Back to university

After taking a sabbatical from university for a semester, I am back and ready to try make a good go of it.

I feel much more prepared this time. There are a few reasons why, but among them I have decided to knuckle down and give my law studies the attention they need in order to be worth the HECS debt I continue to clock up. This has meant that I took a traumatic and difficult decision to close the University Liberal Club which I founded and led for 3 years. It has also meant coming to grips with what seems to have been an obviously recurring depression.


In a lot of ways, this semester will be my test case for coping with depression. For the first time on my life my mood is being held up with help from a script for sertraline hydrochloride (aka zoloft). Actually it is a great relief. No more dark nights of the soul, no more will-sapping episodes of black moods and all consuming self doubt. I feel like myself again.

It’s not without its drawbacks, zoloft. In common with other SSRIs it has some side effects. Most noticeable is that it makes my sleeplessness even worse, but I can control that with melatonin and valerian pills when I need to. Less obvious at first is that it completely suppressed my libido for a few months. This only occurred to me when I read that SSRIs could have this effect and realised it was true of my experience. However I find that a combination of weight training and tyrosine supplementation are turning things around on that front. Losing one’s libido has definite advantages in terms of becoming calm and undistracted, but I felt like I was not a whole person without those raw urges.


I am enrolled in 5 units this semester – 3 conventional units and 2 intensives. I have just been reviewing the material for the regular units. All three are 100% exam subjects, which means no assignments. Which is a shame, as I find that I can really get my teeth into an assignment or essay where I have taken the time to read and think about the topic. On the other hand it means that I can structure my entire study plan from day dot, which I have already been working on the last few weeks.


We’ll see, I guess.

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1 Response to Back to university

  1. James Simpson says:

    Hey Jacques,

    I pop back to your blog every now and then in the hope of finding new material – I’ve got the address in my favorites. Unfortunately I don’t find new material as often as I would like!

    Hope this semester is turning out or has turned out well for you.

    I’m sorry to read about your depression. A couple of my close friends have suffered depression and it completely sucks monkeys’ balls. All I can say is that I hope you’re feeling heaps better and your life is heading where you want it to – you deserve it to mate, because you’re a brilliant bloke and a top individual. You’ve got a friend in Adelaide if you ever feel like writing/visiting. I’d like to come up to Darwin for a holiday, but I can’t see it happening in the foreseeable future unfortunately.

    All the best. Hope I’ll see you or hear from you soon.


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