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How Depression and Anxiety React to My School Stress

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6:30 a.m. — The alarm goes off. I can barely bring myself to open my eyes. I was restless all night, tossing and turning, and as I reach to shut off the alarm and turn on my light, that voice comes back.

“Why even bother?”

Depression and I have been paired since I was 14, but I’m lucky. It could be worse.

“Because I have to go to class today, I need to pass this class,” I think as I drag myself out of bed.

“No one will care if you show up; Just tell them you’re sick, come back to bed.”

I shake my head and get dressed. I glance at the mirror and shudder. I look worse for wear, and my eyes scream exhaustion with their darkness and bags. I rub them gently and convince myself to go downstairs. I’m just tired.


10:30 a.m. — I can barely stay awake, fueling myself on energy drinks and coffee, but no food.

“Hey!” A friend catches my attention, “Are you OK? You look like somethings bothering you.” She frowns, and I can tell she’s concerned.

“I’m just tired.” Depression and I lie, “I’m OK.” I hate lying to her, but I don’t want to bother her with a little sadness, a little bit of stress. After all, someone else has it worse.


1:30 p.m. — I stare down at my phone, knowing I need to be doing assignments and homework, but thinking about them makes me feel sick. My chest and throat feel tight, my head is pounding and I can’t tell if it’s because of the drinks or lack of sleep.

“Why aren’t you doing anything?” Anxiety creeps up. “Do you want to fail?”

“It’s not like I matter anyways,” Depression pipes up, making me sigh louder than I mean to.

“You look worried,” my mother says, gazing at me gently. “Everything OK?”

I don’t speak for a moment, staring at the ‘F’ blinking on my screen. Another failed assignment, even though I did it.

“Not worried,” I lie. “My teacher gave me an ‘F’ on my discussion post.” I’m frustrated. I can feel my anger and tears building.

“Why even bother?” Depression challenges again. “In the long run, you won’t matter anyways.”

“But you need this class! Don’t you want to do something with your life? You. Can’t. Fail!” Anxiety is rampant, making me feel worse.

I move to the dining room and sit, staring at my computer for hours. I haven’t written a single word. I’ve barely processed my instructions for this assignment. I’m overwhelmed and scared. I need this class but I hate every second of it. I hate how I can’t keep my grades up. I’m scared I will fail. I’m scared for the future, and that I’m not doing enough as I watch my friends get accepted into universities and achieve great accomplishments: doctors, lawyers, biologists. All with high GPAs, 4.0, 4.6… I can barely look at my own without crying. I’m not smart enough. I don’t do enough…

I shake my head, forcing depression to shut its mouth, forcing anxiety to leave me alone.

I take a deep breath, place my fingers on the keys, and write. It’s word vomit on the page, it’s incoherent, but it’s something. It’s good enough.

I’m just tired… But I’m enough.

Photo by Doug Robichaud on Unsplash

Originally published: December 27, 2018
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