The Dark Room

Video posted April 27, 2016 in News by Mariam Sylla


Briana Wilson, senior, is a student at the Pennsylvania State University who suffers from Depression and Anxiety. As a freshman at Penn State Harrisburg, she started to feel very lonely due to being away from family, friends and her boyfriend. She started to notice that the loneliness she felt had a deeper effect on her than normal, so she decided to seek help. That’s when she was diagnosed with depression. By her sophomore year, Briana felt herself getting worst despite making new friends. That’s when she resorted to self-harming. She felt that dealing with the physical pain would be better than dealing with the mental pain.

For junior year, Briana transferred to University Park where she thought she would be much happier and things would be less dark. She thought that living with her best friend and being at a larger campus would be great. Even though Penn State Harrisburg is much smaller,  there seemed to be much more resources available to help her with her depression than at University Park. In contrast, she felt like a “little fish in a large pond”. She started to feel like it was harder to balance things such as school, work and social life with depression. 

Briana found herself having continuous negative thoughts. Thoughts about not wanting to be alive and the fear of not knowing if she was going to “live to see the next day” haunted her mind. Seeing that Briana needed great help, her roommates convinced her to go to the hospital where she was admitted in a psychiatric center for three days. Being hospitalized made Briana realize that she “did want to live” and that she didn’t want to end her life. She realized that it was depression that she wanted to end instead.

After being released from the hospital, Briana began to slip again. The same thoughts along with thoughts of not being wanted by her friends and family took over. As a result, a few months later, she attempted to take her own life. She took a throw blanket and tried to hang herself. The only reason why her attempt failed was because of her height.

After Briana’s attempt to commit suicide, she was shocked that she tried to take her own life. During this moment, Briana realized she really needed to get help. She refused to take the hospitalization route again and instead decided to seek treatment through Penn State’s Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, CAPS. There she was put on the emergency waitlist and found both a therapist and psychiatrist that she felt comfortable with. Her friends and family came together to become her support system and she began to become more open about her mental health.

Briana is currently uses her story to reach out to others who have been effected by mental health. She became a member of a mental health awareness organization, spoke on panels about mental health, and have been featured in the campus newspaper a few times. As an outlet, she has a blog where she shares her feelings about Depression and Anxiety. Most of all Briana feels balanced and free of suicidal thoughts.

Listen to where Briana is now - The Light: