My struggle with depression at varsity

I was happy when I got admission to study at UJ. However, reality quickly kicked in when I had to deal with moving from Eastern Cape to Johannesburg. I was scared, I had no family there and I knew nobody. I thought I was going to have to worry about myself for the first time in my life. I started to experience real issues with my environment. I had depression. So here I was in UJ leaving with depression, being the oldest in class and not performing as well as I thought I would. When we had to do group work, none of my classmates wanted me in their groups because I wasn’t pretty enough, I was too old for them. My lecturer always had to intervene or find me a partner for group work. This was beginning to bother me and making me feel a less of a person.

I could sometimes eavesdrop on what other girls say about me. ‘’Did you see her marks? ‘’She got 37%, did you see her outfit?’’ and they would laugh loud. This caused a great deal of pain and struggle in my life because I didn’t know what to do with it, how to handle it and how to separate my values and self worth from the way that I looked or how I was looked at. This added to my depression to a point in my life that I looked in the mirror and I didn’t know the person looking back at me. I felt too old to cry at the same time it hurt so much to laugh.

I was angry at myself this anger nearly drove me mad. I didn’t want to commit suicide but all I knew was I didn’t want to live like this anymore. What to do now? Who to talk to? One day I decided to visit PsyCad with the advise of my lecturer and met a very kind psychologist who looked at me with a smile and told me I matter. She made me feel there was nothing wrong with me. Honestly I didn’t know what to say to her but I was not suicidal, I just didn’t know how to live this life anymore. She canceled me and helped me to restore my self- love.

My lesson from this is that judging has a greater impact on another person. When you judge the next person, you are diminishing them and that kills them inside. We cannot make perceptions based on what the media qualifies acceptable. What do you tell a student who’s not as smart as you are? We are the ones that decides how other students are going to live and feel about themselves especially if they are impressionable and vulnerable. Often in a new environment and big city one can feel that way.

Don’t become a person that brings people down by speaking negatively about a fellow student’s appearance or performance. You don’t know what they went through as the child. You don’t know they could be carrying a lot of responsibilities at home, they could be starving themselves or they could be hating themselves because they are bigger or skinnier than everybody else. Don’t be responsible for pushing someone over the edge. Be careful with what we say and rather try to have a positive impact on those around you.

I am now a healthy human again and I appreciate all the help that I got from PsyCad. Make use of PsyCad office and get helped. Do not care about what the next person will say seeing you at PsyCad. It’s for your OWN good and for your OWN health.

I am grateful for how I was created. God did a beautiful job with my body, and that is nothing more than a vessel to carry my soul. Let’s love ourselves and lift one another
From: UJ student

Please contact UJ PsyCaD Career Services at any UJ campus for more details or an appointment.
Auckland Park Kingsway Campus (APK) 011 559 3106/3324 B5 Building/ C-Ring 1
Auckland Park Bunting Road Campus (APB) 011 559 1318 Impala Court
Doornfontein Campus (DFC) 011 559 6042 House 2, next to the Student Centre
Soweto Campus (SWC) 011 559 5752 Academic Block B

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