Active Improvements

Student overcomes depression through new friends, classes, extracurriculars

Izzy Solis, reporter

As tears roll down her face, sophomore Cassidy Fultz struggles with the remembrance of all the knife-like words thrown at her and all the people who left her. She doesn’t want to think, but every little thing becomes torment in her thoughts.
“When I was in that phase where I was depressed a lot, I kept it to myself trying not to bother others with it,” Fultz said. “Even though my friends would ask ‘Hey, are you okay?’ I’d say, ‘Yeah I’m fine. Why wouldn’t I be?’”
According to Fultz she started her struggle with depression in elementary school. From her parents’ divorce and her father leaving her, to bullying, she faced difficulties at an early age. Many kids made fun of her appearance and personality.
“My dad left when I was a kid,” Fultz said. “It’s all fine now; I talk to him now. It was elementary school when I was bullied, but still. Middle school came and the bullying got worse so I guess that’s when it all started. It started around sixth grade.”
In the eighth grade, Fultz moved from California to Texas but she had no family nor friends and it no longer felt like a home.
“It was kind of bittersweet,” Fultz said. “I was really upset to move from my hometown because all of us loved California but at the same time it was also moving away from all the bullies and all of the problems. It also made my depression worse because when I moved I didn’t want to talk to anyone.”
Fultz struggled during middle school, dealing with discrimination against her Native American background. Her friends’ parents didn’t want their kids around her, but once Fultz left middle school and entered high school, her life finally started seeing improvement as she began to make friends and get close to people.
“She’s really energetic and outgoing,” sophomore Oliver Dunham said. “She’s a really cool friend and she helps when you’re sad and when she’s sad, you just automatically want to help.”
Fultz found ways to make herself happy besides connecting with people, like listening to and playing music, taking up lacrosse, watching hockey and participating in theatre. Extracurricular activities served as a way for Fultz to cope with depression.
“Cassidy has a wonderful personality,” theatre teacher Sunshine Morgan said. “Cassidy can bring joy to people around her. She is very open about her struggles and that allows other people to be open about themselves.”
Now a sophomore, Fultz says that although she still has spurts of depression, she continues to keep her chin up, no longer needing to force happiness.
“Don’t be afraid to talk to the people around you,” Fultz said. “Don’t think you’re the only one going through it a lot of people are depressed. People think it’s going to last forever but you can always get through it.”