I was drowning long before senior year began

Caitlin Anderson, photographer

It’s 6:30 a.m. Your entire street is dark. Your alarm starts ringing from beside your bed. But you lie there, already awake. You have been for hours, but you just can’t seem to get out of bed.

Like many people, I have depression. And like many people, I am also in high school. And the two most definitely don’t mix. Especially when you can’t make yourself get out of bed in the morning, but if you don’t go to school your attendance lowers your grade and scholarship opportunities.

I might not have been diagnosed because of the same circumstances as others, but my depression is just as real as theirs.

I was diagnosed with clinical depression just over two years after my father almost died. My doctor decided that, based on my symptoms, to prescribe me meds for my depression and also some general aches and pains. After about a month of not noticing a difference, I talk to my doctor who decided to keep my on it and make an appointment for a few months later.

Another month goes by and one night, I snap. I became moody and aggressive toward everyone before crying for no reason. I was in a very bad mental state and thinking about suicide. And to this day, I still have no idea why I started acting the way I did.

Most people believe it was the stress of senior year finally getting to me, but I was drowning long before senior year began.

But how am I supposed to have a social life, good grades, and get sleep when I can barely handle my most basic needs? I’ve tried antidepressants, but they make everything worse. And yet, I know my grades are awful, I can’t miss school, and I have so many missing assignments. But I just can’t bring myself to do any of my work.

Hours to days to weeks to months. The spiral downward never stops, it just gets deeper and deeper while the homework and projects pile up around me and it never seems to stop.

Depressive episodes may be temporary, but GPA is forever.