A day in a life with depression

Students speak up about their struggles with depression and ways to help.

Sydney Wildes

One in eight adolescents and 300 million people around the world suffer from depression. That means that about 200 students at West High are affected. In an average class size of 27 students, 3 are affected. Many students’ inner struggles stay invisible, but some students chose to step forward and use their voices to help others in need.

Carly Norris ’21 is one of those students. “Dealing with depression has taught me to be a lot more understanding of what other people are going through,” Norris said. “Because it might seem like someone’s lazy, but there could be something actually mentally not right with them.”

Dealing with depression has taught me to be a lot more understanding of what other people are going through.”

— Carly Norris ’21

Kiley Butcher ’21 is another student struggling with many of the same issues. Butcher said that with depression, “Throughout the day things that would be normal for [other] people start to just drag on.”

According to Norris, the daily struggles include telling herself to get out of bed and convincing herself to do homework. Alex Tomes ’18, another high schooler struggling through depression, also says he has trouble getting the motivation to do anything.

Butcher agrees with both of them and said. “I think every day it is hard for me to get out of bed, but I have a UV light that helps with Seasonal Affective Disorder, [and] I use that.”

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that comes in the fall or winter and lessons when it is spring or summer. Butcher, who has the disorder, says, “Once we set our clocks back and it gets dark it gets worse.”

Norris also has advice for other teens struggling with depression. “I know that when you have depression it’s really hard to get motivation to do stuff but if you have a day when you’re not as depressed as another day, try to get outside and actually go talk with people, and do stuff like that, because taking walks outside is something that really helped me,” Norris said. “Also, [other] people have depression, so you’re definitely not alone.”

Taking a break and focusing on self-care helps Norris. “Every once in a while when it’s really bad I don’t go to school. I take what I call a mental health day, and I take walks in the park by my house, and I’ll chill with my dog, and my hedgehogs, just focus on myself and do some stuff about self-care,” Norris said.

Tomes uses music as a way to help with the many struggles of being a depressed teen. He doesn’t have many preferences, and says he’ll listen to “Everything but country and screamo.”


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