My Depression Diagnosis Came as a Surprise

I Thought Life Was This Hard for Everyone

Sondra Rose Marie
4 min readJul 12, 2020
Photo by Ben Blennerhassett on Unsplash

I have a memory from fifth grade that has always haunted me. In it, I’m lying on the carpet just inside of my parents’ bedroom and crying on my mother’s knees. Her arms are wrapped around me and I can hear the football game my dad is watching downstairs. “I need therapy,” I sob. “Something is wrong with me."

She sighs and strokes my hair. The box braids my cousin put in the week before trail over my shoulders. “You don’t need therapy," my mom says, brushing off my plea. “You just have to tell me why you’re crying."

I wail in anguish. She isn’t hearing me. “I don’t know why I’m crying,” I explain, looking into her eyes. Tears run like rivers down my face. My mother shakes her head and pulls me closer as I break into sobs.

It’s been twenty-two years since that particular breakdown and I still remember the utter sense of loss in that moment as I realized that I was a sinking ship and no one was coming to save me.

In truth, I did know why I was crying. I was reeling from assault (which my parents didn’t know about) and the stress of trying to fit in with the girls in my class. I was the only Black girl in the class, I was a nerd, and I stood out. Rather than climb the jungle gym and talk about boys like…



Sondra Rose Marie

I write about things people don't bring up in polite conversation: race, death, mental health, and so much more ✨