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These last few weeks...


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Hey everyone. I was just wondering if anyone had any advice.

In the last 4 or so weeks, my migraines got exponentially worse. I was also accepted into an AMAZING PhD program with funding and have won every undergraduate research award and scholarship under the sun. It's been a mixed bag for me, that's for sure.

I am physically and mentally run down and I know why. I am trying to write my thesis (I am half way there and it is going well), but the library has a wireless connection on the fritz. I am forced to leave my room (I live in an honors floor where I manage a co-op of chores and scheduling) because the girl next door is either fighting with her boyfriend, screaming at him or about him on the phone, or having very loud sex with him. Every night, I try to have a quiet time for me. This allows me to relax and breathe. I can focus on me. I can't have that with this going on. I fall asleep in a horrible mood and wake up in the same mood because this is still going on.

I have talked to my counter-part (the RA), who kicks the guy out, but above that, we can't do anything. I battle clinical depression and it is running me down. I have been doing really, really well until recently and my therapist worries that it isn't going to get better if I don't get past the negativity in my space. So, I have tried to leave the room. I am finding safe spaces on campus other than the library where I can work on my netbook. It had been going well.

However, the medication that is stopping my migraines (topomax) is also stopping me from eating. Nothing tastes right and I fill up after three bites. I am never hungry. I use to be a person who loved to eat! Now, I have dropped 10 pounds in a week. I know I need to eat, but I feel so ill after doing so. The neurologist and my sister (who also is on this drug) say this is normal and that it will get better. It won't totally go away, but it will get better. Today, I played a scrimmage in basketball (my 1-credit elective). Normally, I am peppy and enjoy it. Today, I almost passed out. I am about to go teach a student and I don't even care.

I am exhausted.

I know that if I can just start eating again and finding a safe, comfortable space away from this negativity to retreat to, I will feel better, but I really, really can't do that until I get more than 800 calories in my stomach. I would honestly be surprised if I was even getting that.

Any tips/tricks? Any ideas to deal with the neighbor problem? I have a feeling that my appetite will not pick up at all until I maybe manage that issue. When stressed, I don't eat, which makes everything more difficult, I guess.

Thanks for listening. I just needed to get it out!

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Hang in there buddy. There is nothing wrong with venting out on a forum, specially if its hard to do in real life. I myself have done it a couple of times.

Clinical depression along with migraines can combine for a very stressful period and all you have to do is to realize that it will, in due time, pass. Just follow the routine. Routine can normalize a lot of things for you. Same thing with eating, make a schedule for eating if you don't respond to hunger. I have done it a couple of times (due to side effects too).

I force fed myself at particular times of the day irrespective of whether or not I felt hungry. You can certainly try doing that. Also, you can ask your therapist if the normal supplements are ok to take with the medication, and start taking them.

Good luck, and remember, this time will pass.

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Congrats on getting into your program! Sounds like you have a lot to look forward to :D

Hang in there with the other stuff, it is very understandable why you would be feeling stressed with everything that is going on.

"Everything is going to be ok in the end, if it's not ok it's not the end"

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First of all, congratulations!

• Neighbour-issues: I would go talk to your RA again about the fact that your neighbours are having a significant detrimental effect on your quality-of-life, and that your health may suffer as a result. If nothing can be done, talk to the residence-hall director or housing-office. Any chance of having the neighbours sternly warned to stop being so utterly disruptive? Of procuring a room-change for medical reasons? Could you move off-campus for a month or two? Heck, even a week in a hotel-room could be a huge help, if it's convenient and affordable.

• Drug side-effects: hang in there with it; you and your sister have similar genes (well, assuming that the two of you are biological siblings), and the same drug will probably work in similar ways on both of you. As mathamathick says, stick to a schedule in order to eat enough (and eat balanced meals with simple ingredients, and so on). Also, you can recognise the flip-side: you're not getting distracted by hunger, you're not snacking incessantly, etc.

• Thesis/awards/grad school/etc.: take a lot of pride in your acceptance, and keep going with the thesis! Hopefully once the stress of the other issues is reduced, that'll resume coming along well on its own.

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Thanks for the support everyone. I actually just finished my thesis draft today. It was really distressing to me last week and I had SO MUCH going on. Today was my first day off in a month from work and school. Every day has been a responsibility with school, work, or student government, so today I finally got a break. I am now really, really sick because I ran myself down, but I feel better. I now have a second great acceptance, so it complicates things, but makes me feel a ton better! The thing with the living situation finally panned out. The RA threatened to get the cops involved and the guy jumped ship - most likely because he has a prior record and is on probation. He hasn't been around in about 5 days, which was good. I am finally getting sleep again. A food schedule has been helping, too.

I just feel pretty relieved now.

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I actually experienced something similar to your eating issue with migraine medicine fairly recently. As previous posters stated, I suspect it will improve for you, just as it did for your sister. To help with the eating and weight-loss issue, you could try protein shakes or fruit smoothies with protein powder. They are usually pretty packed with nutrition and fairly easy on the stomach. Best of luck and congrats on your acceptances and enjoy your break!

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