Before anything, I want to remind everyone that’s reading this that this is my experience with quarantine and depression. I’m not saying that everyone who has depression is or isn’t experiencing the same. Everyone deals with and experiences their mental illnesses differently.
I have been in my house since March 12th, therefore experiencing this quarantine for 15 days as of March 27th, 2020. This has created a huge emotional strain on me since I relied on activities such as going to school, hanging out with friends, and leaving my house in general, to keep me afloat. Since I can’t do that anymore, being in my house all day has taken a toll on my mental health. Some of the ways that it has affected me is that I either sleep way too much (like 12 hours), or I don’t sleep enough (like 2 hours). It’s hard for me to maintain a steady sleeping schedule, which results in me feeling both tired and irritated. It’s really hard for me to focus sometimes, which leads to me getting stressed out over school assignments. To top it all off, because classes are three hours long, some teachers have been assigning a lot of work. It could be because a) the class is three hours long, so might as well or b) they want to help keep us busy. Either way, it only stresses me out more (I don’t know about the rest of you, but I know some people have been feeling the same way).
Although I have been trying to do things to help myself feel better, it’s not the same. During this quarantine, I can stay in bed all day and not suffer any consequences whatsoever. If I stayed in bed before all of this, I’d miss school, and suffer those consequences. Before anyone says anything, yes, I do spend a good amount of time outside with all that lovely fresh air and sunlight. No, it does not help me as much as leaving my house and physically hanging out with my friends did. It’s just not the same. I have tried a number of things to help myself feel less blah, but, as expected, they don’t really help.
The point of this article is not to go “Oh! Poor me!” It’s to shine a light as to how this self-isolation can affect those with depression. Normally, when a person with depression isolates themselves, you know something is wrong, and can offer them the help they need. In this case, it’s just part of their daily routine (what else is there to do). So if by any chance any parents are reading this, check up on your kids. Beyond their schoolwork, ask them how they’re doing emotionally. Most importantly, as I’ve said before, don’t diminish their feelings. Don’t say “it’s fine” or “you’ll get over it.” In my case, that really doesn’t help, and if anything, it makes me feel worse. It’s okay to not be okay sometimes. It happens. Try to understand why they’re feeling like this, and how you can help. Trust me, they’ll thank you in the long run. Not only that, but reassure them that they’re not alone. It’s very important to have a good emotional support system, or else it can all crumble so fast and so easily.
For all of those who do have depression, make sure you have people you can talk to. These are the people you know will be there for you, who will try to help as much as they can, and will listen to you. This is super important. You don’t have to go through this alone; it sucks having to deal with all of this alone. One way or another, everything’s going to be alright.