Carly Sherba's "Depressing Memoir"

Carly Sherba is a sophomore Japanese and Computer Science major. I sat down with them to discuss their Scholarship and Creative Arts Day (SCAD) presentation on depression.

Last semester, Sherba took the interdisciplinary studies class Disease and Disabilities: The Science and the Stories, which combined the science of disabilities like Alzheimer's Disease, mental illness, and Down syndrome with literature through readings and the student’s own creative works. Sherba’s short story “A Rather Depression Memoir” along with two other short stories from the class were selected to be presented at SCAD this year.

I asked Sherba to tell me a little more about their short story. “It’s a personal memoir about my experience with depression and how it has affected my life at different stages,” they said. “I analyze and explore my personal experience with depression. From raw emotional experiences to glimpses of the present day, I detail the symptoms I experienced, and the growing disconnect in the relationship with my parents. The piece stands as a reminder to the past and how depression has helped me to grow into the person I am today.”

When asked why they chose to write about this topic, Sherba replied “Because I’m vain,” and laughed. Turning more serious, they said “It was one of the main topics we discussed in this class, and since I struggle with depression, I thought it would be a good way to explore it both scientifically and personally.”

Sherba also told me about what they learned through class and in writing their story. “I learned a lot about the science of what’s going on in my head, and the ways that it affects me, and what it can do to help my depression,” they said.

I asked if they learned anything particularly interesting about depression that they hadn’t known before. They told me about the vast array of symptoms of depression there are. “Everyone’s different,” they said. “Like some people can not eat at all and others can binge eat. Or people can do both. Some people don’t sleep at all with depression, and some sleep way too much.”

The tone turning lighter, they also told me that “Speaking in a deeper voice helps to establish dominance over the person you are talking to,” deepening their voice as they spoke.

Sherba and two classmates, along with faculty members Ms. Erica Dolson and Dr. Thomas Hagan, will be participating in a conversation and excerpt reading at 4:10 on Tuesday, April 16th in Hoover 211. See the SCAD program for more.