Am I depressed or just stressed out?
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Life Stages

Is It Just Stress Or Is It Depression?

The fine line in between makes all the difference.

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Is It Just Stress Or Is It Depression?

I wanted to put this down to words a lot of times but was reluctant that once it is given a shape of words, it will be real. It is always easier said than done; and this, I realized in the past few months. I always thought that having the liberty to take our own decisions makes life better. Turns out, it is not that easy. As an Indian student for 20 years of my life, I am accustomed to having a set pattern and not having to make choices when it comes to subjects. Not much to speak.

However, here in the US, you not only chose your major, minor, subjects each semester; but you also need to juggle between a part-time job search and everyday survival(that sadly being of least priority). And so after putting out at least 40 emails, I was overjoyed to have gotten a part-time as a grader(essentially). Not realizing I'll actually have to devote the amount of time promised, I gladly agree for the part-time job. And then the semester came along. Initially, it was an introductory phase and things seemed smooth. But gradually, as the semester progressed, my academia, on one hand, took a full swing and so did the TA work. To add to it, I landed an internship but had to get some (very time consuming and lethargic) paperwork done.

On paper, my schedule did not need me to be in class much, but the courses were project-heavy. Also, two of them used completely new concepts. And so initially I would try to do things by myself and take help of friends. I would always think that it would get easier once I get hold of the concepts. But this never happened throughout the semester. I remember times when I would be awake but not want to get up from my bed. It seems to be quite normal to feel this way initially, but I got worried and distressed when this started to become a habit.

I didn't want it to get all gloomy since the end was approaching and so I figured I need to get out of my room and get some air. So I would go to the college gym or write something if I felt like. Listening to music is a very underrated and very effective therapy. I was determined to not cross the thin line from distress to depression. And so I would make sure to talk to concerned people about how I felt and would make conscious efforts to not fall into the dark dungeon.

I don't intend to make this a big revelation or even "my story of struggle" but all I intend is to put out there, what I experienced and that now I understand when people show up on those screens and share their struggle and share their moments of helplessness. I really believe that we all need to find out that one means of distraction that keeps us sane in such moments of self-doubt.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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