One of the precipitating causes of depression is a traumatic life event. For many university and college students, it has to do with falling below expectation, especially for high achievers.
Madison Holleran was your typical pretty, smart, star athelete that attended University of Pensylvannia, and from the outside everything seemed like it was going great, but then came the news of her suicide on Friday, January 17th. And what is crazy about this is that she was just one in 5 Penn student to commit suicide in the past six months.1
In high school, Madison racked up straight As, ran track and competed in two national soccer championships. But first semester at UPenn was tough for Madison, as she had a 3.5 GPA. Madison’s friend, Hung stated that it might have been a combination of leaving home, attending college, and pressures from social media of the need to ALWAYS be happy.
As Steve Volk of Philadephia Magazine explained “These overscheduled kids strive for perfection, spending their adolescence collecting medals, first-place finishes and congratulatory handshakes. But when they arrive at Locust Walk, they are suddenly surrounded by thousands of peers who were also the smartest and best. They experience failure, perhaps for the first time in their lives. They feel like they are letting down their families. And just as they are beginning to gather power in the world, they might be at their most vulnerable.”1
Depression among university and college students is no joke. Let’s diminish the stigma on depression and suicide and open up the conversation.
~Mei Wen, Humans of Depression Representative
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- Steve Volk. Philadephia. “Tragedy of Madison Holleran and Suicides at Penn” Retrieved from http://www.phillymag.com/articles/penn-suicides-madison-holleran/