Quarantine Depression Diaries: Back to the bad place


Quarantine Depression Diaries column sig

Ryder Noah From

This is the first installment of a new column by Ryder Noah concerning daily life struggles in quarantine.


The screech of the lawnmowers. The cookie-cutter houses. The three schools right next to each other. These are the ingredients chosen to make every suburb anywhere in the world. What the welcome brochure doesn’t mention is the boredom, and the serious psychological damage that ensues. 

Like many college kids, I hate my hometown. It’s no wonder that growing up in a town named after buffalo wouldn’t give me much room to spread my wings. After I started managing my social anxiety and wanting more than ever to explore the world, there wasn’t a world for me to explore.  

Then college hit. And it hit different. The activities, people, weirdly designed buildings, the nearby city—it was what I wanted, what I needed. It was a battery of inspiration, self-reflection and growth, recharging me. Then the pandemic hit. 

It’s a new level of cruel to want something so bad, finally taste the sweetness, just to have it ripped away like your heart, soul or shadow—whichever fantasy reference suits your fancy. I was thrust back to the place I had regretfully spent 17 years of my life with no escape. 

The deepest, darkest, most how-did-we-not-realize-and-stop-this-sooner family issues have now been unearthed. I’ve stopped working out and participating in my hobbies. I’m back to self-loathing and hopelessness. All without therapy. 

The progress I had been making, in only about three months, was unbelievable. Who knew free therapy could shine like a newborn sun? It was epiphany after epiphany, both small and big. Now, because of stupid and unreasonable Illinois therapy laws, I can’t work with the one person who seemed to understand me the most. 

All of the daunting questions are coming back. Am I a bad child? Am I ugly? Too ugly for a boyfriend? Will family life ever improveIs there a reason to fix my relationship with the suburbs? What’s the point of doing my hobbies? That voice, that annoyingly convincing and maybe truthful, maybe not, voice: “There’s no point to anything because you can only be truly happy in college.

But I’m back here and on the road to find a new therapist. What’s on the menu for day whatever of Quarantine? Epiphany or crisis?