Being a Student & Being Depressed

Being a Student & Being Depressed

We all suffer eventually, some longer than others
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To the college students who are still trying to find yourself and figure out how to do day-to-day tasks with depression. Weather you're a freshman or junior, you matter and don't let anyone tell you differently.

It is so difficult to be physically present but be miles away mentally. You sit in class, unable to concentrate because your brain feels as if its shut down. You just stare at something or find yourself unconsciously doodling. Then later be so angry with yourself for not paying attention in lecture, knowing you wouldn't of been able to stay alert anyways because the "monster" in your head is telling you "you're not smart enough", "you'll never be anything anyways in life" or the one that really gets me "everyone is disappointed in you already anyways, just give up" but thats not true. You ARE smart enough, you WILL be something in your lifetime, and NO ONE is disappointed in you! You have the whole world behind you, cheering you on. It may not seem like it somedays but I can promise you, at least one person will ALWAYS be there. I'm lucky enough to have a whole army behind me, some that don't even know me personally but saw my story and reached out to me. Random people took time out of their day to send me an encouraging message. You people will never know how much it is appreciated.





Then the next day you're rocking it out, accomplishing everything you needed to get done, actually understanding what is going on in class, drinking enough water and eating healthy. As if yesterday never existed and you never had any depressing thoughts or doubt yourself. I understand completely what you're going through, the hardest part is having people who don't suffer, understand that this is your life. Even with taking medication for depression, you still have these days frequently.

Now I'm not sure if you are just figuring out what works out for your body medication wise, or if you suffer quietly. You're still going to have those days, and all you can do is take it day by day. I expressed my feelings on an off day and was told by a friend "small tasks each day girl" meaning, just do whatever you're comfortable with, but make sure you get it done. Its ok if its just one small thing, at least you committed and got it done.

Thank the family, friends, loved ones and even strangers, for everything they have done. Even if they don't realize or mean to do something that benefits you, just thank them. They are also suffering. They have to deal with your mood swings, keeping you motivated, and everything else they do on top of their schedule.

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100 Ways To Practice Self-Care In Your Everyday Life, In 20 Minutes Or Less

Simple ways to start taking care of yourself.

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Life is overwhelming and distracting so it's easy to forget about yourself sometimes, but practicing small self-care acts is easy. Making time for yourself every day isn't selfish and is really good for your mental health. I think it's important for everyone to spend time doing things that make them happy and more calm, even if you only dedicate 20 minutes each day. Putting yourself first can lead to growth so many other aspects of your life.

Obviously, each person is allowed to practice self-care in their own unique way, but here are some ideas to get you started!

1. Do something new. 

2. Make a list of things you need to get done that week. 

3. Drink some hot tea. 

4. Go for a walk on a scenic trail.

5. Paint your nails.

6. Have a good laugh.

7. Buy yourself flowers.

8. Light a candle.

9. Do some tidying up.

10. Don't feel bad for saying 'no.'

11. Listen to music.

12. Slow down.

13. Drink a smoothie.

14. Run mindless errands.

15. Write down your goals for the week.

16. Talk to someone about the future.

17. Wake up early and get coffee. 

18. Take care of a plant. 

19. Take a bubble bath. 

20. Give yourself a compliment.

21. Give a stranger a compliment.

22. Watch a movie.

23. Put your phone down.

24. Declutter your personal space.

25. Go to bed early. 

26. Pray or meditate. 

27. Go for a drive. 

28. Make it a habit to stargaze. 

29. Read a book. 

30. Read poems. 

31. Sing loudly. 

32. Make a list of things you're grateful for. 

33. Drink a lot of water. 

34. Put on make-up for no reason.

35. Watch funny videos. 

36. Take a deep breath. 

37. Distance yourself from negativity. 

38. Unfollow people you don't care to follow on social media. 

39. Have a pajama day. 

40. Read an inspirational book. 

41. Call your parents/ loved ones. 

42. Donate old clothing. 

43. Dedicate a day out of the week to not eating meat. 

44. Do a fun craft or DIY project. 

45. Put on a face mask and relax. 

46. Do a small workout. 

47. Take a power nap. 

48. Listen to a podcast. 

49. Open a window. 

50. Open your curtains in the morning to let in natural light. 

51. Make your bed. 

52. Cook dinner instead of eating out. 

53. Play/ cuddle with an animal. 

54. At the end of the day, think of all the positive things that happened.

55. Moisturize. 

56. Buy a comforting blanket. 

57. Give someone a hug. 

58. Create a vision board. 

59. Have some alone time.

60. Enjoy the sun on your skin. 

61. Dance like nobody is watching.

62. Walk in the rain every once in a while. 

63. Drive with the windows down. 

64. Give someone a gift for no reason. 

65. Get a massage. 

66. Do something that gets your adrenaline running. 

67. Spend the day at the library or a book store. 

68. Organize your work space/ binders. 

69. Spend a weekend in. 

70. Recognize hard work and reward yourself. 

71. Sign up for a work out class. 

72. Eat lunch with a friend. 

73. Spend the day helping others. 

74. Get your hair done. 

75. Have a good cry. 

76. Use sticky notes. 

77. Color code your planner. 

78. Print out pictures and hang them up. 

79. Hang motivational quotes on your mirror and read them when you get ready. 

80. Do random acts of kindness. 

81. Buy fuzzy socks. 

82. Redecorate or rearrange furniture. 

83. Be present. 

84. Set a new years resolution. 

85. Make a bucket list. 

86. Stretch in the morning. 

87. Watch an interesting documentary. 

88. Make a music playlist.

89. Watch the sunrise or sunset. 

90. Explore somewhere new.

91. Be slow to respond to negativity. 

92. Have a game night with friends. 

93. Buy concert tickets. 

94. Have a nightly routine before bed. 

95. Eat your favorite dessert. 

96. Do something you've been putting off. 

97. Invest in essential oils. 

98. Manage your finances. 

99. Buy a new outfit. 

100. Make your own gratitude list. 

Try at least one of these every week and see how you feel! I guarantee you will notice a difference in the way you are living your life.

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Depression Might Make Me Lose The 50% Of Willpower I Need To Put In, But A Christmas Tree Brought It Back

Sometimes, a little holiday cheer is all you need to function.

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I have bipolar 1 disorder which basically means my depressive states are a lot worse than my manic states and a lot longer. This is not a clinical definition by any means, it's just me describing my version of my disorder to you all, but the point is I am more often depressed than I am not. I could go on forever about how bad depression feels, but here's a plus point: I'm currently sitting at my computer writing this article as opposed to popping a Klonopin and deciding to do absolutely nothing. There's a reason for that.

My psychiatrist and psychologist say that 50% of recovery is the medication and 50% is willpower. Whether that be exercise or just doing something like going to museums or the zoo or painting or singing or just anything. Something to keep your brain active. Today was a particularly rough day. I woke up and took my medication and the Klonopin 0.25mg just wasn't working. I was pessimistic, didn't want to do anything, and kept kicking the box that contained the brand-new Christmas tree that we had to assemble. After about thirty minutes of pleading my mother reluctantly got me to take a Klonopin 1mg pill.

The thing about taking higher dosages of Klonopin is that it tranquilizes you and the only thing I could do was go to sleep, and I pretty much slept the entire day. This is a problem because the 50% of willpower that I was supposed to put in was nonexistent and then I felt bad about not doing anything. Then I caught sight of the Christmas tree box. As a little backstory: Christmas time is my favorite and my favorite part of Christmas is the Christmas tree.

I was extra excited to put up the tree because we got rid of our old seven-foot tree and ordered a nine- foot tree. That's more tree to love. When you're depressed it's hard to do anything, but that tree just called out to me and on a whim, I tore open the box and began assembling the tree. This was my first year buying an unlit tree, so I was a bit hesitant about the whole endeavor, but after a quick trip to the store I ended up with 600 lights and about 100 new ornaments. This was the willpower I was missing all day.

We put on Sinatra's "Ultimate Christmas" playlist on Spotify and began to assemble and decorate this tree, and let me tell you, it felt great. The tree came right on time, and I don't mean Amazon Prime did their duty, I mean to say that some higher power knew I had been in a depressive episode all week and delivered that tree right before I saw the doctor.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and I intend to show him that although the medication is not doing it's full 50% because it needs to be titrated carefully and slowly, I found the 50% of willpower I need to keep me feeling happy for the time being.

It may not last, but these moments of happiness are what I live for in the midst of depression.

Update: I wrote this article before my medication, Lamictal (a mood stabilizer), was titrated to 50 mg from 25 mg, but after it got titrated my depression has gotten a lot better, however, in the time that it was being titrated, in that transition period, the Christmas tree was truly only one the things that helped me feel better and more energized. That's to say, despite the fact that the 50% willpower I'm putting in is finally back on track, it was the Christmas tree that helped me get there. Happy holidays everyone!

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