How did My Masters’ Degree Gift Me Depression?

My Masters' degree came with Depression.
Written by Ipsa James

“What does not kill me makes me stronger” – Friedrich Nietzsche

This statement became a lot more meaningful to me well before I received my Master’s degree. The educational institution had given me a lot more than just a degree. But was I happy to receive the gift of Depression?

What was my experience with Depression like?

It’s been 6 years since I came into this field. During my second year of Masters, I realized that I had been experiencing the sadness of mood since the start of 2015. It was not long till other symptoms of Depression gripped me and I was depressed. I was clinically depressed, to be exact.

I’d be lying in bed for hours, not wanting to play my guitar, study, read novels or sketch. Nothing would give me the  kind of satisfaction and happiness as they used to. My go-to option was eating and my body weight shot up from 74 kilograms to 89 kilograms in just 6 months!

Things had been moving really drastically for me. I would get out of bed and question my very existence. I had to make a lot of effort to focus on the things I was supposed to do. Simple tasks like getting out of bed, brushing my teeth, saying good morning to my parents felt like writing a thesis on Karl Marx’s idea of capitalism. They felt almost impossible.

If mornings were hard and excruciating, nights were even worse. I was constantly feeling like I was not growing as a person- neither academically or professionally. This just added to the pile of issues I was dealing with at the time!

How did my educational institute contribute to it?

The issues with the educational institute were even graver than I had ever imagined they would be. The teachers never turned up, the drab academic assignments and the pressure of maintaining attendance was overwhelming. Furthermore, the theories which we were taught could not apply on clients! The fact that we were still being taught outdated theories by the teachers was extremely disheartening. The teachers who did turn up and cared about the students in their classes felt like sympathy for the miserable state of affairs we were in.

In those two years of Masters, I could feel my mind fade away- it was almost like living in a brain fog. Whatever I had studied in my bachelors, I had started to forget. It was one of the worst time periods and I see that I still carry that baggage around of being from an institute which put me through hell. It has been a year since I graduated and I have been going to supportive therapy since then.

A counselor helped me fight Depression.

One would think how an educational institution can make someone feel this way. Well, the university I studied at has its own ways. You are literally not taught anything relevant to the field- academically or practically. The only practical knowledge that you receive is from going to clinics for internships.

One thing I learned from my institution was that the human brain is capable of withstanding the most adverse of human experiences. The immense strength that all of us have can only be realized when we are put through something that we are not sure if we would survive.

Conclusion

The adversities that I faced in my college made me suffer from Depression. But, they also taught me that I am  strong enough to handle such a prolonged adverse experience. Attending therapy sessions helped me learn from my experience and grow as a person. 

I have not written this article to badmouth an educational institute. Rather, the purpose was to cast light on the urgent need for improvement in our educational system. This is a necessary step for safeguarding the mental health of millions of students in this country.

If you know someone who is suffering from Depression, help them overcome this obstacle by connecting them to a counselor from Mind Solace.

About the author

Ipsa James

The friendly neighbourhood queer intersectional feminist therapist. I have been working with LGBTQAI+ community for over 6 years now. Specializes in therapy for Trauma and Personality Disorders.

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