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Depression and Education

A Young Adult Suffering from Mental Health Issues

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Hi. I'm Jade, a 20-year-old university student studying graphic design, and I am in my second year. I live in a town in Yorkshire, England, still with my parents. I'd move out, but property is pricy in my area, even to rent. There is also the fact I suffer from anxiety and depression, which puts a toll on my confidence and motivational levels.

It was April 2017 that I decided to go seek a medical opinion, from which I was prescribed anti-depressants. However, as a sufferer from asthma, I couldn't get anxiety medication, which affects my eczema along with stress, which then lowers my self confidence and raises my anxiety. It's not a fun, repetitive cycle—not to mention the breakouts I get on my jawline!

I don't know how many people reading this can relate, but I also suffer from a "negative mentality" a lot of the time, meaning I find excuses for not doing something and thinking of the worst case scenario. For example, I find it hard to travel via public transport alone, especially to a place I don't know well or recognise, so I try to avoid exploring unless accompanied by a good friend. This can ripple into my coursework when I have to collect my primary research. It's frustrating. My main worry is getting lost and not being able to get back home, then my brain worries about every scenario like it being dark, having to ask for directions, not having juice in my phone. Instead, I need to recall the positive journeys I've previously had.

There are some days I wake up and don't want to. I won't want to get up and drag myself across my room, not even to get something to eat (unhealthy, I know, and actually makes moods worse). I may have made plans the night before, but they get shoved under the covers with my happiness. "I need to get up," I say to myself. "I have things to do." But my muscles feel like they seize up and I lay motionless, staring into space and thinking about what a lazy f***er I am because my head won't sort itself out. I want to be able to get on with my life, but there's a mental wall stopping me that seems infinitely tall and forever long. Luckily, some days I find a gap I can crawl through before hitting a wall another day. It makes production of my coursework hard to do, so I do anything but that, and put it off until last minute.

I feel I may have been going through depression for years before, partly due to my parents' split when I started nursery, and partly what happened between various family members over the years that followed. I would always have these terrible mood swings in high school that seemed worse than other girls my age, plus the fact I was bullied for not "conforming to the norm" like acting "normal" and wearing makeup. I didn't dare report it though, as I thought why should I bother? One day though, while on a school trip, I kicked one of them for pranking me, so then they had leverage on me. I should have just reported them straight away, but I think anxiety took a hold without me realising. There are so many things I would have done differently in hindsight, but changing my personality wouldn't be one. It what makes me special and stand out from the crowd (as long as they aren't too tall as I'm only 5'3").

Speaking of Work...

...Anyone else who struggles with mental health also struggles with applying for jobs? I tend to put myself down and think I'm not good enough for the role. There is also the fact that because I have dyslexia. I struggle with the writing portion of my coursework (so know it's hard to tell, judging from this post), so it takes longer for me to do my work, so I don't have time for a regular job, even just eight hours. I can do one or the other, but not both. I just have to try to find flexible work around the success rate of my course. My parents keep nagging though, which makes my mood drop more. The only true work I can do is during summer, free of distractions.

If you have a similar story, feel free to share. Have any questions? I'll try to answer them the best I can. Thanks for trawling through my ramblings, and I hope you feel more informed.



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