I am a college student with severe chronic depression. The illness has been so debilitating that I have gone from being a dean’s list student to entering the second term of my fifth year of undergraduate school. Unfortunately, this situation has forced me to take on $41,000 in student loans. I can’t afford health insurance and even though everyone I know insists I should finish school, I want to honor my debt and starting paying it off. I don’t know where to turn. I left school for a few months and my loans almost defaulted. Now that I have a chance to return to school they have been deferred but I am terrified about my future. It’s gotten so bad sometimes I think about committing suicide just to dissolve the debt and stop being such a burden to family and friends.
Do you think I should finish school and continue to accumulate debt I not sure I can pay? Do you know students have been able to pay on debt up to more than $40,000 and still manage to live average lives? Do you the best programs I can enter for help to forgive or pay off the loans?
First, I must tell you that no debt problem is actually worth killing yourself over, even though it feels like it at the moment.
This is really less of a financial problem than an issue about your unmanaged depression. The very first thing we need to do is get you in front of a counselor on your campus and get you some immediate assistance for the suicidal thoughts and depression. You can do this without insurance.
I know what college you go to from your email address and I called the school to inquire about the resources available to you. I spoke to the Health Services team at 608-363-2331 and we discussed your situation. Based on the feeling I got from your email I told them I thought your situation was one of critical importance and they will reach out to you to help you. They wanted me to share with you that the Dean of Students Office at 608-363-2660 and Campus Security 608-363-2355 are all on stand by and awaiting your call if you feel like harming yourself.
Let me just assure you that I’m here for you when we can get your emotional turbulence stabilized. At that time I can help you to come up with a plan for dealing with the future and the student loans. Keep them deferred right now and promise me that you will first focus on gaining some clarity by focusing on the depression now.
A journey is a series of steps. The first step is to get help for the way you are feeling, the next step will be to deal with the debt.