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Math and Mental Illness

  1. Jan 5, 2013 #1
    Hello, I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this, but I wasn't really sure where else to go. I've stopped going to college recently after my first year due to depression/anxiety; I was just going to a community college taking general ed classes. Anyways, I've always enjoyed math, but I never thought about majoring in it. However recently I've begun self-studying using ocw and found a new passion for it. I worked through calculus and linear algebra, and now I'm studying abstract algebra. I've found it incredibly interesting and it's made me consider going back to school and majoring in pure math. Although, I find it very challenging, moving away from rote math to proofs has been really hard; it's stretched my thinking beyond anything I've done before. So to the point, I've been seeing a psychiatrist and I am going to start taking antidepressants, but I've read they can dull your executive function and some higher cognitive skills, I'm really worried I won't be able to do this level of math when I'm drugged up. So I was wondering if there were any math majors on this board who take antidepressants/ suffer from depression and are still able to perform well at high level math and their experiences with it. Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2013 #2


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    Education Advisor

    I know what you're looking for, but I don't believe anyone here can really give you some good advice. I can personally say for myself that I suffered a great deal of depression during much of my years as an undergraduate and a grad student. I was able to do it (I didn't take medication.) However, my experience means nothing to you, because everyone is very different and your needs will vary drastically from mine.

    Nevertheless, I'll simply state that, I've met and known a decent number of people who took medication for one thing or another and do reasonably well in math. I can't say if the medication hampered their ability to do well, but I would assume that if medication or depression makes it hard for you to work on something for a long period of time and studying something, even when struggling, then that's something to consider.
  4. Jan 5, 2013 #3
    I take anti-depressants and anti-psychotics. I don't experience any negative side-effects wrt doing higher level mathematics. I'm not saying it'll be the same for you though.
  5. Jan 5, 2013 #4
    Why do you need at this medication to begin with?
  6. Jan 5, 2013 #5
    He said:

    I assume it still is the same now.
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