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Depression in Forensics/Debate; You Are Not Alone

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

Trigger Warning - Talk of Mental Illness

Hi, my name is Lilly Grace Putnam, and I have clinical depression, anxiety, and ADD. WOAH. Heck of an icebreaker. Now that I have my biggest secret out into the world, totally not panicking (being very chill.) I think it might be nice for me to talk and explain a little more. I know I am not the only one in the debate and forensics world who struggles with trauma, mental illnesses, and even identity crises. Tons of others have, are, or are going to struggle. Though I’ve always felt as if I was alone, the only one that struggled. That I am stuck in this little bubble, most of the time while I am seen, the bubble either forces others away from me. I use it as an escape or excuse to stay away from others. Not letting anyone into my bubble. This bubble has always been my safe zone, and when I got into Forensics and Debate, OH MY GOSH. That bubble got uncomfortable. I always felt like I was running out of air. This panic did not help what issues I already had in my personal life, or other classes. I was always comparing my self to others on my team, doubting myself every moment of every day. In competition, I was never happy with how I did, but with how others did. If you do forensics or debate, you must know how difficult it is to not be hard on yourself. There are so many talented people! Especially when competing against people from other schools. When everything was getting worse, I started to spiral down and even tried talking to others on the team. Though our issues weren’t exactly the same, I learned more that there were people like me. People felt alone, nervous, and insecure. I got to bond with others and learned more about myself. We even got to bond over just overall anxiety on performing and memorizing. I’m not going to lie, I still struggle. A lot, but after talking to others about more specific issues I had in Forensics, I learned I wasn’t alone. We were all scared, but at least we were scared together. While still very terrifying (struggling to be chill) I knew I was no longer alone. I had others who were with me. If you are feeling any of this, please know you are not alone. My social media handles are at the bottom of this blog, along with national hotlines. Please reach out to me if you want to bond with someone about panic and being “chill.” Have a lovely day! : )

If you feel unsafe or are experiencing certain issues, please reach out and talk to others:

Trevor Scott Project - (1-866-488-7386)

National Suicide Hotline - (1-800-273-8255)

TransLifeline - (1-877-330-6366)

The National Domestic Violence Hotline - (1-800-799-7233)

All my social media: @lillyyyput

Please contact me or others for safety : )


Lilly Grace Putnam

Bentonville High School

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