Depression while prepping for the Bar Exam(+5 coping tips)

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This article will discuss how preparing to take the Bar Exam can make you feel depressed. It will show why this moment may have such a huge impact on your mental health, and what are ways for you to cope with it.

Depression while prepping for the Bar Exam 

Preparing for the Bar Exam can be something extremely difficult. If you are taking it for the first time, you may be feeling overwhelmed with all the studying you need to do, and if you have tried it before, and didn’t pass, you may feel like this may be your last chance.

In both scenarios, dealing with the preparation may not be so easy. Let’s discuss some reasons why it can make you feel depressed.

Preparing for the Bar Exam makes you feel lonely 

Preparing for the Bar Exam is an extremely lonely process. It is one in which you will need to focus too much of your time and energy on your study. That in itself already makes it harder for you to be around people. 

And if you have chosen one of those online courses to prepare yourself, you can feel even more isolated. That is why it may be good to share how this process has been with friends that are going through the same thing. 

But of course, in the same cases sharing can make you feel even worse. If you are retaking the Bar Exam, and your friends have already been approved, sharing it with them may add a huge weight to how you feel. 

So considering all that, you may want to have a friend or two, or even someone from your family, that whom you can share your thoughts and emotions. Think of someone that won’t try to give you a quick fix, but that will listen in a caring and supportive manner. 

In this way, if you are retaking the test, or if it is your first time, you may feel less alone and a little more connected.

Preparing for the Bar Exam can make you doubt yourself 

The whole process of preparing for the Bar Exam can make you question if you have learned all you needed, or if you are behind. This can happen if you are taking the Exam for the first time, but even more, if you are retaking it.

You may keep your eye on your previous mistakes, and want to make sure they happen again. But as you focus too much on these, you may let other things pass you by. And those can be the difficult points in the next Bar Exam.

Try to look at this rationally. If you just surrender yourself to the idea that you don’t know enough, or even that you are not good enough, you may put yourself through insane study hours that will only eventually burn you up.

Try to set a planner on what you have studied, what were your biggest difficulties in each field, and what you need to go over once again. This will allow you to direct your efforts properly, and prevent you from spending too much energy on the same subjects. 

Preparing for the Bar Exam puts you under a lot of pressure 

The pressure to pass the Bar Exam comes from all sides. There may be friends and family members that are constantly talking about how you need to pass it. But there is also the pressure you will put on yourself.

If you feel overwhelmed by the pressure, try to keep in mind that this is just an exam. And of course, no one is denying that it impacts your life, but keep in mind that if you fail, there is always the opportunity to take it again.

Having that in perspective can help you center yourself when the pressure seems to take it all out of place.

Preparing for the Bar Exam makes you think about your future

It can be a double-edged sword. You may be hopeful about the exam, but at the same time, you may be extremely anxious about what your life will be like if you do.

Passing the Bar Exam is a rite of passage. From then on you will enter a new phase of your life, and that in itself can be scary. Even though you don’t feel too happy while preparing for the Bar Exam, there is some sense of comfort in this known situation, that can pile on the pressure of passing the Bar, and how your life will be like then

Preparing for the Bar Exam can put you over the edge

Sometimes, when you have been dealing with all of these emotions, it can seem that the only way to handle it is by abandoning everything. Some students can experience suicidal thoughts as they prepare to take the exam, and that can be an extremely tragic consequence of this process. 

If you have had thoughts about ending your own life, you may want to look for professional help right away. Don’t let the Bar Exam take everything from you, even the most valuable thing: your life.

What can I do if I feel like this? 

If you are preparing for the Bar Exam, there are a few things you can do to feel better.

Look for professional help  

If you feel the preparation for the Bar Exam is taking the best of you, look for professional help. Don’t wait until you are over the edge to do so. Having someone with you who can share your thoughts and emotions about this process can make going through it a lot easier.

Be open to others

As said before, it is important to have people to share with. Select two or three people that you feel listened to you, and will be able to show you some support. They should be people you can also count on when you need to think of something else other than studying.

Meditation is useful 

In those moments you begin to feel the pressure weighing down on you, meditation will certainly help. It will be a way for you to center yourself and move away from that spiral of thoughts. With time, as you practice it, you may get more and more control over how you feel.

Take some time away 

Although the routine of someone preparing for the Bar Exam is intense, try to take some time away. Spend time with friends, or go out to do something you like. Having some moments to clear your head will even allow you to return to study with more energy and motivation.

Try to live a healthy life

Eating and sleeping well are the basis of feeling good. If you manage to keep those working, your levels of energy and motivation will improve. If it is possible, try to exercise as well. That will help reduce your stress levels and even improve your mood.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Can preparing for the Bar Exam make me depressed? 

How can I relax after the Bar Exam? 

After you take the Bar Exam it is your time to relax. To do so, you may want to do something you couldn’t do because you were studying. And you may want to look in a positive way for the life ahead, whether you passed the exam or not, you accomplished something in this period.

Do things that will help reduce your stress level l. It can be exercising, yoga, or meditating. Take some time to travel. Seeing new things and places will also help clear your mind from all that just happened. Spending time outdoors, and with friends can also help you relax after the Bar Exam.

Is test anxiety real?

Yes, test anxiety is a form of performance anxiety in which people become anxious about how they will perform in something. It can happen not only in exams but also in papers presentations. Test anxiety can make the person experience intense symptoms of anxiety.

They can feel their heart beating faster, their blood pressure can go high, and they can experience difficulty breathing. Aside from that, they can start shaking and feel the palm of their hands sweating. They can feel cold, and experience discomfort in their gastrointestinal system.

In the long run, test anxiety can lead to low self-esteem, anger, and to feeling hopeless. It can even be something that relates to depressive episodes.

What are the causes of depression?

Depression can have many causes. It can be related to genetics, which means that when you have a family member that has depression, you have a higher chance of developing it as well. Aside from that, it can be related to a chemical imbalance in the person’s brain.

When a person has a low level of some neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, and high levels of some hormones, such as cortisol, may cause a person to be depressed. 

And finally, depression can happen when a person is going through a traumatic event. That can be the loss of a loved one or the end of a relationship. Or even failing a test.

Why do people keep failing the Bar Exam?

Some people may fail the Bar Exam sometimes, and although that can be normal, and you should try to not put so much pressure on yourself, it may be that this is happening because you haven’t thought about what is making you fail.

This is one of the most important things to do when you fail your Bar Exam. Set some time to understand what went wrong, and what you could have done differently. Understand if you could have prepared yourself in another way, and try to put this into practice for the next time you prepare for the Bar Exam.

What causes test anxiety?

Test anxiety is common when you are taking the Bar Exam. This form of performance anxiety usually happens because the person has an intense fear of failure. People may put so much pressure on themselves, that even though they know everything, they feel a lack of confidence.

But it can also happen because you haven’t prepared yourself enough for the test. And finally, it can happen if you have a history of doing badly on tests. You may begin to ask yourself if it will be like the last time, and even if you have improved your knowledge, you may not feel confident about it.

Conclusion 

This article centered on explaining how preparing to take the Bar Exam can harm your mental health. It also explained why this happens, and what are ways you can cope with it.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.

References

https://nationaljurist.com/national-jurist-magazine/managing-stress-and-anxiety-while-studying-bar-exam

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