JRNM 151 Student
I look the same as any other student at Lorain County Community College. I don’t have any noticeable deformities, scars, or markings. But, according to the general public’s opinion, I am flawed. That is because I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder in Jan. 2015. I began to notice issues with my mental health when I attended Kent State University in the fall of 2014.
Some days I couldn’t wait to go to class, on other days I couldn’t get out of bed. I can remember calling my parents, pleading to them that I did not want to be at Kent State anymore, but I also did not want to leave. Yet I certainly would not admit that I needed help, nor did I let my friends know what was happening with me and my life. It would not be until Jan. 2015 that I sought help for my depression, help that I vehemently protested.
The Mayo Clinic defines depression as a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think, and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Depression can be severely debilitating and potentially life-threatening, and while every case of depression is not alike, there are universal symptoms that apply to nearly everyone. These symptoms include: issues sleeping, self-hate, a change in eating patterns, trouble concentrating, and suicidal thoughts or actions, according to the Mayo Clinic.
To me, seeking a psychologist or a psychiatrist was a sign of failure, of weakness. I was not capable of handling my own problems so someone else had to do it for me. But after a few appointments I realized that these sessions are meant for me to help me, not for someone else to help me. Since then I have also begun taking prescription antidepressants daily, which help to keep my emotions in check.
For most, depression seems to be the end of the world. They are locked in a dark place with no way out, with their depression trigger constantly hounding them. In their lifetimes, 1-in-5 Americans will deal with mental illness, depression being among the most common for college-aged students.
However, I am not the only example of an LCCC student who has struggled with depression.
Kerri Klatt is a journalism student at Lorain County Community College, just like me too has had a tough time handling the stress involved with college and depression.
“Trying to balance the learning and work can be challenging,” Klatt said. “Adding in keeping a social life with others can be extremely difficult.”
Klatt struggled with anxiety first in 2007, and with depression in 2009 but was never officially diagnosed with either of the mental illnesses. She would receive a diagnosis in 2012, when she became hospitalized. “It was something I had struggled with my entire life, but it wasn’t until I was older and working in the medical field that I really understood what was going on,” Klatt said.
Today, Klatt continues to receive psychiatric help, which she has had since 2009. Klatt is very open about her past struggles. “I don’t view my depression as a character flaw, or a defining problem. It’s what makes me, me,” Klatt said. “People shouldn’t look down on others for having mental illnesses.”
On campus resources:
CARE Center addiction services
Off campus resources:
The Lorain County Crisis Hotline, 24 hours/7 days a week
The Nord Center