You’re Not Alone: What College Doesn’t Teach You About Depression

“The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the brightest. The most damaged people are the wisest. All because they do not wish to see anyone else suffer the way they do.” – Anonymous

Take a moment to let these words sink in. Then reflect back to a time where you may have felt like everything was crashing around you, your life was falling apart piece by piece. Then understand that you are not the only one. Nor are you alone in this. Trust me, I know how it feels.

I know exactly what it’s like to cry in the shower; no one will get suspicious as to why your eyes are bloodshot – you can blame it on soap in your eyes. No one will hear your sobs into the pillow late at night; you wait for everyone to fall asleep so you can fall apart. There may have been a time, or maybe even 10, when you felt like everything hurt so bad that you just wanted it all to end. I know exactly what that feels like.

While it’s easy for someone who suffers from depression to understand what it’s like, it’s difficult to describe all of this in a way that someone who’s never experienced it can make sense of it. With the stresses of our everyday lives at home and work, college classes definitely do not make it any easier on us. Madison Holleran, 19, University of Pennsylvania track superstar jumped to her death over grades. She was stressing about her 3.5 GPA in the weeks before she jumped from a parking garage in Philadelphia, PA a little over a year ago.

Madison had beauty, brains, and her entire life before her, but she didn’t see it that way. There were people who had talked to her within hours of her suicide and there were no red flags, warnings signs, nothing.

Her parents had noticed that in the last two, three weeks, there was a change in her. Something was off. Something in her had snapped. That’s exactly what happens when you’re depressed. It hits you out of nowhere, all of a sudden, this overwhelming sadness floods over you. You get discouraged and upset, you feel hopeless, sad, and hurt. Then once again, you feel numb to the world and everything that surrounds you. Almost like just because you’re breathing, doesn’t mean you’re alive.
You allow yourself to fall victim to the countless disappointments, the countless tears, as if your life is always going to be embedded with anxiety and sadness. Depression seems to be inevitable, it’s what the cards have in store for you. You allow your mind to wander into dark places, even in the brightest of moments. Laying in bed at night is comforting to some, but to you, it’s seen as a time to be alone with your thoughts, to be alone with the nightmares that you have attempted to ignore all day.

And that, perhaps, is the scariest thing.

College teaches us time management, how many shots of alcohol we can handle, and which boys are worth our time. However, we aren’t educated enough about mental illness. Depression doesn’t define you. It doesn’t make you weak, or any less human. Depression is an illness. It’s an illness that is treatable, but often goes ignored. It’s an illness that so many college students deal with, but struggle to fully understand. Be educated. Help a friend. Help yourself.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Written in collaboration with Beth Cormack

Featured image via Prateek Katyal on Unsplash


  1. We should talk about depression more! No one should feel ashamed to seek help or feel that no one can help them. We should educate teens and young adults about depression. Suicide is an avoidable tragedy and we can do more to prevent it.

    • So true Monica. Everyone is so scared to talk about depression, and in some cases, when you are depressed, people feel like they have to walk on egg shells around you. That only makes it worse, knowing people are treating you differently because you have a mental illness. As if you weren’t already in such a dark place, people’s reaction only makes it worse.

  2. I love your article so much! It shines a very powerful light on depression and mental illness. As a very outspoken advocate for the mental health community, so many of the points you make are so true and relatable; mental illness is seen as such a negative thing and hugely stigmatized by society. However, I did have one problem with your article. You say that “You allow yourself to fall victim…You allow your mind to wander to dark places.” This is absolutely false! You never choose to have a mental illness, it happens without your control. I wouldn’t allow myself to have a broken bone or allow my body to be plagued by cancer– it happens without your control! I think that you were trying to describe the power that depression has over an individual but worded it as if a person is weak for having depressive// anxiety-ridden thoughts instead of being strong for fighting their mental illness. With that being said, I still agree with your overall statements (and your writing is great!) but I just believe that you used the wrong wording to describe those living with depression.

    • Hi Lydia, thanks for your feedback! I understand what you are saying about the wording and how it can be misconstrued. As a person who has suffered with depression in the past, it was simply a reflection of how I felt at the time. People are always telling you “happiness is choice,” which is true to some extent, and when I wasn’t living up to that standard of “happiness,” I felt like a failure. That doesn’t mean that I was a failure, or anyone living with a mental illness is a “failure,” but when you are suffering through it, that is often how you feel, simply because people don’t fully understand it. To some, mental illness shouldn’t be treated as a “broken bone” or cancer. People think it’s a choice, when it is most certainly not. Thank you for your kind words, Lydia, and I am so grateful for your positive feedback!

    • Well i learned in yr.s of CBT there’s a lot of self negative talk that happens . I manage mine if i can pinpoint my tigger . Example yesterday i had constant crying spells only to figure out day before i looked back at Google Street view of a town next to my hometown. I wan’t to move to there but it’s too close to mother who was emotionally cold to me . Self awareness is important .

  3. So glad to see people talking about this! So many college students I know (including me) have suffered from depression, and many of us didn’t even know it. I thought depression was a feeling of sadness or grief, but for me it felt like apathy, a desire to avoid everything that felt stressful (which was almost everything). I thought that I was being lazy, that I just wasn’t dedicated enough. It was only later, when I was recovering, that I realized. And while for me, suicide was never a danger, I’ve spent years fixing the damage my depression did to my social life, financial status and career prospects.

    There are many resources for students to reach out to for support and healing, but they can only be useful if we understand that we need help. But the world is still geared to tell us that the fault lies with us, and so until we speak up loud enough for everyone to hear, that is still what many of us will continue to believe–especially college students, who are in the middle of learning to be solely responsible for their lives for the first time.

    Thank you so much for your post! I hope it helps many, many people.

    • Hi Julia,

      Thank you for writing this comment, I couldn’t agree with you more. Mental illness is something we really don’t talk about enough, and we should, because so many people can relate. I hope the post helps many people too, and thank you for reading and sharing. It’s people like you that will make a difference 🙂


  4. you don’t allow yourself to walk into anything. Depression in not always controllable even with medication. It has a high fatality rate.

    • Hi Oli, I think what Beth meant when she said that was when you’re depressed and so down on yourself, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. You can’t help but have depressing and dark thoughts, and if you really dug yourself deep into that hole, you don’t try to fight the thoughts and the nightmares that haunt you every given moment. For some, unfortunately, they don’t see any other way out but ending their life. It’s so frustrating because it could easily be prevented. I can’t tell you how times people have told me that I’m “too happy to be depressed.” It’s so important for people to know that it’s okay to discuss it. Thank you so much for your feedback! 🙂

  5. Honestly as a depressed person this is the best article to destigmatize people about what a mental illness is.

  6. Oh wow that is so true. You describe exactly what I went through during my Freshman year. I had to take more than a year off.

    • Yedidya, thank you so much for commenting! I also took a year off, and a semester, it was a rough time for me. Not knowing what I wanted to do and where I should be in life at that time was difficult for me. I know a lot of people who did the same thing as I did, and it’s amazing at how people can’t see the small red flags, either that or they just refuse to recognize it. <3

  7. The article is very well written and helps others to understand. I am a father of a 20 yr old daughter who has suffered from depression for years. She is on meds, goes to counseling at school, we have daily talks with her, encourage her to seek out positive experiences. So basically doing all we know to help her. But nothing does. She has told us she has thought about suicide before, but has said she doesn’t have the courage to go thru with it. We as parents know this is a red flag, hence our daily talks and the counseling she is doing. Again your article is wonderful, but it doesn’t give any solution. It doesn’t give the steps to heal and become better. There are posts from others that say ,”when I was depressed”, but again no answer on how they got out of it. I know that not every person has the same problems and the same solution will worm for everyone. But if you are going to present an article about this important subject, then it needs to be followed up with steps of how to heal. So please please please, from a caring parent who just wants his happy daughter back, post something or write a follow up article on what to do now. Thank you.

    • Hi Mark, I was just like your daughter once. I’m so sorry to hear about your story. I can’t imagine what my parents went through. Honestly, though everyone deals with depression differently, I found comfort in reading and luckily I found a man who loves everything about me, and is always there to calm me down whenever I have my panic attacks and flashbacks. For some they find comfort in music, or drawing, or going for drives…When I was younger I was frustrated with how I was feeling, I would just bottle my feelings up and never let it out, and when I finally did, my life spiraled out of control real quick. The only reason why I’m still standing here today is because of the love and support of my closest friends and family. So even though you may feel like what you’re doing isn’t helping her, trust me, in the long run, your family will see that you were doing everything that you could do. She’s lucky to have parents like you, honestly, I know a lot of people wouldn’t do half of those things. And in response to your “There are posts from others that say ,”when I was depressed”, but again no answer on how they got out of it.” comment. This is my personal opinion, but you don’t really ever get out of it. Depression never really ends, it’s just a matter of learning to suppress it and deal with it, and then understand the warning signs and reacting accordingly. It takes a while for some people to learn what makes them tick. Also in response to your “post something or write a follow up article on what to do now.” either both Beth and I can do a follow up response article or one of us will do one separately, so keep a look out for one in the next couple weeks. Thank you again for your feedback Mark! <3

    • Oh my goodness Marl, I don’t even know your daughter but can certainly empathize with her, being that her feelings seem to reflect my own and it honestly terrifies me! I’ll be keeping you, your daughter, family, and loved ones in my prayers, sending positive vibes your way. Take care!

      Beth your article is amazing and puts into words what I struggle so much to utter or otherwise express. Thanks for bringing light to this sadly stigmatized and very hard nature to cope with! I really appreciate your effort and hope it can help eradicate some ignorance on outsiders part and ease the suffering of those struggling with this matter.

    • Hi Angela! I am so happy that you found an escape. For me it’s reading and going for long drives by myself with the music all the way up! I know a lot of people who find comfort within their religion. Personally, I’m not all that religious so I had to find something else. 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  8. I suffer from severe depression and go to college so this article hits very close to home. I had a career in the Army and was hurt during training exercises and my entire life was taken away. I have been married to my wonderful wife for 27 years now but even she can’t grasp what I deal with on a daily basis. I spent a great deal of time in the shower so that my crying will not betray my rugged facade that I try to exude. Where this all ends I don’t know but my days get harder and harder to face. My faith in Christ is all that keeps me going most days. Thank you for this very well written article.

    • Thank you so much for replying! I just want to say one thing in response to your “I spent a great deal of time in the shower so that my crying will not betray my rugged facade that I try to exude.” You’re married, you’re a team…if you want her to understand the slightest bit of what you deal with everyday, she needs to see firsthand. This is coming from my personal experience but when I first starting having my panic attacks, in result of things that happened in my life that caused me to become depressed, people in my life didn’t think that my attacks were all that serious. Almost like they thought I was just exaggerating. Whenever I would feel them coming on I would leave wherever I was and lock myself somewhere I could be alone and deal with my attack on my own. So one day, it was a really bad day for me, and they were joking about something (I can’t remember) but I felt one coming on, and instead of getting up and leaving like I usually did, I stayed in the same room as them and had one. Needless to say, it scared the shit out of them, but it made them take my depression and panic attacks a little more seriously. Obviously, I can’t and won’t tell you what to do in your marriage, but from a third-party point of view, I think you need to let her see what it does to you to help her understand a little more. I wish you the very best!

    • Wow i’ve never heard a married man explain it . I suspect that Dog The Bounty Hunter does too . And distracts his mind w/ Work i suspect.
      But i gave SS. Disability my last shot . It’s worsening .
      Now i look for a lil work . Did u know A company gets a tax rite off hiring our kind ?

  9. Depression doesn’t stop after college. I’ve been going through it for years. I’m in my 40’s now and only recently was I able to talk to my doctor about it.. I felt embarrassed and like I failed for years, before I got up enough courage to say something. There should be more info out there that tells you it’s ok, you have nothing to be embarrassed about, and to please seek help.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more Julie! People need to know that just because they’re depressed doesn’t mean they’re failures. I know I felt like that for a long time, but I’ve managed to cope with it. For some, unfortunately, never give themselves that opportunity. Depression is a cruel mental illness, as a society we need to start taking it a little more seriously so people find comfort in talking about it. Thank you so much for your feedback!

  10. First off, I would like to say that your intention for writing this is nothing short of positive and that it is written with a lot of voice. This article is also very powerful and displays an aspect of society that is often overlooked. Mental illness is something that effects a large amount of people, both popular and unpopular, educated and uneducated, etc. However, when people think in some of the ways that this article conveys, it propels depression into a “fad”. People desperately seek attention in a manner that appeals to the inner self-pity. To say that awareness needs to be raised is correct, but to describe the profile of a depressed individual is impossible. The fact that it is a disease would mean that it can happen to anyone; whether that be “someone like you and me” or a reserved introvert. I myself have struggled with depression for years and it is a hereditary trait that was passed on through my bloodline, but I have learned over the years that victimizing one’s self can only do more harm. Clinging on to the title of “depression” and sulking in it is detrimental to the advancement of life and polarizes a serious condition into something that people reveal to other’s as a form of acceptance. It seems as though everyone wants everyone to know that they have depression; I mean no harm in my words, but that just seems like the wrong type of awareness.

    • I agree that it’s impossible to describe the profile of a depressed individual. What we meant when we claimed what people thought of when picturing a “depressed person,” was that it was completely wrong. In this case we were comparing the stereotype of a “depressed person,” with a person like Madison Holleran. We both had mutual friends with her, I never got the chance to meet her, but living so close to her in Philly it hit home for me. A lot of people who knew her never knew that she was depressed, and they claimed that “she was too happy.” That also hit me hard because people used to say the same thing about me whenever I would try to open up to someone and tell them I was depressed. They brushed it off like it was no big deal. I can see where things could be misinterpreted but in no way did we mean that that’s the only kind of person who could be depressed. Thank you so much for your feedback!

  11. while i agree with your article I also do not. I have depression. I rarely smile. Have few friends and even fewer accomplishments. I think depression hits the hardest when people are trying to find purpose for and in their life. Having it together in public or not has nothing to do with it.

    • Thank you so much for commenting! I agree with your comment! We didn’t mean to single out a certain type of person as being the only one who could be depressed. I know depression can hit anyone in this world that’s why it’s so important we start talking about it so people feel comfortable bringing it up.

  12. I’ve struggled with depression since I was 12. I’m 20 and in college now and my depression came back. I felt like I had no one to talk to, no one I could confide in. I felt like no one wanted to help and I started feeling very suicidal, I would collapse on my floor and just cry for no reason. I tried to get a doctors appointment to get some help but I arrived late because I went to the wrong location and got lost trying to find the right place. Everyone I talked to to find the place seemed so nasty and it seemed like no one cared that I was breaking. I remember sitting in my car screaming and crying after they wouldn’t let me see the doctor, it felt like I wanted to rip my face off. I called my mom hysterical and she told me to call the hotline. I called but lost my nerve at the last second and hung up, they called me back and I talked to a very kind women named Angela who helped and told me to go to urgent care for anti-depressants. I just wanted to feel normal again I just wanted to feel like me instead of this strange, sad me that I almost seemed to be looking down on. I went to urgent care and they asked me a bunch of questions and when I told them I might hurt myself they gave me a room and changed me into a hospital gown pending psych evaluation. I was so terrified Id heard the horrors of being committed. I remember asking the nurse If I was gonna be able to go home that night and I remeber his response being “I don’t know sweetheart”. The sweatheart wasn’t condesending it was kind and gentle. I had entered the the urgent care at 4:00PM and left at 5:00AM after a telecast with a psychologist. The nurses though we’re so kind, and caring and I’ll never forget it. The one told me about his daughter who went through the same thing and he tried his best to make me laugh, another one got me food and turned the tv on for me and made sure I was comfortable. The point of this very long story it that college can be awesome but it can also be very lonely, especially if you’re going to school far from home. Sorround yourself with awesome, kind, caring people who you can confide in and leave the assholes in the dust. Don’t be afraid to get help and it will get better you just have to be patient.

    • Archer, your story broke my heart in the beginning but made me so happy at the end. I’m so glad you came across people who genuinely wanted to help you and were sincere about it. I’m so happy you never went through with committing suicide, I’m so happy you took the time to share your story as well. I’m sending love and hugs your way! Stay strong. <3

    • Archer, I agree with Melissa, your story broke my heart as well. I went through a very similar experience when I was in college, and I can relate to the intense loneliness one can feel. I am so glad you reached out for help, that is always the most difficult part. It will get better over time. Remember that you are not alone, and that there are people who still don’t understand what depression is like. But there are also people who went through exactly what you did, and they came out stronger because of it. Stay strong, and don’t be afraid to love yourself! Thank you for sharing your story.

  13. I really appreciate this article. I have seen a lot of people struggle through depression and I have been suffering with depression for the last three years. It is a process that is awful to have to go through as a person and to watch the people that mean the most to you in your life struggle with. I try my best to hide my problems from everyone around me because I’m scared of the chain that can be started from my feelings. My depression was started from the suicide of a friend the attempt of my best friend the struggles of trying to get into colleges with parents riding me more than I could handle. I believe sometimes the best solution to depression is giving the person space and letting them come to you if the really need to talk to you. I know that I have had a lot of people that tried to make me talk to them about it and honestly that just makes my problems worse. I’m not saying going weeks without talking to them but talk to them but it doesn’t have to be about their depression. When someone figured out they are depressed they try to deny it and hide it as much as they can. So if you see a change in someone give them a little bit of time before bringing it up to them. Try letting them realize it before you bring it up to them because I know when my friend brought it up to my I just got pissed at them. As a person that is talking to someone that is depressed it is a very thin line but your goal isn’t to make them happy that moment, your goal is to show them what they are living for. Show them how great of a person they are and why you were there friend in the first place. I have friends I can talk to about it but the fact is the person has to find that person he can say absolutely anything to just so they can vent and they can talk about what’s going on in their life. I believe it is harder on the person that is trying to help the person with depression because if they do kill themselves or attempt they blame it on themselves. As person that has seen it from both sides it is never your fault it is the person’s choice no matter what you do it will never be your choice of what happens.

    • Steven, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. There is one thing you said that really jumped out at me, “…your goal isn’t to make them happy that moment, your goal is to show them what they are living for. Show them how great of a person they are and why you were there friend in the first place.”

      I wish I had someone who just shook me back to reality and did this for me when I was younger. It would’ve saved me a lot of pain and suffering. I have also seen depression from both ends of the spectrum, and neither side is easier than the other. It’s a dark, sickening, and devastating mental illness that should not be taken lightly. <3

    • You are never alone. <3 We may have dealt with or are currently dealing with different nightmares and we all have different demons, but all we're fighting the same fight. Hang in there. It's gets better, but only if you let it.

  14. I think its wrong of you to ‘say she was merely stressing over her 3.5 GPA. That was clearly not the sole and driving factor of her depression, any og her friends will tell you it was more that that.

  15. i’m happy to see people talking about depression in college students.I know many do tend to suffer from depression and many of them dont even know how the stress of performing can really be a cause of depression especially when you are under performing. Its a massive eye opener and can really hope those who don’t know they are suffering.

  16. I’m a community mental health practitioner with bipolar type I with psychotic features. This is not going to be your favorite comment. However, this article is stigmatizing in a number of ways that *hurt,* rather than help, people with mental illness, that I would like to bring to your attention. Please bear with me.

    1. “The loneliest people are the kindest … not wish to see anything else suffer the way they do.” This is actually just drivel. More importantly, however, it feeds into stigma by saying that persons with mental illness experiencing something “more” out of the world than neurotypical people do. This is counterproductive on a number of levels. At its most extreme, it is an extension of the “magical shaman” thinking that makes people think they are gaining access to deeper and more true experience, which keeps them off their meds, which puts them at risk of suicide. More moderately, romanticizing is still an act of objectification, and is, therefore, inherently stigmatizing.

    2. “Something in her had snapped.” As a mental health patient and practitioner, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered an instantaneous change after which there was crazy and only crazy. This is what the image of “snapping,” to a certain extent, implies. Many people with mental illness, depression or otherwise, experience more of a “creep” than a “snap.” Snapping implies a point of no return, and a point at which the person with mental illness is somehow no longer themselves. It implies that there is no hope or recovery, which is both stigmatizing and patently untrue.

    3. “You allow … You allow …” It has been mentioned in other comments that this places the blame for mental illness on the individual experiencing it, which is stigmatizing.

    4. The repeated use of “you” may also be unhelpful: opening ourselves up to persons with mental illness requires validating and accepting a wide variety of experiences with and around disease. “You” here creates only one correct view of what depression looks like. The article in general denies the existence of disorders beyond unipolar depression: bipolar disorders and schizophrenic and schizoaffective disorders and psychotic depression have late teen/young adult ages of onset as well, not to mention anxiety disorders, personality disorders, trauma, etc. etc. There is no “right” and “wrong” way to experience mental illness.

    5. Picturing what a depressed person looks like: a depressed person may look like many things (see 4.)


    It’s a long list, right? The theme is stigma: the particular ways that neurotypical people discriminate against people like us – people with mental illness. They target our disease from both ends: we must either be brilliant and fabulous creators, actors, scientists, and artists, who use the whims of our disease for greatness; or we’re destitute, pathetic, homeless, subhuman, murderers, junkies, felons. We don’t get to be the stuff in between: we don’t get to be just people, and just ourselves. (1. 4. 5.) tied into the former; (2. 3.) tied into the latter.

    The most dangerous thing a person with mental illness can be is him- or herself. If you are you and I am me, we can’t fit into boxes where we can be categorized and labeled. This labeling is why people like us are more likely to be incarcerated, more likely to be victims of violence, more likely to receive inadequate medical care, and more likely to die young, compared to the neurotypical population. One side of fighting stigma is talking about it – honestly and openly – and the fact that you are opening yourself up here and encouraging that is admirable. But only by leaving room for *all* voices within the mental health community – including ones less attractive and well-educated and well-spoken as you – can we fight stigma and save lives.

    • I disagree with your first point. I have nothing remarkable about me, just my empathy. I would not have this level of empathy if not for my battle with major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. So, I think the generalization of stating that this quote is “actually just drivel” is just as harmful to someone such as myself who feels their empathy is their only redeemable quality.

      • Ditto to that! I have trouble talking about my own experience(s) with depression, because I’m afraid of it being dismissed as “just drivel” or “attention-seeking.”

  17. I agree with Janel on this point. I have depression & have to deal with it on a daily basis. I didn’t seek help until I was in my 30’s after my first child was born. I think I’ve always had it since my puberty years, but it didn’t get really bad until after both my parents died & then following my son’s birth. I think between the deaths, postpartum depression, and hidden bad memories during childhood all took it’s toll. It happened when I went to my Gyno for my Pap Smear. I remember sitting naked on the table with two large paper pieces draped across my body waiting for the doctor. She walked in, smiled, looked at me & said “So, how are you?” I looked at her & started bawling. I remembered thinking “where the he– did that come from?” I was physically & mentally exposed. I felt defenseless by all aspects. So, I answered her correct questions. She prescribed antidepressants & made an appt for me to speak with a pyschiatrist. That was 20 years ago & I’m still here. I just wish I didn’t wait so long to tell someone to get help. I realize now that asking does not mean I’m weak, it takes more courage to ask for it.

  18. Melissa,
    Thank you so much for writing this article and bringing light to this topic. I suffered from deep depression while in undergrad, and they were the worst four years of my life. I am so glad that people like you are spreading the word, and breaking the stigma associated with depression. I think it will help people realize that they are not alone, and that they can talk about depression.

    I started to tear up reading, your article resonated so much with me.

  19. Hey! Loved your article. But I’d really love to read an article about how we can help, be that shoulder to lean on, and really be great friends, siblings and helpers for the people we know who have depression! Thanks!

  20. I am in college right now and I haven’t spoken to a single friends since high school of summer 2014. My depression came back after so many years of trying to ignore it in my childhood and having to push through my life. Right now it’s unbearable. I lay in my bed at night and feel like dying because I have no one I can turn to. I have broken down in the last two days crying in the shower. I don’t have healthcare so I can’t visit a therapist. I am so stressed and scared in college. I am nineteen and still figuring out if the major I am going into would be the best option for me. First semester in college I was fine, lonely but fine. Got a 3.75 gpa.Then second semester came and the depression overwhelmed me. I am getting a C in Calc 3 because I feel so stressed and overwhelmed. My mother is remarrying so there is a possibility of me being thrown to the streets. I could get a job but then I would have to quit school to work because California is incredibly expensive. I don’t have family members, friends, or doctors to turn to. I just needed to talk to someone.


  22. Hi there, my fellows in depression. First, I’d like to congrat the authors for writing this article, and second, to thank them. And both of them very sincerely!

    Third: Although as individuals some of us may have worded or rephrased things differently (we all have different backgrounds and stories), do please realize, for those of you who do not know where to find help (or help for other people you may happen to know; important!), that this kind of “coming out” and letting other readers know that *you*, as a human being, are faced/trapped with depression *is a very important first step*. We have dared to get it off our chest (others may be beyond this point). Coming out and telling someone (even perfect strangers on the internet) that we are suffering from depression and explaining (or trying to) how we feel, and why, when, etc. *is really very immortant*. Why?

    B/C (Fourth): now that we wrote it on the internet, *we should go tell a real physical person in the real physical word*. It may be a friend, a roomate, a family/community member, or we can also look up in the internet a help center in or as near as possible the place we live/work/study. Hopefully, they’ll take it from there. There are a lot of therapies, and it’s only good to look them up on the internet to have an idea if that particular therapy would suit our very specific cases or not.

    Here’s one thing I can do from here (Paris, France): I happen to have bought several books on depression. I am going to publish that list in a separate post (it’s 5:05 am and haven’t slept for the last 54 hours, so I’ll do that later today, I need to go to sleep). Those books also come with a lot of bibliography, which I’ll also include. Maybe we can all pool in whatever info we may have (useful websites, understanding and empathic doctors, etc.) and that way we’ll all increase a little bit our respective chances of getting some info which just may be the one we need.

    But the take away bit is, for those among you who haven’t done it yet, to reach for professional help really asap. If too scared/wasted/etc. to do it yourselves, then maybe you can open up/come out to a friend/roomate/etc. who will make that call and fix that appointment for you. So please, please, my fellows in depression, if you’re reading this and feel related and stuff, please look for professional help (in some places it may be for free), b/c what we need is, in no particular order, (a) actually talk to someone about our respective depressions, (b) get medication, and (c) find and follow the best-suiting therapies for *our specific form* of depression.

    I’m going to bed now. Do please talk to someone and, if possible, find a doctor/center and fix an appointment. For those who can’t afford it, I’m sure there must be a place or a professional who will accept to lower their fees considerably or to be paid later on, on instalments, whatever. Best of lucks to y’all, hope each one of you’ll find the right mix.

  23. Great article. Thank you so much for this. I remember feeling this way all throughout college aND can relate to those feelings. I never got much help, and still haven’t. I’m getting worse now and looking into being treated for depression. I graduated from college in 2013 and now I think I’m suffering from “post college depression.” It usually happens when you realize everything you loved so much about being in school is over and you’ve got to “face the real world blah blah blah” and adjust to an all new lifestyle. I’m hoping anyone in these situations doesn’t let it get out of hand and can get help before it becomes to late.

  24. Dear Melissa,
    This was truly an informative and heartfelt article about Madison Holleran. Hopefully, enough people have read it, and helped others who may be contemplating suicide. Unfortunately, the numbers of suicides and attempted suicides have spiked tremendously during the past five years. It behooves each one of us to try and remove the stigma attached to mental illness. We must convince potential suicide victims that it is okay to say that they are in need of help.
    I knew Madison, and she was a beautiful, talented, vivacious, and talented young lady. In her honor, I drafted two pieces of legislation in NJ. Senator O’Toole and Assemblyman Rumana are co-sponsors of the two bills. If interested, please contact me, and I will provide you with more detailed information. Also, the laws will be known as, “The Madison Holleran Suicide Prevention Acts.” They were drafted in Madison’s name, so that she may continue to be a source of inspiration for all generations to come.

  25. Thank you for that Melissa, I know how hard depression is and I even was in tears because of how some of those things affect me. I strive to tell people and make sure they know they are not alone. So thank you, this helps people to realize the kind of people depression can and does affect, and hopefully opens some eyes to people who don’t know any better. You’re a strong an wonderful person and never stop being you!

  26. your article is nice but you really can’t say that her 3.5 GPA was the sole reason she was stressing, most certainly NOT.


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