One of the things that I have struggled with most in medical school is depression. Not learning to recognize, diagnose or treat it, but actually dealing with the effects of this condition. I soon realized that this problem is much bigger than myself, and needs to be talked about openly. This is my story.
It has been a little over two years since Kaitlyn Elkins, a second-year medical student at Wake Forest, took her own life. Her death stunned friends and family, who had been largely unaware of her protracted struggle with depression that was ultimately revealed in her suicide note. Kaitlyn’s mother, Rhonda Elkins, dedicated herself relentlessly to advocating for mental health awareness before succumbing to her own grief, committing suicide one year later.