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Middle School Is Depressing Enough Without Actual Depression

, , , , , | Learning | February 2, 2022

In eighth grade, I came down with a severe case of clinical depression. I withdrew from everything, my grades went down, I spent some of my breaks just listening to calming music on library computers to keep from breaking down, and I rarely talked to anyone I didn’t have to. None of this was helped by my teacher, a freshly graduated twenty-two-year-old with the classroom experience of a raccoon. I was stuck with him for homeroom at the start and end of the day, math, gym, and religion. At the end of the day, we were both trying our best, but frustration was mounting on both sides.

Math has always been one of my worst subjects. As a side effect of my depression, my okay math grade absolutely tanked, partially due to my getting behind and feeling crippled by a mountain of late work. Since I had yet-undiagnosed ADHD, verbal teaching rarely stuck, so I cracked open my math textbook and reread the steps. Several times.

Teacher: “Would you like some help?”

Me: “No, thank you.”

Five minutes of struggling later…

Teacher: “Are you sure you don’t want any help?”

Me: *More curt* “I said no, thank you.”

Five minutes after that…

Teacher: “Would you like some help?”

Me: *Finally snapping* “I trust the textbook more than I trust your teaching.”

That was the first and only time I was sent to the principal’s office, and I didn’t even get in trouble because the principal sympathized with me and said that there were other complaints about my teacher. As per protocol, they had to call my parents to tell them about me getting sent to the office, but I never got in trouble at home, either. I still avoid that teacher whenever I see him around.

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