OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Monday, January 20

#5767

QUESTION: How do you deal with your depression while going to school? I often can't get out of bed or want to leave the house. And most of the classes I have....have attendance/participation marks.

8 comments

  1. I know what you mean. Medication helped but took a while. Letting lots of sunlight in in the morning helps. Scheduling to meet a friend or having them call me or even go to class with me helped for me. I care more about disappointing my friends than going to class.

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  2. Truth about what 1 said. Being accountable to a friend or anyone else can be helpful when it comes to attendance.

    I find once a week classes are a good push to go as well, because even if you manage to get yourself like 15 mins late, there is still lots of class left. Also, there is so much more you will miss if you don't go, so I feel obligated to go.

    Medication and caffeine help with concentration and motivation.

    AccessAbility. I have a doctor's note with my diagnosis that allowed me to be registered with AccessAbility and have it on my file that I may miss some classes due to my illness.

    Talk to your instructors. A lot of them can actually be pretty compassionate. I had a prof who took my participation weight and evenly divided it among my other grade categories because I was having a very difficult time. Not everyone will be nearly so amazing, but if you do see a good doctor and fork out the $20 for a VIF, your profs can't penalize your absences.

    There is also psychotherapy through Mental Health Services, as well as a fair selection of workshops and group therapy through Counselling Services and the Student Success Office.

    I also really want to form a group on campus for depressed people to be each other's accountability buddies... Encourage each other to go to classes, do some homework together, and maybe share tips on medications, support resources, and strategies that help... But I don't know where to co-ordinate such a thing through.

    Other depressed people have any thoughts?

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  3. I just forced myself to go to class and cried in the front row. Sometimes I'd skip. Health Services, counselling etc. didn't help, though I did have the opportunity to purchase Verification of Illness forms on a regular basis.

    Wish I could tell you it was easy or I got through it without problems. It's a living hell and the support is basically non-existent. Meds have helped but... that doesn't make up for the pathetic lack of support on campus.

    OPD was even worse. As soon as I confirmed to them I was depressed, they wouldn't touch me with a 10ft pole. They wanted to give me more support for having IBS than depression.

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    Replies
    1. What doctor were you seeing?

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  4. On the days I do go to class I get a seat close to an exit so if I need to I can leave easily,

    I am registered at OPD but I've never made use of their services. I'm thinking of doing it this year. You should too!

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  5. I started listening to some really fucking br00tal heavy metal.
    Not even joking.
    Pumping out mad riffs on the guitar and whatnot really makes me feel great.

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  6. What I do is by caffeine pills, and set my alarm about 20 minutes earlier than I need to get up, and leave a caffeine pill and a glass of water next to my phone. When the alarm first goes off, I take the caffeine pill, then set the alarm for another 20 minutes, and by the time it goes off again, the caffeine pill has kicked in. Granted, as the day goes on, the caffeine wears off, but by then I have enough momentum from already being on campus for the rest of the day. YMMV

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  7. I went through my whole undergrad like this and now I am in grad and it is happening again. It sucks so hard. Here are my tips:

    - Make yourself get up earlier than you need to for class, even though the first 20 minutes of the process are horrible, and watch a TV show, or listen to music, or whatever, that relaxes you.

    - Get enough sleep if possible. I know depression messes with sleep cycles, but if yours is decent, take advantage.

    - Give yourself a treat for going to class. Like, I have delicious snacks I keep in my backpack that I eat on the way to school.

    - Talk it out with a friend. You have no idea how helpful it is to say to someone 'I am feeling depressed today and I do not know what to do with myself'.

    - Don't let yourself skip too many classes, or you'll feel buried under the weight of it all.

    - Keep a journal of which experiences upset you and which ones uplift you. You might find patterns you didn't expect. For me, I realized that talking to my roommates before bed triggered me for some reason. I also realized that spending time outdoors early in the day made a big difference in how I felt all day.

    - Take less classes than you think you should.

    - Get dressed and leave the house (even to wander around your block) every day, even if you hate it.

    - Reach out to other students. When I used to TA, I had so many people come to me and imply that they were having a hard time, and we would have these great conversations about it. Not everyone will be receptive, but considering what a huge amount of the population has mental illness, a surprising and large number of people will react with something like 'oh yeah! me too!!'

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