There is a way to deal with your pain
As we discuss a range of hot topics in the media and among o u r s e l v e s such as guns, a b o r t i o n , religion, et cetera, one that seems to be perennially untouched is mental illness.
Something about it seems to make people uneasy. Many people of the older generation see it as a taboo or a fancy way of explaining folk conditions (“In my day, they called ADD ‘ants in the pants.’”). Younger people may not see themselves as even having a problem. This has to change. Psychological problems are just another type of medical condition: diabetes, anxiety, cancer, schizophrenia.
Forty-one percent of FGCU students find depression, anxiety or ADHD hinder their schoolwork, not to mention what emotional trauma can do to interpersonal relationships and self-esteem. Yet, in 2009, there were only 5,626 sessions (which would be 40 percent of the current student body, but includes repeat visits) at Counseling and Psychological Services, the free on-campus office that helps treat cognitive issues.
My personal ailment is depression. I use depression as a means of sparing people from my anger, and I’m angry because I lack control of my world. I feel like no one trusts to give me any sort of responsibility or even really listen to/care about what I have to say. I’m depressed because I get to see my girlfriend for a few hours, one day a week, if I’m lucky. I’m depressed because we fight over basic stuff and I can’t get her to see my side and have the compulsion to make sure she’s doing everything she’s supposed to. I’m depressed because I can’t even buy her nice things.
I’m depressed because I’ve spent nine years in this hellhole state and miss my friends in California, but I know things have changed and they’ll never be the people I remember. At this point, it seems as if the people in my life are ghosts. Passing spectres that enter at one point and exit quickly afterward, rarely providing feats of note. I’m depressed because I’ve been going to college for seven years by paying out of pocket and that no employers will actually care about my hard work.
I’m depressed that it’s nearly impossible to get a job in film and even more impossible to tell the stories I have to a mass audience. I’m depressed that people don’t seem to understand what I want to do. I’m depressed that there are 16-year-old kids going to MIT and getting hooked up in the industry and make me look like a failure in comparison. I’m depressed that I sound self-pitying and like I’m just complaining.
Most of all, I’m depressed that I might never accomplish my goals, have no effect on the world around me, and it’ll be as if I had never lived at all.
Obviously, I have many triggers. Maybe you do, too. Maybe you just lash out when you trip in front of that special someone or have to wash your hands 15 times. I tell you my shortcomings not to air my problems, or because I get thrills from doing so, but in the hope that if I can publicly express my thoughts and emotions, you might find someone to tell your feelings. Even if you just go to CAPS once, don’t burden yourself where you don’t have to. No one is an island. I hope that you might seek any means of salvaging your mind before it’s overtaken by the fog of illness. I hope that you might save yourself from the collapse of willpower that I have suffered. I hope that you might be free of limitations.