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What to do if school depresses you

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by SoulRiser, Oct 27, 2008.

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  1. SoulRiser

    SoulRiser Well-Known Member

    (Note that I'm linking out to resources that I think will be useful - I'd paste the contents of all the pages here, but then this post would be really long, so I'm not going to do that)

    First identify the cause of the depression - is it the bullies, the teachers, or the structure of school itself? Is it your parents? (even though they're not physically there, they can have a big influence over your feelings from far away).

    The best solution:

    Leave school
    This may seem obvious - if a place is causing you so much grief, why go there? But, alas, it's not that simple. Many people will think of you as some kind of failure if you do this, even if you pursue alternatives like homeschooling or self-education of some kind. People are like this because they're scared - they're scared that it might actually be true that you'll end up "flipping burgers" if you leave school. They're scared, and they'll come up with some pretty ridiculous statements to justify their fear. If you're going to leave school, you'll probably have to be prepared for some of these responses. And then do it anyway. Even if they physically drag you to school, they can't force you to pay attention or do the work.

    If you can't leave school...

    Dealing with bullies
    This is really hard to do if you're already depressed and/or have low self-esteem. The best way to "deal" with bullies is to be immune to their insults, but this is only possible if you're confident. The only really effective ways of getting bullies to stop, unfortunately, is to either beat them up or scare them away. I don't exactly want to encourage you to do that (it does kind of lower you to their level a bit), but there you have it. (also, if anyone has better ideas than this, let me know and I'll add it... I was bullied for about 8 years and never figured out how to deal with it other than simply leaving the source of the problem. Getting away from the bullies slowly built up my confidence to the point where if I had to go through the exact same thing now, I'd be completely immune.)

    Dealing with bad teachers
    It's not easy to change a person, but maybe you can switch classes or something. Also, stop caring about your grades. They're just numbers and have absolutely no bearing on your value as a person. Just pass well enough so that you don't have to redo the year or the class again. Also, grades only really matter if your parents care about them, because parents are pretty much the only people on the planet you can't really hide away from. Teachers aren't with you after school - you can escape them when you go home... but not your parents.

    Dealing with the structure of school itself
    School is not really a place of learning or education. Maybe it was originally intended that way, but it doesn't really live up to that very well. School quite literally ruins kids love of learning by making everything so boring and monotonous. If you keep this in mind, and don't try to play along with their stupid mindgames, you should be OK. Bring educational stuff to read in class instead of the class material. Ignore stupid rules. Try to get other students to ignore them along with you. Do something interesting if you're going to be forced to spend 6+ hours a day in the place.

    Dealing with your parents
    This may be hard or it may be easy depending on your parents. Generally, the more supportive your parents are, the easier it is to deal with school, because then at least you have a refuge, a home you can go back to once your 6 hour daily sentence is over. And if your parents are supportive enough that your home is a refuge, you could probably convince them to let you leave and try some other alternative instead. ...

    But if your parents are terrible, then ... well, then I want to give you a hug. Seriously. There are some really deranged people out there calling themselves "good" parents who can get away with doing the most terrible things, and then claim it was "for your own good". There is no easy way to deal with these people. Reason and logic go right over their heads, and they can convert just about anything into a personal attack and then completely invalidate anything you say and manipulate you into feeling bad for trying to stand up for yourself. If your parents are not completely awful, you could try writing them a letter and explaining your feelings and help them understand you better. This seems to be easier to do in writing, because you don't have to look them in the eye while writing it. But if all else fails, the next best thing is to find some place (even on the internet) where you can go and just be accepted as you are. These forums are pretty good for that, though to be honest I think you should look into finding a second place as well that isn't completely filled with depressed people. Just because depression is kind of well, contagious... and if everyone around you is depressed, there isn't much to uplift anyone. This doesn't mean you should pick out obnoxiously cheerful people though (eww!), but try to find people who have been there, but have found ways to be happier.

    Further reading:
    Some stuff I'd really recommend everyone reads...
    Three full (free) chapters from the Teenage Liberation Handbook.
    Why intelligent people tend to be unhappy
    Legal Ways of Hurting Children and Teens
    Why smart people defend bad ideas
    How to be a girl bully (includes satisfying ending)
    School Survival main page (lots more links & info)
  2. GabrielConroy

    GabrielConroy Well-Known Member

    ugh school

    I love to learn I read non-fiction in my free time for fun but I just hate grades. I'm lazy and apathetic so I dont study and then my grades are not up to par by my parents or my own standards. Somehow my apathy doesnt extend to not caring about what grades I get just enough to stop me from working. If I could just learn without grades i would be a lot happier.
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