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I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder when I was six years old. During my first year of law school, I experienced a significant depressive episode that culminated in a suicide attempt.
Like most law students, school had always been easy for me. When I got to law school, I suddenly went from being a big fish in a small pond, to being in a tank full of sharks. I found it difficult to relate to my peers socially; I had trouble grasping the material, but I was afraid to say anything because I didn’t want to look dumb in front of them or feel like I didn’t belong there. I was so tired and felt so defeated that I didn’t want to do anything but sleep after class. In my mind, there was nobody at school I could comfortably call a friend. I felt completely inadequate, inferior, overwhelmed, and alone. My torts professor, without hyperbole, terrified me. Before long, I couldn’t get myself out of bed. I didn’t do any of the reading. Nothing brought me any semblance of happiness. I lived in constant fear of being rejected, being a disappointment, being a failure. Soon I began to think it would be better if I wasn’t living at all.