J C writes:
In 2005, I was attending college as a sophomore. I had passed my freshman first semester fine, and struggled through my second semester, landing myself on academic suspension. If I didn’t make a 2.0 average, I would have to leave. My problem was that I was becoming immobilized by depression and anxiety. I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning, and I couldn’t bring myself to step into my classrooms every day. I was becoming more and more hopeless and sliding further behind in my classwork. My mother finally made me go to the local mental health center to talk to someone. I started going to see a psychiatrist, who prescribed me medicine that seemed to make things worse. I started seeing things and really feeling like I was cracking up. I was desperate for help, so I went back to the place and asked for someone to talk to, not just someone to give me pills. I met with a new doctor. I tearfully told him the whole story, and he listened in silence. I was so afraid of failing out of college, and I needed someone to help me. At the end of my story he said, simply, “What are you doing about your weight?”
“Nothing..” I said.
“Nothing? No weight watchers or anything?”
He said that he thought that if I lost weight (at the time I was probably ~230 lbs, 5’2″) that my depression would go away. And he said that I could do that by “eating more things like lettuce and carrots, and less things like cookies and cakes.” I left the office completely humiliated and infinitely worse off that I was going in. I left school very shortly thereafter, just before they were going to kick me out. I now am in massive debt (for a 23 year old) from the mental health center bills and the year wasted at college.