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Dealing With Darkness

The Hardship Of Being A Depressed Student

Many+students+struggle+with+depression+and+anxiety.+Call+the+depression+hotline+at+1-800-273-8255+if+you+or+someone+you+know+needs+help.
Many students struggle with depression and anxiety. Call the depression hotline at 1-800-273-8255 if you or someone you know needs help.

Many students struggle with depression and anxiety. Call the depression hotline at 1-800-273-8255 if you or someone you know needs help.

Many students struggle with depression and anxiety. Call the depression hotline at 1-800-273-8255 if you or someone you know needs help.

ClaraGrace Pavelka, Managing Editor

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“I hate when [the voices] really come out. I know when they take over because I am in the back of my mind and just watching,” student A said. 

The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, describes her childhood at previous schools as lonely. She often busied herself by talking to make-believe friends.

“People thought that was really strange,” she said. “They would pick on me, throw me around, called me a freak, and they would tell me to go back to the place I came from. They would even laugh at me. I felt sad.”

During her years in Calallen High School, the student has not faced bullying, but she is still affected by the way people treated her.

“That’s why I have trouble in classes. I even now can’t really get through classes because I just zone out too much,” student A said.

The student zones out to escape the hopelessness and terrifying feelings which come along with her depression.

“With depression I am just sad,” the student said, “and anxiety makes me feel like I can’t breath and that everything is closing in on me.” 

Many high school students struggle with depression. Just last year, it was reported in TIME magazine that three million teens aged 12-17 experienced at least one major episode of depression, but that number does not represent the teens secretly dealing with depression.   

Ms. Nelson, one of the school counselors, is in charge of guiding one-fourth of the student body.

“15%-20% of my students require weekly support with managing their depression and anxiety,” Nelson said.

Once the Calallen counselors know that a child is suffering, they regularly pull them from class to talk. The topics of discussion are usually focused on what is troubling them, how they are feeling, and the causes for the onslaught of depression or anxiety.

“We just talk about their day. They know that if it is a particularly bad day they just come in and I stop whatever I am doing and they become my complete focus,” Nelson said.

Another CHS student describes her depression as a foggy, misery of darkness she barely crawls through her day with a smile. She doesn’t feel like she has a choice to be happy. In fact, the majority of her time she feels hopeless and invisible to others. The teenager deals with her depression privately and without help. Her depression has resulted from her poor home life and the emotionally troubling experiences faced as a kid.

“It [the depression] makes me feel sad. I am in a bad mood. The depression is there and you think it is going to go away but it just stays,” student B said.

Surviving the school day or even the thought of coming to school is troubling for the student.

“I sit on the bus and say okay, school, everybody will stare at me because I am way different,” student B said.

She feels alone, left out, and she thinks that she sticks out from the crowd when she wishes she could blend in.  

“There are days when I am like alright I am going to come to school. And then there are days when I am like I don’t want to go to school today,” student B said, “There is nothing for me. I don’t fit in. School is-I just don’t want to go. I do not know anyone.”

When the teenager is depressed, she feels like the world is against her. Some students joke around making comments about wanting to die, but they fail to realize the effect it has on others.

“When people in class say I want to die it hurts because I am already feeling depressed, and those comments don’t help,” student B said.

Although at times the junior feels like she wants to blend in, the junior has learned that people do care and will listen to her.

“There are actually people that are going to listen and you never know if it is going to be a friend, a teacher, or a counselor,” student B said.

The teenager also tries to cope with her depression by thinking positively. She wishes people would simply talk to students dealing with depression because even a simple conversation can improve their day and make them feel worthy.

“Never think that the depression will go away so try to talk to them. Say you are totally worth it. You are not worthless. There are a lot of people who feel like they are not worth it but they are totally worth it,” student B said.

Both students go to bed reaching for a better tomorrow.

“Yeah I struggle. It is hard, but I try to get through it,” student A said. 

The high school administration encourages all students that are struggling with depression or anxiety find help.

“Please go see a counselor, teacher, assistant principle or other sources of help,” Ms. Barker, assistant principle, said, “Or call the 24 hour depression hotline number 1-800-273-8255.” 

 

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Dealing With Darkness