Living with Depression

As part of Her Campus Exeter's Mental & Physical Health Awareness Campaign we will be exploring the dangers of Depression. This campaign hopes to raise awareness of mental & physical illnesses within the student population, and break the misconception that if you can't see it then it's not there.

Depression affects so many of us. From your housemate, the girl in your seminar, to even the person working in your local coffee shop. Depression can arise at any time in our lives regardless of age.

Unfortunately, depression is an issue some of us endure one too many times. It’s more than just being upset and feeling a bit down. It’s persistent. It’s like being in a black hole. Feeling like there’s no one or nothing that can help you. Feeling worthless and unable to set your mind on a positive path. It’s a downward spiral. The things you loved doing now just seem mediocre, the people you love seeing just don’t seem as important anymore and the responsibilities you have just aren’t worth it because you feel you aren’t worth it.

You can’t be that person people depend on anymore. I tried to cover it up and be someone else for so long. I wanted to be normal but I realised I just wasn’t.  

I was so good at covering it up, it just came naturally. But deep down I still had that feeling of hopelessness and pure negativity. I wish this article wasn’t so dark, but it's important to be honest. To let you know how it really feels to experience this everyday. I believed that talking to someone was a waste of my time, so self-harming was the method I diverted to. I’m not going to lie; it did feel good. Although I admit the way I dealt with it wasn’t the right way, at the time I felt like it was the only way. It felt like I was releasing some of the negativity and it soon became a consistent act of relief. I think this was because I could feel the pain. That I could feel something in general was a relief, because most of the time I was just numb.

Then, my friends noticed. They forced me to tell them what was happening… It was so tough, I felt like I couldn’t open up so I continued to avoid them as best as I could. Functioning was becoming difficult – on schoolwork, at home, with my friends. Everything was just exhausting; the best part of my day was going home after school and being in my room, in my comfort zone, with my thoughts.

Then one day my best friend, my boyfriend, realised that what was happening to me wasn’t okay, and I finally opened up to him. It was the best thing I could have done for myself. He saved me from what I thought inconsolable. Talking about it made me feel less alone, less crazy, and a lot less upset. I’m not going to say it eliminated everything but it definitely improved my lifestyle and I am so grateful I had that support.

Although, I know that a lot of people aren’t able to get that support, but whoever you feel is closest to you, open up to them because it can make the biggest difference. If you don’t feel that you have anyone to turn to, or would prefer to talk to a medical professional, please call one of these lines. They can make a huge difference to your life if you are suffering in silence.

There are also many services run directly through the University providing confidential mental health support, such as Cognative Behavioural Therapy and other talking therapies. You can gain access to these through contacting the Wellbeing Centre or speaking with your GP. Don’t be scared, no one is judging you. All anyone wants to do is help. All you have to do is trust that.

If you want to find out more about Depression please see these websites: