Letter to the Editor: A student’s experience with depression

By Emily Painter, Contributor

“Psychology Today” estimates around 10 million Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Additionally, many students experience struggles with depression — especially around finals week. One student shares her struggle with depression:

Do you ever feel fake happy, undoubtedly alone or as if everything is happening and you are just there? There is this cloudiness I can’t explain, true greyness, true pain. I have nothing to be sad about. I wish I could snap out if it, but I can’t. I’m tired — exhausted actually. I just want it all to be over, the pain, sadness, all of it. I want to be happy, to feel joy, to see the good, to be positive; I’m lost.

It’s as if I’m coming out of a burning building except I don’t know anything about the building, and it’s getting harder and harder to breathe. Plus, each time I find an exit, it’s blocked, and I can’t get out. There is nothing nearby to save me or anybody there with me. Just me, alone, waiting for help, but it never seems to come.

I need help, sure, but nobody gets it. They think I’m crazy or just sad. I’m lost though. I’m not really sure who is in my body, but it isn’t me. I’m gone. Trapped inside, deep inside. It isn’t that I don’t realize how good my life is. I do. That is what sucks. I know how good I have it, but I can’t even enjoy it. I’m so sad and angry.

I just want it to be over but, it never leaves. It is always there lying in wait. Waiting for its chance to take over, for me to be vulnerable. It’s like a monster under the bed. It waits for me to sleep and it attacks. My depression is a monster I try to slay and fail.

It’s a problem I can’t solve. It’s hard. I just want it to be better. I want to be better. I’ll never be the best me because I’m not even me. It’s called depression, and it’s taking over my life. In fact, it doesn’t even feel like my life anymore, but I keep going.

I’m hoping one day when I fall asleep the monster won’t show up that night. I’m hoping that I break out of the burning building. I’m hoping that I will be stronger, happier and ready for new beginnings.

Any students who struggle with mental health or who have questions about their mental health are invited to take the proper channels for treating and coping with mental illness. One resource on campus is the Center for Wellness and Counseling (CWC); it can be reached at 612-330- 1707. Augsburg students may also download and use the Pacifica App for free with their Augsburg email accounts.

This article first appeared in the Friday, December 15, 2017, Edition of The Echo.