National Alliance on Mental Illness
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College Student Testimonial: Depression
The following is a personal reflection by a student at Harvard University.
I contemplated taking too many pills less than a week after I arrived at Harvard. Depression was tightening its grip on my mind, and I was certain that I was powerless to stop it. Most new students were welcoming every new conversation (or so it seemed), picking no less than 30 activities, and eagerly preparing a persuasive argument for the first successful triple concentration at Harvard. I was alone in bed, my arms wrapped around my comforter, and trying to make sense of the realization that the only feeling I felt was the feeling of nothing at all.
Why was I so miserable at Harvard – where the birds crap opportunity? Because, ultimately, depression could not care less where I was or whom I was with. "When will this ever end?" was often my last thought before I would finally fall asleep. "It's not going to end" was often my first thought in the morning.
Depression allows nothing but a joyless, lifeless, pointless existence. What's more, depression convinces you that you deserve every minute of it. It is a despair that intensifies over time. In the world according to depression, you do not earn any of the positive things that happen in your life, and the negative events are your fault even before they happen. After a few hours spent in that cage each day, your mind is numb and there is no other option but retreat. Depression places your self-worth on trial every chance it gets, and in time, its case starts to appear flawless. Your self-confidence slowly erodes, and hope slips away every time you grasp it.
If you are depressed, don't think that no one cares. I can see it in your eyes when I walk past you in the dining hall, when I glance at you in section, and when I bump into you at a party. I care. Depression can be dismantled, piece by piece. It doesn't happen in one day, but it will. No one deserves a front row seat to their lives passing them by. Most important, no one deserves depression.
To learn more about depression, click here.
Note: Special thanks to the Harvard-Radcliffe Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy Group for submitting this testimonial. You can visit their website at http://hcs.harvard.edu/~mhaag/.