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To the Girl Struggling With Depression In College

This is a letter to the girl who is depressed in college. Someone who has lost all sense of direction. I know how broken, shattered and hollow you must feel. I also know that you will get through it. I know this because I have gone through it myself. I hope for most people this article isn’t relatable because I do not want anyone to ever feel this way. Those days that you stay in bed until 6 p.m.…they will end. The days that you don’t eat not because you aren’t hungry but because you can’t face the outside world will end. The days that you cry so hard that your sobs become silent will end. Other times you can’t even cry because you’re so numb on the inside. The nights where you are surrounded by people but feel more alone than ever. Those days where being buried in the ground seems more likely than finding happiness and having a bright future will end. Being depressed while in college is so incredibly difficult because everyone who surrounds you seem to be thriving (great grades, active in the community, having a job etc.) while you feel like you are drowning and struggling for air. Getting up to take a shower or making a doctor’s appointment feels like the biggest struggle in the world. Doing one assignment feels like you are lifting the weight of the world and puts you out of commission for the rest of the day. Depression manifests you not only mentally, but physically. The best way to describe it is the feeling of something heavy sitting on your chest at all times, numbness of your brain, and constant exhaustion. You forget to drink water, bringing dehydration induced headaches. This is what deep depression looks like. It is not portrayed correctly by the media; instead it is glamourized into skinny girls who cry into their pillows. Depression brings self-inflicted abuse. There are different extents of depression. Some experience it more severely than others. The fact of the matter is that everyone is battling something. You are not alone. You were placed on this earth for a reason, and while I may not know you personally, I want to do my best in this article to let you know that you are loved and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

What most people do not realize about depression is that it does not have to be triggered by any one thing. You do not have to be broken up with, have a shitty childhood, have a loved one pass away or fail a class to become depressed. For some people, depression just happens. You could have the ideal life; great friends, great family, great boyfriend, great future ahead and still become depressed. As for me, it was a lot of bad things that have happened in my life that built up over time to put me in a very dark place. To get to the point where all you feel is sadness and the things you used to enjoy have no effect on you is a very hard place to come out of and right now may seem impossible. But I promise you, one day you will be driving with the windows down and blasting music with your friends and it will almost feel like the serotonin is being released from your brain. One day you will feel the sunshine on your face, feel the earth under your feet, look at your friends laughing and thank God that you were brought out of the darkness you once were in. I still have days where getting out of bed is a war between my body and my brain. But on those days, you have to remember that no matter how hard things were, you survived. Nobody can take that away from you. You are stronger than you’ll ever know. The truth is, nobody can fix you but you. Yes, your friends will try to give you the world and will bring you food when you haven’t eaten for days and pull you out of bed to get to class, but they cannot fully fix you. You have to fill yourself up with love and become whole on your own. I need you to reach out to your doctor, reach out to a therapist, tell your mom how you feel. Finding the right doctor/therapist and the right medicine may take time, but keep trying. The worst thing you can do is stay in this state of middle ground where you are alive but not really living at all. You have to start to put the pieces of yourself back together, and of course the people who love you will help you along the way. Remember, life is tough, but so are you. This may sound corny, but life is so incredibly beautiful. One day you will see that again and admire the flowers sprouting out of the ground, the couple holding hands, coffee shops, old songs, sunsets, passports, strangers, swing sets, strawberries, paw prints, and so much more. This is the road to healing.

Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255