The Depressed College Students Guide to Navigating Classes….Do the Opposite of What I Did

There are a lot of people who have depression, anxiety and/or PTSD like I do and are able to attend classes. They are able to function like a normal human being. Unfortunately in the Spring of 2015, I was not one of them.

As I stated in my earlier post Dark Days, I was suffering from a severely depressive episode, having panic attacks and not treating myself as well as I should have been. However, on days when I had actually gotten sleep that had been only slightly disturbed by night terrors, I still attempted to go to class.

The depression made it hard to find the energy and motivation to brush my teeth, let alone put on clothes and actually make it out of my apartment. When I managed to get over that particular hurdle and make it outside, the lovely PTSD and anxiety made it even more difficult to actually make it to the classroom.

I could get on the bus at my apartment complex, and it would take me to campus. Then the lovely PTSD would make me concentrate how far away I was from my room. My room was safe, it was a comfort zone. If I was in my room no one could hurt me, no one would judge me. Every cell in my body would be screaming at me to run home.

Before I left the house, I would have to mentally walk though a step by step process of what was about to happen. If I followed that plan exactly, I could make it. But, if one tiny detail threw off that process, like the bus being three minutes late, someone looking in my general direction, or worst of all my class not being in the class room it should have been, my brain would tell me the only “rational” thing to do was run and hide.

As you can imagine, I was often late for class. When this would happen, I would would skip over flight or flight and enter a freeze stage outside of a classroom door. I would stand there frozen, screaming at my feet to move ten feet into the classroom while I became later and later to class. This provided ample kindling for my self loathing and feelings of hopelessness.  Some times I would make it to class, most times I didn’t.

Did I talk to anyone? Did I go to my professors?Did I try to find some sort of treatment? Did I attempt to ask anyone for advice or assistance or any of the things I should have done that could have helped me? No, I did not. Not until much later.

What do you do when you have no idea where your life is going?

If you have the answer, let me know.

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