Some suggestions on how to be a successful student despite having chronic depression

Those with depression know that being a successful student can be hard when one suffers from depression. Motivation to try and succeed is very low. There are ways to counteract this feeling, however.

Academically, always make sure to turn in your assignments, talk to your teachers about what you’re going through, and maybe look into a 504 plan.

Turning in an assignment for even only 2 points is better than having nothing turned in at all and getting a zero. Even if you only do half of the assignment, getting the points for that half is better than none at all.

Talking to your teachers can not only provide you a good outlet for what you’re feeling, but it  possibly allows you to make some arrangements regarding assignments and class work for that class as well.

Lastly, a 504 plan is a plan that protects a student with an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. 504 plans allow flexibility with your abilities to turn assignments in. For example those with ADD or depression may turn in assignments later due to concentration issues related to the named affliction. Keep in mind that a 504 plan is a legal document, and you will need to have documentation from a doctor in order to start the process to possibly receive one.

Self care is also a good option to lower stress and almost reboot your system. Make sure you’re eating enough and staying hydrated. Both of these will boost your energy and possibly your motivation levels.

It may also be a good idea to find creative and constructive outlets for your feelings. Some that I’ve seen have been painting (any kind of painting! It doesn’t even have to look like anything, it can just be a bunch of colors in a blob!), writing your feelings down in the form of a poem or story, and writing a short song.

Some other options that have worked for me have been blasting emotional songs and singing along.

Therapy can also be very helpful for managing symptoms of depression. Therapy, however, can be fairly expensive if you don’t have insurance, or if your insurance doesn’t cover therapy.

An important thing to remember is that your health comes before your school work.

If your depression is getting too bad that your ability to function is detrimental, and suicidal thoughts occur, then you should consider: going to the ER and getting help from there, going to the National Suicide Prevention website: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org, or calling the National Suicide Prevention phone number: 1-800-273-8255.

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