Depression is not a weakness. It is an illness. There is help out there so please try it. If you can’t cope with seeing someone then please check out online resources as a starting point and then speak to someone when you can. The Dancing With The Black Dog (Winston Churchill referred to his ongoing depression as ‘the black dog’) Facebook page has some excellent practical, honest and good humoured advice (see cartoon alongside).
There are sources of help available to students. Who you go to will depend on which services are available and frankly who you feel you can talk to. People to consider going to:
GP (doctor in UK), Student Welfare office, a subject or study support tutor. Departmental secretaries usually know everything about everything – people, departments, resources. If your departmental secretaries are helpful (and most are really lovely, albeit terribly overworked) then ask them who they think you should contact.
Universities should have mental health policies in place and while it may seem impossible to raise the issue with a tutor you should find them more understanding than you expect. Many lecturers also suffer from anxiety and depression or they know someone who does. If you can’t face seeing someone (and many people with depression or anxiety really can’t) then email would be a good place to start. If you get on well with another student perhaps you can ask them to go with you or to talk to someone on your behalf to find out what’s available.
If you have a supportive family you may be able to ask one of them to contact the University or your doctor to find out what’s available. If you choose this route I suggest you tell them that you have no intention of discussing anything with them but that if they want to help they can find the resources and you’ll decide who to ask them to contact on your behalf.
People with depression can find it impossible to track help down, impossible to make appointments. It can help enormously to have someone to make appointments for you.
Good luck guys.