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Jessica Lin: I Think I Have Depression

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Jessica Lin has struggled with depression and she wants other young people to know they don’t have to be alone.

It took me four years to tell my parents ...

It’s dinner, my parents are talking but it's just noise in the background. I’m staring. I don't know where. What if, what if they dismiss me? What if I’m not, you know? What if they say I don’t have it hard like others? What if they treat me differently? Sure, they are still going to love me no matter what. But what? Why have I sat through all these dinners, all these days, I wake up, and go to school with a fake smile on my face? I want them to be happy when. When … I can’t.

I said it out loud for the first time. “I think I have depression. I can’t really explain. It was present during mom’s chemo and just never left. I’m not happy. Not satisfied. I didn’t tell you guys because I didn’t want to be selfish. I didn’t tell you guys because I’m so scared. I just needed to say it out loud. I have these moments that I feel like it's gone but I barely remember the last time I’ve been content. I keep making excuses saying it's just what's going on right now, I have a lot on my plate. But god, I don’t think I can make this up in my head. I can’t live with this secret anymore. I just don’t want to disappoint you guys.”

It’s silent. Tears are streaming down my face and I can’t breathe.


“You don’t need to justify," I hear. I’m sobbing. I feel my mom’s arms wrapping around me. She’s crying, too. I feel dad’s hand on my shoulder.

To those who can relate to my story, I know it's the scariest thing in the world. And it's the most painful. Getting the courage to muster that strength to be that vulnerable takes time. But it’s a leap of faith. I hope that if you are struggling through this, know that there are others that are struggling, too. Tell someone you trust. That’s the best advice anyone has given me. For the first time after telling my parents, I felt content.

With a Perspective, I’m Jessica Lin.

Jessica Lin is a sophomore at Woodside High School. Her piece was produced with free curriculum from KQED’s Perspectives Youth Media Challenge. Jessica is also a member of KQED’s Youth Advisory Board.

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