FAMU junior goes from depression to deliverance

Photo of Ayanna Thompson
Photo submitted by Marie Rattigan

Ayanna Thompson is not the only college student who suffers from depression, lack of sleep, stress and family issues.

Thompson, like other students at Florida A&M, does not feel comfortable talking to a professional.

 Isolating herself from her peers and seldom eating became her way of coping with her illness.

"It was in Truth Hall," Thompson, a 20-year-old junior at FAMU majoring in psychology, said. "I almost killed myself.” Thompson stayed in her dorm all day. She remembers lying on her bed thinking about her life when suddenly a voice in her head said, “If you killed yourself no one would care." Then her grandmother called her phone and she answered.

"I knew she was going through something. However, I could not place my hand on it,” said her grandmother, Sandra Bell.

Based on the 2016 National Survey of Drug Use and Mental Health it is estimated that 0.5 percent of the adults aged 18 or older made at least one suicide attempt. This translates to approximately 1.3 million adults. Adult females reported a suicide attempt 1.2 times as often as males.

After receiving that phone call from her grandmother, Thompson knew that she was depressed and needed help. But she did not want to be viewed differently by her friends.

"I remember calling her jokingly after I got out of my psychology class. I notice the symptoms of depression can fall into four different categories and she emulated all four stages,” her friend Alexis Coby, 19, said.

Thompson, who was raised in a two-parent home in Sanford with three siblings, felt like the black sheep of the family. Her father would treat her differently from her brothers

She believes this contributes to her depression today.

Throughout high school and her freshman year in college, Thompson began to experiment with drugs and alcohol. A weird, yet scary dream changed her life drastically. She had a dream of being in a club intoxicated with her best friend. A drunken lady stopped her and said, "You cannot serve the devil and God at the same time."

She woke up petrified and decided it was time to change her life. She became less depressed and started reading the Bible. She began to have a different outlook on her purpose in life.

She returned to her church in Sanford, International Worship Deliverance Ministry, in December 2017 and was baptized.

"The joy that I have now, no one can take that away from me. The joy that I just get with having a relationship with God cannot be taken away from me.

"It is a good thing to have a relationship with God and to be saved," she added.

Although Thompson still goes through her depressive stages at times, she reminds herself that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.