What I Need My Professors To Understand About Dealing With Depression In College

Twenty20 / kaitlynzuverink
Twenty20 / kaitlynzuverink

It’s no secret that college is stressful for everyone. But I need my professors to understand a few things.

I suffer from anxiety. While it could be much worse, I’m constantly worrying even when I don’t have the added stress of school. While I perceive my anxiety as mild, the people around me notice it and oftentimes become anxious themselves because of it. In such a high state of stress, it feels as if every stressful event in my life is being brought to the surface. So not only am I dealing with school and life in the present, but also negative things from my past.

Your assignments stress me out from the moment I hear about them. While I’d love to start them as soon as possible, many times it just doesn’t happen that way.

My anxiety of the assignment ultimately causes me to put it off… too many times until the very last moment. I just need you to understand. Small amounts of anxiety can be good, but at times I experience anxiety that is crippling. I’m not sure if I need to scream or cry.

I also need you to understand that I suffer from depression. So when the anxiety has me worried and procrastinating, I’m also getting tremendously down on myself. This creates a vicious cycle and once it starts, it seems impossible to escape. I need you to understand that this is not easy.

I need you to understand that I didn’t attend class all week because my depression drained me to the point that I couldn’t get out of bed.

And while at times I can attend class and seem fine, last night I was dealing with my vice. Whether I stared down the bottle, took a few pills, smoked something, or considered taking a blade to my skin, I need you to understand that this is what I’m dealing with.

Perhaps selfishly, I am also trying to have a social life and build friendships. While I may be slacking in some areas of my academics, the stress is so high and sometimes I just need to enjoy myself. I may have slacked on an assignment because I went to the bar last night… but I need you to understand that alcohol decreases my anxiety so much that sometimes it seems like the only way I can make friends. After all, I need a support system here to make all of this easier to deal with. I left my friends, family, significant other, siblings, and pets at home. This is a major adjustment and I know I’m not the only one that isn’t handling it well.

Above all, the hardest part of all of this is that I also need to take care of myself. I need to eat regularly and as best as I can. I need to keep myself and my room clean. I need to take my medications and if I’m lucky a multivitamin. This semester, I came to a point where I felt like I couldn’t even take care of myself. It feels absolutely awful to be unable to take care of your basic needs. I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but this time I pulled through. I still need you to understand for me and all of your other students that are struggling. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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