Depression in College

by Kay

I'm in my first year of college and struggling due to my depression. It's not that I find the course work hard, but I do not think I fit into the college system. I did very well in high school but college increases my anxiety. The past two months I have had trouble sleeping, eating, and focusing. I am thinking about dropping out, which is terrible but true. In my mind I feel like I'm wasting time and not doing anything with my life, which scares me. I know I am capable of completing college, but my depression keeps clouding my judgement and I feel it would be best to quit, find a job, and do something I find meaningful. I'm afraid of failing. I'm afraid that if I stay in college, my depression might get so bad that I will fail out if I don't quit now. I'm only in college on scholarship; if not I'd never be able to afford it.

I had an unhappy childhood ripe with family and social problems. For a long time no one wanted to admit what was wrong. I finally started therapy in high school and was diagnosed with severe major depression. However, I've only gone to a handful of visits from various counselors because my parents didn't really want me in therapy because that was admitting there was a problem. I started into a severe episode of depression this past summer. I started college in the fall and after a week dropped out. The counselor there strongly suggested I take time off and start medication. I got a job while all of my friends were at school and finally felt like my life had purpose even though it was low-paying. My oldest sister had dropped out of college (due to similar family problems) and is stuck in a dead-end job, so my parents forced me to look at other universities for the spring semester. That brings me to the horrible position I'm in now.
I know I should stay in college and earn a degree; it's the most logical decision. But I'm not sure I can keep this up much longer. My family keeps telling me to "suck it up." You can't tell depression to "suck it up." They don't realize how hard it is to struggle with this and for so long. I tried to make an appointment with the counselors on campus but they've been giving me the run-around, so I question their practice. Any advice about this matter would be very helpful.

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