I Don’t Have An Excuse to Be Depressed

Over the course of the past 5 months my mental state has dropped shockingly fast. If I were to describe it, it would be akin to cliff-diving, throwing myself off the ledge towards the tumultuous waves beneath. I have spent months lying immobilized in my own bed, unable to drag myself to class and crying over the simplest difficulties in my every day activities.

I am a second year Journalism major at Carleton University. I am in the top program for my field in the country, accepted just before Christmas 2013 and granted a $12,000 entrance scholarship. I have a wonderful job scooping gelato and steaming milk at an adorable cafe on Bank Street. I live with one of my closest friends in a cute, if small, basement apartment a short ten minute walk from campus. I have a devoted, funny, sweet boyfriend who thinks the world of me. By all accounts, my life is wonderful. I want for nothing and balance my work/school/social life easily.

I don’t have an excuse to be depressed.

But here I am, taking 50mg of Zoloft and sobbing uncontrollably at night. I have days where I can barely sit in a lecture silently, much less tell the Starbucks cashier what drink I want.

I don’t have an excuse to be depressed.

But I’m not the only one.

I found an online journal article, a few years old, that calls me and my peers The Suffering Generation. 

I have never read anything more accurate. My generation is called lazy but I have never met a group of people that is more dedicated to pushing themselves to the limit. My friends and I work 4-5 shifts a week, go to class every single day, and churn out assignments and term papers faster than a Baby Boomer can learn to work an iPhone.

But our struggles are ignored. Our anxiety, depression, eating disorders; all of them are ignored and pushed aside. We are told we are looking for attention or simply overreacting.

“Everyone gets sad sometimes.”

“I get anxious in front of crowds, you’re probably fine.”

“God, eat a hamburger, will you?” or, alternatively, “They can’t be anorexic, look at them.”

We are not “The Me Generation” we are “The Suffering Generation” and the problem is, we’re fine until we’re not. And when we’re not, everything comes crashing down and just before we hit bottom someone invalidates our entire experience, and someone else is lost to this world.

This is avoidable. Stop putting so much pressure on university and college students to be perfect and listen to them.

People who are hurting want to talk, you just have to show them that you are willing to listen.

 

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