You’re in college, you’ve made new friends and you’re really enjoying yourself. Then the “grey cloud of doom” settles in. That’s what we called it in the Midwest; the grey cloud of doom was a perpetual grey cloud that hovered during the winter months causing seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. Once those grey clouds would go away, you’d start to feel a bit better, but the feelings of being down, alone, and stressed never just disappear over night. College is one of the most stressful four years of your life, so a cloudy day or extra stress doesn’t help. Here’s how I dealt with being depressed at college.
I have struggled with depression since I was 12 years old.
During college, I was in severe denial about my depression. I believed that I could be cured and that I was cured. That really wasn’t true. I had multiple depression “episodes” while I was in college. It’s scary, you feel alone, sad, lost, and like you don’t belong. So, what do you do? What did I do? First, I went to a couple of professors that I trusted. I went to a small school, so everybody knew everybody. While going to my professors helped, it didn’t solve my problem. I needed more help; more intense help that is.
“I went to a couple of professors that I trusted. While going to my professors helped, it didn’t solve my problem. I needed more help; more intense help that is.”
I found out that the school had a social worker or therapist, Brother Chris Dreyer. I went to the faculty offices to see Br. Chris. I was in deep, as my depression was getting the best of me.
I was in a downward spiral, I wasn’t going to class, I was sleeping most of my days away, and I was isolating myself.
Br. Chris was in his office, alone. I knocked on the door and was waved into his office. I was so nervous going to see this man. I had never met him, but I had heard amazing things about him. The great things that I had heard didn’t help the nerves. I didn’t know what to expect and I knew that I didn’t want another answer about how “god will heal” me or something like that.
I wanted someone to be honest with me about my depression, someone to listen to me, and to help me regain my grip on myself.
Well, Br. Chris was just the guy! He listened to me, and allowed me to come see him whenever I needed to talk to someone. I was lucky that I had him at my school. He was a wealth of resources as well. While I didn’t overcome my depression, I was able to let it go for a while.
I regained my grip with the help of Br. Chris Dreyer.
Most schools have a social worker of some sort. If you are feeling depressed at college, go speak to them. It’s not always as easy as talking to someone, but it’s the first step in getting better. The truth is, there is no right or wrong way in dealing with depression. There are only the ways that work and don’t work for you. Don’t look at your depression as taboo, or like you’re damaged. There are so many people out there just like you. Also, not everyone has chronic depression like I do. There are some that have seasonal or even situational depression. To those people I say: You have no idea how lucky you are. To those who have chronic depression, I say: buckle up buttercup, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!