For three years I wondered why I felt so unhappy all the time. I would look around and see people living their lives and having fun, whilst I stood feeling like the world was against me. I told teachers and counsellors that I was cutting myself, but they never followed anything up. After that I just felt like I was being silly. I thought ‘If there was something wrong with me, they would have noticed… They wouldn’t have left me’. There was something wrong with me, and they did leave me.
It wasn’t until 4 months into uni that I realised that I had major mental health issues. I couldn’t get myself out of bed, I would starve myself for a week and then binge eat for another, I couldn’t remain positive about anything, and I couldn’t sleep. I had been self harming for a few months straight by this point, and my boyfriend was back home worrying that he would wake up to a phone call telling him I was dead. I knew at this point that I needed a doctors’ appointment immediately… I needed help. I phoned my local surgery and got an appointment within the hour. I was put onto antidepressants and counselling straight away. The combination of those two things helped me get better, and now I have a much more secure future with my boyfriend, and I know that life is worth living. I am on 150mg of antidepressants a day, as well as vitamin D injections every 3 months.
If I hadn’t had gone to university, I don’t think I would have ever been diagnosed with depression. I would never have learned to look in the mirror and feel happy with what I saw. Being as independent as university forces you to be helps you realise your weaknesses and your strengths. It helped me realise that I am depressed, but it does not define me, and I am strong enough to keep living. I have a lot to thank my time at university for, but my life is the biggest thing.
If you feel any of the above, remember that you are not alone, 4-10% of people in England will experience depression in their lifetime. If you think that you may have depression, don’t suffer in silence, speak to someone, a friend, family, your GP. There are various websites and phone numbers that you can call for help. You can conquer it.
Here’s a list of useful contact numbers.