A Q&A with a student struggling with depression

Jane Fleischman

More stories from Jane Fleischman


Jane Fleischman

Students suffering with depression and other mental illness must struggle through a more difficult day to day life. Students and faculty should must recognize that mental illness is real.

 We talked to a student who is struggling with depression about some of their experiences. Due to the sensitive nature of the topics explored, the student opted to remain anonymous.


Q: How have depression/other mental illnesses affected your life?

A: [In] many ways [depression] makes it harder to perform well in school and sports and makes it harder to keep up with relationships sometimes.


Q: Do you think people treat you differently?

A: No, they don’t know.


Q: Do you think people notice if someone is depressed?

A: Sometimes only when it’s affecting the way they act because it’s passed off as normal teenage angst.


Q: Are you currently taking any antidepressants?

A: Yeah.


Q: How does taking antidepressants change your day to day life?

A: [It makes it] not good, but more manageable. It doesn’t cure the depression it makes it easier for the person to help themselves.


Q: Have you taken something different in the past?

A: I’ve gone through like a million different meds and had horrible side effects but I found the right one.


Q: What would you say the general view is of having to take antidepressants?

A: I feel like a lot of people think it’s fake happiness or changing who you are but it’s just bringing [you] closer to being a normal person.


Q: What do you think the culture is here at WJ regarding mental illness?

A: I don’t think it’s something talked about much.


Q: What do you want to say to other students who are currently struggling?

A: Just that things are not going to get better right away but it’s going to take time, it sucks right now and it’s going to hurt right now but it will get better. A lot of people are like ‘it’s going to get better’ but it doesn’t get better quickly, it’s not an instant fix.


Q: What do you wish was different?

A: That more people should understand that depression and anxiety are real mental illness not just something that people go through.