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Mental health in year 12 VCE

Community Member

Hey everyone,


I am currently in year 12 completing VCE. Recently I have been diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder and panic disorder. I have always been anxious as a kid but it has gotten so much worse this year. 

In the beginning of term 1, I was having panic attacks on the way to school, feeling like I couldn't breathe and feeling sick, of course I couldn't make it to class. I never thought year 12 would really affect my mental health as I want this last year of school for me to be fun and enjoyable with my friends. 

I got prescribed an SSRI and it made me sick alongside with other side effects (I think I started too high on a dosage), I haven't gone back to any other medications since apart from a short term medication to relieve anxiety.

I do speak to a psychologist and school counsellor but I am still feeling like this, especially on Mondays.


Thank you

2 Replies 2

Hi there,

Thank you for your post to the forums. We are so sorry to hear you are going through a difficult time, Year 12 can put a lot of pressure on a person and it's understandable that you feel apprehension when Mondays roll around. You are not alone with these feelings, our community is always here to listen.

We're glad you are connected with some supports such a psychologist, we’d also encourage you to give the Beyond Blue counsellors a call on 1300 22 4636 or speak to them on webchat here, they can be really helpful espcially during panic attacks when our thoughts can often race. Another option is Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800). Kids Helpline offers free phone counselling services 24/7 or you could also contact that via email or webchat through their website: https://kidshelpline.com.au/ 

Remember to look after yourself and try and be kind to yourself during this time, Year 12 can be exhausting enough without putting extra pressure on ourselves. Our community is full of lovely people, and some have experience of dealing with similar experiences. We’re sure they’d love to hear a bit more about you and may drop by and share their thoughts here once they spot your post.  

Kind regards,   

Sophie M 

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

The warmest of welcomes to you at a time in your life that's so incredibly challenging and overwhelming. ❤️🙂


To say year 12 can be anxiety inducing and depressing for some can be an understatement. While my daughter gained her VCE a few years back, my son achieved this just last year. It was a struggle for both of them, mental health wise and academically, for different reasons. With my son more so, it became a major exploration of all the things that could possibly lead him to complete his VCE successfully, which was his goal. It's something that tested me as a mum and I couldn't have helped my son manage without support from others.


It's good to know you have a solid circle of supporters, including a parent or both your parents, your psychologist and school counsellor. I found it became a matter of 'Who else can I add to the circle or do I need to add to it?'. I found deeply feeling people who can relate to or identify a number of issues was a must. They proved to be great leaders.


I had a student organiser I employed in year 11 to help my son and she was a brilliant leader in many ways. While she led my son to become more organised to some degree and develop study skills, she also led him to a psychological and cognitive assessment. From her experience with other students, she believed his major focus issues involved an underlying factor. He went on to be assessed toward the end of year 11, ticking a lot of the boxes for the high functioning end of the autism spectrum. It was a light bulb moment that he was grateful for. This deeply thoughtful, brilliant and caring student organiser also led my son to consider whether he wanted to gain an ATAR or gain his VCE unscored. While he gave the exams a go, he didn't gain anywhere near the ATAR he needed to be accepted into a uni. Through future self development, especially in gaining greater focus, his goal involves finding a pathway into uni down the track (to study marine biology). Through his own experience, my son would say 'This is not your only year, there are many years ahead of you that will allow you to explore further study if that's your wish'.


Do you feel 'Scored (ATAR) or unscored?' may be the question that could offer you some sense of relief? For some students, relying on passing SACS can be the way to go. While schools can be all talk about 'pathways' into uni, one of the things they tend not to talk about involves the best pathways in serving mental health. For some students, the best mental pathway through completing VCE is the path of gaining their VCE unscored. Do you feel this is something you'd prefer to do? Also, I'm wondering whether your psychologist has mentioned the possibility of further assessment, like ADHD or something along those lines. It's not necessarily about gaining a label or diagnosis, for my son he was more so interested in finding out how or why he naturally ticks the way he does. It was about gaining a greater sense of self understanding and skills for managing the way forward.