In the past couple of years, I have developed depression. I began taking an antidepressant in January of 2020. I never imagined that I’d need medication to help me manage my symptoms. Medication helped me be able to think better and regain some emotional stability. Not being able to experience pleasure has been the most debilitating symptom of depression for me. It’s difficult to enjoy life when you want to sleep all day long. Depression caused me to lose interest in everything, which was the most difficult aspect of depression for me. There were days when I didn’t want to eat and just wanted to sleep all day.
I was no longer enjoying academics, which was an indication that I needed treatment for my depression. My grades also began to slip. The shift to remote learning didn’t help in enjoying academics. I missed eating lunch in the dining hall and staying late to work on the campus newspaper or at the library after school. Unsupportive faculty also made the college experience frustrating and led to my depression and anxiety worsening.
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly didn’t help improve my mental health either. I couldn’t go to the movies or out to eat. I even missed my biweekly PT sessions. More than anything, I missed seeing my friends and family. I didn’t get to see my sister on her 16th birthday. Christmas of 2020 was a very lonely time. I didn’t get to see my aunts, uncles, or cousins. Gathering with my family is my favorite part of the holiday season.
Although my depression has improved, the symptoms are still present. Most days, I feel pretty good. However, I still want to sleep a lot. I don’t know if I want to return to college. Many people have told me that “being lazy” doesn’t help my depression. I’ve even had family members tell me that they don’t understand how I could be sad all the time. I wish people understood that I don’t want to be sad.
Depression is a mental health condition. It doesn’t go away overnight. Getting better can take a long time. If someone in your life has depression, please be patient with them. Let them know that you are there for them. It is tough to deal with mental health conditions.
Depression.” NAMI, NAMI, Aug. 2017, https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression.