Sleepless Nights with COVID


Anonymous, Staff Writer

One could only describe it as floating. Like watching your life pass by in third person. Your body an empty husk. Just drifting down the halls of school, faces becoming a blur. I could hardly work. I just faked a smile, which felt like pasting a smile on a walking corpse. I lost friends. I did poorly in school for the first time in my life. And I sunk. I didn’t think about anything. My mind was a barren landscape. I felt no joy, no anger, nothing. Just a deep, deep sorrow.

On my good days, of which there were few, I instead felt like an old man, just watching the happy teenagers around me go about their lives. It was only after I suffered a major panic attack, which I absolutely do not recommend, that I went to seek help. Help for my empty corpse. The one that stayed up for hours in bed, watching his life play in front of him, unable to sleep, forced to watch his life over and over, like some twisted punishment. The one that can’t focus, that stares at the board, the meanings of the words nonexistent.

It certainly didn’t help that I was bilingual, my mind constantly switching between languages, unable to comprehend the world around it. ‘Are you ok?’ asked my friends. ‘I’m just tired’ was always my response. My biggest lie, the one that I told daily. I lost my friends. I drifted away from my peers. When my last friend forced me to see a counselor I was told that I had severe depression and anxiety. I got treatment, taking medication, but it wasn’t helping. I almost killed myself multiple times. I got more diagnoses. ADHD, insomnia. The houses’ medication cabinet filled, but my soul never did.

And so I drifted. Only one thing kept me going besides my friend. Marketing. Go ahead and laugh, but I have a passion for it. I love it so much and do as much as I can. Then Coronavirus hit. I was stuck at home, and it was unbearable. I sunk and sunk, I couldn’t work on any online work. I tried to concentrate, but nothing helped. Frankly, nothing does. I still drift. Forever a shell.

Although I myself may have a rather extreme case, if you find yourself struggling, please reach out. There are people all around you that are able to help and want to make sure you are OK. You can talk with family or friends, or reach out to a school counselor. There are places online too that you can contact if you are struggling. Just don’t sit on it doing nothing. Tell someone, and they can help you.

At Issaquah High School, we have a representative from Swedish Hospital, one of the centers that can help you with any issues you may have. Sara Torelli specializes in mental health, and can give you the resources you need, and help you figure out how to help yourself, and build you support. “If someone appeared to be struggling with mental illness and hesitant to ask for help I would normalize help seeking behavior and feeling overwhelmed,” said Torelli, “First and foremost I would convey to them CARE and CONCERN and let them know that I am available to listen.” Not only is Torelli available if you need her, but the entire counseling department is very kind, and will help you. In terms of outside support, if an individual is considered to be at a high risk of hurting themselves, it is possible that they could be hospitalized, but often, an individual is encouraged to reach out to therapists and psychiatrists. They too encourage your reaching out for help, also acknowledging the difficulties that come with it. Counselor/Therapist Jaclyn George, Full Circle Counseling group, mentions that “reaching out for mental health support can be one of the hardest steps but is the most important. At some point in all our lives we need someone outside our social circle, or family, to help support us through difficult times.”

With all that is happening in the world, consider reaching out if you are feeling especially stressed, or need to talk with someone. You are not alone; in fact a little over 10 percent of Americans have depression according to Helpline. One in five of Americans suffer from a mental illness, while one in 25 have suffered from a major mental illness according to

When all is said and done, mental health is a part of general health that all too often goes ignored. Your mental health is so very important, and do not hesitate to reach out to try to help it. If you, or someone you love is going through a tough time, support them, and offer them or yourself some resources to help you get better. If you are having an especially hard time, and are considering suicide, or know someone who is, call the suicide prevention lifeline at 800-273-8255, because YOU MATTER!