It’s almost midnight over here and I’ve decided to stop studying for today.
I’ve been thinking lately that I might have been depressed before in my life, especially during my teenage years. I guess I just thought it was a phase, and it would go away as soon as the bullying stopped. Unfortunately, the bullying never stopped until I got to undergrad. I just, always felt miserable, in a way. There was always this palpable sadness within me that didn’t seem to go away no matter what I did. At one point, I resorted for the first time to cutting, but I only remember doing it about 2 or 3 times during high school. I even remember the chilling suicidal thoughts I had back then, the plans, the ideas…
During undergrad things changed, I wasn’t that sad little girl anymore. That was the time I found my first boyfriend, who later turned out to have a tendency toward the abusive. The problem was I put my whole emotional stability in the hands of this boyfriend. Fast-forward to medical school and here I am, back to being that sad little girl after ending the relationship and having a few other things happen to me.
Med school opened Pandora’s box, to say the least. It was the spark that initiated my emotional instability. I do recognize I’m not the only person who this has happened to. I’m sure many of my friends are in the same situation and I’m not even aware of it. Med school is an added stress to your life, but not just any stress. It really has the ability to test your character. While you sit at your desk studying your whole life spins out of control right before your eyes and you can’t do anything about it.
So, it doesn’t really surprise me to realize that I’m depressed again at this point in my life. It makes me wonder if any other people in my class are in a similar situation and screaming for help silently.
Studying for classes like Pathology is no easy task while depressed. I’m sure others can relate to this when I say that I can barely focus when I try to study. I’ve lost interest in almost everything and constantly end up wasting my study time by sleeping. Still, somehow, I’ve made it through and survived first year and now am (barely) surviving second year.
You also lose interest in patients, which I think is the saddest part. You go to hospital activities and visit patients and wonder what the hell you’re doing. At least for me, I wonder why I’m not focusing on myself, on my recovery, rather than focusing on some other person I don’t even know. Of course, this affects me a lot because then I wonder why I’m studying medicine. And that’s where remembering why you’re doing it in the first place comes to play.
I don’t know, maybe I’m just rambling here, but the point I want to make is that I hope others can relate to this post. It really saddens me how few people in med school suffering with mental illness actually speak out. And I’m sure there’s a lot of us depressed medical students out there.
Finally, I really just want to say, if you’re depressed, please look for help. Nobody in medical school wins a prize for toughing it out. By no means does it mean you’re weak. Neither will it affect your career if you simply look for help. Quite the contrary, it will probably help you be a better person and your patients will be thankful for it.
So, I think I’ve talked enough about myself in this post. Anybody out there who relates?