I feel lonely due to the fact that some of the people I know will never respect me as a person even if I have the title of Doctor before my name.

Here we've the MBBS system. I am a BSc student, that means if I continue MSc and so on, I will never be able to become a doctor. But thanks for the perspective, I appreciate that.

2 hours ago, dimreepr said:

so do That...

But I want more.

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2 hours ago, FlawedDoctor said:

1) As initially I wanted to be a doctor, I feel like I've failed to make the world a better place already.

Ordinary doctor can help just a few people per day. How many is it in year? How many is it in lifetime? Not that many.

2 hours ago, FlawedDoctor said:

2) Will I be able to say, help people if I become a scientist as much as I would if I become a doctor? I am a bit obsessed with being helpful, and thus enjoying my own life (giving a purpose to it) while doing something good.

Scientist can help millions or billions of people. Working in lab, helping making new medicament.

2 hours ago, FlawedDoctor said:

Perhaps for genetic diseases.

Genetic diseases, inherited from parents and predecessors, in many cases, can be eliminated just by using in-vitro technique. Healthy partner + unhealthy partner have 50% chance to give birth to child with genetic disease. Embryo can be checked whether is inheriting damaged genes, or good one, and only healthy embryo will be used, releasing family from genetic disease once for all, in future generations.

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13 minutes ago, FlawedDoctor said:

And yes, it  pains me to know I am picking apart myself. I feel lonely due to the fact that some of the people I know will never respect me as a person even if I have the title of Doctor before my name.

What if the first sentence is responsible for the second sentence? Can you learn to stop being so hypercritical of yourself? Surely it must affect the way others see you. It sets you apart, which is automatically lonely.

Focusing on others will give you a better self-image, and if you stop criticizing yourself for a while, it will be easier to see your strong traits. Respect for you has to grow from respect for yourself.

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11 hours ago, Sensei said:

Ordinary doctor can help just a few people per day. How many is it in year? How many is it in lifetime? Not that many.

Scientist can help millions or billions of people. Working in lab, helping making new medicament.

Genetic diseases, inherited from parents and predecessors, in many cases, can be eliminated just by using in-vitro technique. Healthy partner + unhealthy partner have 50% chance to give birth to child with genetic disease. Embryo can be checked whether is inheriting damaged genes, or good one, and only healthy embryo will be used, releasing family from genetic disease once for all, in future generations.

Do you think I can, after getting a doctorate in computational biology, research on say neurological and psychiatric conditions? How so? I am only a first year degree student and here we aren't taught research methods at this stage.

This technique sounds really cool. Unfortunately I was unaware that methods like this exist. It sounds really promising.

11 hours ago, Phi for All said:

What if the first sentence is responsible for the second sentence? Can you learn to stop being so hypercritical of yourself? Surely it must affect the way others see you. It sets you apart, which is automatically lonely.

Focusing on others will give you a better self-image, and if you stop criticizing yourself for a while, it will be easier to see your strong traits. Respect for you has to grow from respect for yourself.

Thanks for the insight. I think I need to join a gym and get in therapy. Of course that will help. I feel depressed all the time since recent. I'll try to not focus on my failures and instead try to be more optimistic.

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8 hours ago, FlawedDoctor said:

Thanks for the insight. I think I need to join a gym and get in therapy. Of course that will help. I feel depressed all the time since recent. I'll try to not focus on my failures and instead try to be more optimistic.

Do those things if you think they'll help, but my point was that a focus on fixing yourself may not be needed. If you focus on your relationship with others, and do what you can to help friends and family, you may find out that you're more than capable of handling life just fine. Helping others and finding out how awesome you really are will help you be more optimistic about everything.

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27 minutes ago, FlawedDoctor said:

Thank you!

You're welcome!

We all want to improve ourselves, to learn more and gain in wisdom and experience. We all have to build on what's already there, adding to ourselves, so stop thinking about it as if you're "fixing" yourself. Work on adding to your positive experiences in life. There are processes you need to figure out that let you be yourself, and hopefully realize "you" aren't the problem. The problem is your perspective on "you" is overly harsh and judgemental, and sometimes that's like wearing a sign that says, "I'm not worthy". It can push people away who wanted to get to know you.

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Posted (edited)

good advice Phi.  Ernest Hemingway — 'There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.'

Edited by dimreepr

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