So, as some of you know the boy was diagnosed with depression in his first year, after having failed his exams. The failure was the catalyst, but the doctors pre-dated the diagnosis - that is, he was almost certainly depressed before then. He went through "blue" periods, but we just put it down to the stress of a long-distance relationship. With hindsight, though, it was definitely more than that.
Anyway, fast forward to today and he called me, sounding like he'd been crying, after what is his penultimate exam. It looks like he's going to bring his existing appointment with the student support office forward, and he's going back to the doctors. People always say to me (when they find out about his depression), "Oh, it's because he failed his exams because he didn't work in the year." He has
been working, though. It's hard to quantify "enough" with medicine because it's so hard, but I know he's been working so much more than he was last year, for example. I'm increasingly beginning to think that his depressive periods are triggered by periods of intense stress - he works himself into a panic about the exam (because he's failed before) so he's ineffective at absorbing the information, so he thinks he's done badly and then the feelings of low self-worth kick back in. It's not even just, "oh, I've done badly on this exam" - there's a hollowness to his voice that's come back, and it's horrible. I don't know what I can do, though.
And I know this probably sounds really
bitchy, but I feel like it reflects badly on me because I'm always having to defend him to my family and friends who just think he's a slacker.