My Mind is an Anchor, the Outside is my Enemy

Staged photo by Jordan Sweidan & Joshua Collier/The Skyline View

It’s Monday, the start of a fresh new week to begin school and/or work. However, you do not want to get out of bed. School is usually something that you enjoy, especially since your friends are there and a few of your favorite professors. It’s Friday.

Anybody would be excited for this particular day. Still, there is no motivation to get out of bed. Monday rolls around again. It has been weeks since the first time you struggled to get out of bed. Not only that, but you have stopped talking to your friends and now your family. There have been times when you feel angry and often tired, although it seems like you have rested enough. Time doesn’t matter anymore. The grades are slipping…

Depression is not only a common condition, but even more prominent in young adults who are in college.

According to a recent study done by CDC, Center for Disease Control) one in four people are going to struggle with some sort of treatable mental illness, mainly related to depression or anxiety. The American Health College Association shows that 86 percent of college students have felt overwhelmed, 81 percent said they felt exhausted, 30 percent said they felt too depressed to function and nationwide 6.6 percent college students seriously considered suicide, says Beverly muse, a counselor at Skyline.

Skyline student Christine Morton is diagnosed with depression. So far she is taking medication and using the counseling services. Morton is one of many who are dealing with the illness.

In her experience, she said that America has not done enough to educate the public on the illness and that educating students about mental illness makes them more likely to get help.

Being sad and being depressed are two separate things. Feeling sad is often associated with having a bad day or being down on one’s luck. Depression is more than that. It is an illness in which a person is exhibiting symptoms such as:

Being tired or angry most of the time

Being sad or tired

Feeling worthless or guilty

Being no longer interested in things that used to feel important

If a person is experiencing these symptoms there is a chance the person is also having:

Sleep problems

Headaches, pain or an upset stomach


Changes in appetite or weight

Thoughts of death or suicide

It is suggested by health professionals that if these feelings persist for over two weeks, it is best to get help.

Some of the most common triggers are stress and anxiety, which can lead to depression. College is a notorious source of triggers, due to pressure to achieve and be successful, according to Skyline counselor Beverly Muse. She explained that when things do not go as planned and feel like a setback to a college student, it can enhance their stress levels when dealing with other things such as jobs.

Skyline, like many colleges across America, offers free health services and a part of that is free counseling. There is an effort to confront this illness by educating students through certain programs.

In efforts to educate the American public about depression, September is Suicide Awareness Month and there are yellow ribbons dedicated to those who have passed from suicide.

May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, according to Mental Health America, and there have been a few activities at Skyline spotlighting depression and suicide. This is portrayed through a small exhibit of facts about depression displayed for students to see as they pass by to educate them.

Other events are being held, such as a live show performed by Brian Copeland, who speaks on his personal experience with depression through a personal angle of his close encounter when planning to take his own life by purchasing a new gun. Copeland hopes to de-stigmatize depression through his performance and to help the audience, college students, to identify their risk of depression and the way he identified getting help with his disease.

“What makes this different, in terms of the audience itself, is because the issue is one that strikes college kids,” Copeland said. “Especially with young men between the ages 18-20 who have real issues and many of them don’t understand that they are dealing with depression.”

Skyline professor Lavinia Zanassi and Muse are in charge of this event, which seeks to aid in the understanding of mental illness. They also felt the show would aid students to know that they are not alone in mental illness.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health government website, each year 6.7 percent of adults in America will experience a major depressive disorder. Women are 70 percent more likely than men to experience depression during their lifetime. 3.3 percent of 13 to 18 year olds have experienced a ‘seriously debilitating depressive disorder.’

Zanassi says that throughout her years of teaching, she has seen promising students have their lives consumed by mental illness.

“And if they do understand it, there’s also the stigma that they do not want to talk about it or acknowledge it to the counselors or teachers, their peers, their parents, or anybody else,” she said.