CTY Withdrawal

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CTY Withdrawal or Post-CTY Depression, as it is more commonly known, is a wave of intense sadness felt after leaving CTY, during which many CTYers miss their CTY friends and experiences. Sometimes, this can last for a few days, a few weeks until school starts again, or until one returns to CTY the next year. Cases of CTY Withdrawal are worse for nomores and nevermores. Due to the incident-based nature of CTY Withdrawal, it is likely to be medically accepted as a form of minor depression. It can be contrasted with Pre-CTY Euphoria, or CTY Tail Whip, the intense feeling of anticipation of a CTY session soon to begin.

Due to the cancellations of various sites, some CTYers may experience “No CTY Depression,” which coupled with “Pre-CTY Euphoria,” can cause more extreme cases of depression.


PCTYD can lead to crying when hearing American Pie or other Canon songs, talking obsessively about CTY to friends from home (who have no idea what you mean and couldn't care less), and hastily organized end-of-summer reunions. It is also characterized by the feeling that you should have a lanyard around your neck (or waist, or hip, or body part of choice) in December. It may involve mass-emailing/DMing/texting/whatevering everyone you knew at CTY, fearing that you will lose touch, and planning reunions that no one is able to attend. PCTYD might also cause you to imagine that you see your CTY friends everywhere you go when you're actually seeing random people you've never met, and having dreams involving only CTY people and having them morph into your non-CTY friends (and being incredibly disappointed).

In many cases, one's heart will be broken from the pain they have been put through due to the end of CTY. They may regret things they did or didn't do, and they won't leave their room for hours on end. Furthermore, PCTYD takes a long time to diminish as the CTYer thinks things over and often spans into the period of years. In many cases, this person will excessively miss their "special someone" from CTY and will lament the fact that they will either have to wait another year to see this person or that they'll never meet again. Parents, it is normal if your child acts withdrawn from family time and texts or visits Facebook nonstop. Please don't blast American Pie in the car as it leads to weeping upon hearing the first note of the song. One should give the CTYer at least four months to heal (depending on the sensitivity or devotion of the CTYer, it may take more or less time to heal) and be able to listen to CTY songs without sobbing.

Other symptoms include:

  • Excessive crying (noticeable as one is leaving campus)
  • Constant checking of messages
  • Joining CTY-affiliated social media groups
  • Excessive social media posting in general
  • Spending too much time on group chats
  • Over-playing canon songs including American Pie, Don't Stop Believing, and other canon (or being unable to listen to them at all)
  • Constant posting on said friends' walls
  • Gushing over photos long after CTY ended (or excessive commenting)
  • Hugging yourself or wishing you had someone to hug
  • Wearing your lanyard at times of sudden PCTYD
  • Wearing your CTY shirt/shirts for 2+ days straight
  • Endlessly looking through old CTY pictures, artifacts or other memorabilia
  • Sleeping at 10:30 every night (or rather, not sleeping at 10:30 every night)
  • Structuring your day in a way akin to the CTY daily schedule
  • Believing you have a lanyard around your neck
  • Seeing CTY-related stuff wherever you look, like seeing the word "city" but reading "CTY"
  • Eating the same cereal you became used to
  • Hanging your room sign outside of your room at your house
  • Desperately seeking an assembly belt to put your plate on after dinners
  • Running through sprinklers after dances
  • Constantly mistaking random people in public places for people from CTY
  • Air-raving, or going through the motions of raving without actually having any poi/glowstrings in your hands
  • Reaching for a key, key card or fob to open any closed door
  • Insomnia or restlessness due to excessive thought about CTY, or having dreams of CTY and the people there (just sleep problems in general)
  • Re-reading the "Only at CTY page" or listening to your or other people's stories of CTY

The Moratorium

The Moratorium is the stage where one's PCTYD is seemingly cured. Sure, we may all miss CTY and look back fondly over our memories of camp, but there exists a stage where this is no longer compulsive or mentally damaging. The Moratorium is a stage of peace. It comes as a strange sensation to those who are accustomed to vivid or long-term PCTYD. The experience is hard to sum up, but you'll know it if you get to it. It is a surreal feeling of finding peace, where even if you have your regrets or good times dearly missed, you don't look back on them in pain or sadness. You reach a sort of enlightenment where you are of a calm and neutral mind but not unaffected or apathetic. This stage may appear to come quickly, with the exact time of it beginning being hard to determine.

The Moratorium was coined by Switch, who after five years away from camp and vivid PCTYD and NCTYD throughout this period, returned to CTY and came home calmer than a great sage. After reaching out to some other CTYers and forevermores, she found that, especially in the long run, this sensation was common. She was due to call this "the grace period," but found this too reminiscent of a certain game. You can read Switch's personal account of how she came to the Moratorium below.

"I had a sort of moment. The type of moment where it genuinely feels like time stands still (sorry to be cliché). The moment where you feel your senses fail but are completely invested in your surroundings. I'd waited so long to return to CTY and now I knew that even if I wasted my time or if not everything went to plan, I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it. And I wouldn’t resent myself for it either. Now I was back, even the simplest things meant something to me… Not as if I were overly attached to my memories and would morn them, but as if I wouldn't regret anything I'd done because I truly loved everything about CTY and my time here. So I just continued with my session and eventually got home. I realized that I may have cured my PCTYD. 
For the 5 years I’d been off-site I had terrible PCTYD. Covid & the prospect of aging-out intensified this. I would go through the common symptoms…Seeing words like “City” as CTY, waking up crying from dreams of CTY when you realize you’re not there, re-reading the "Only at CTY" page, the usual. And I still feel my insides jump when I see the word “Passionfruit,” & dreamt of JHU whenever I slept for the two days after Passionfruit (which was a lot. Thanks airplanes) but woke up simply having enjoyed the dream. It genuinely feels like enlightenment. A stage where you can just watch the world pass by and so many cycles of life go on without feeling a thing. I feel almost guilty, but no matter. I've had some of the greatest moments of my life and am at peace, having no remorse now it's over. *Touches wood.*"

Other Sorts of Withdrawal

For certain CTYers, Hug Withdrawal occurs as well. Hugs are often given as greetings and, therefore, when leaving CTY, you also leave constant hugs. Symptoms include hugging yourself often. Makeout Withdrawal is also possible. As is hand-shake withdrawal and any withdrawal stemming from physical touch.

People who have attended CTY Carlisle and CTY Los Angeles also have Potato Withdrawal and have to deal with the fact that a potato-based dish is no longer served with every meal. Potato Withdrawal has been known to develop into a serious medical condition. Studies have shown that HUB 'taters contain vital nutrients that protect from numerous diseases (including swine flu: R.I.P. CAR.09.1).

Now, as the COVID-19 outbreaks cancelled CTY 2020, there is NCTYD (no CTY depression). This includes not being able to listen to canon without crying, many stages of grief (including denial), and others. NCTYD can have serious side effects including the loss of sanity and all other forms of PCTYD multiplied by 2000. This is more common among [corona mores].

CTY Nevermore Trauma

CTY Nevermore Trauma, or CTYNT (stylized CTY'NT) is a condition that affects only nevermores, nomores, and their close friends. The term CTYNT was coined by Alex Kim, Gary Lvov, Bryan Zhang and Patrick Yang of CTY Saratoga 19.2. CTY Nevermore Trauma describes an amplified set of symptoms similar to those experienced by PCTYD patients, but often more extreme and intermittent. Although the term CTYNT implies that the condition only affects Nevermores/Nomores, Onemores who are good friends with nevermores (especially upcoming royalty who spend significant amounts of time with the Nevermore community) can also be affected. In extreme cases, Onemores may choose to abstain from another year of CTY to symbolically "join" their Nevermore peers.

Acute Symptoms usually last for around 15-25 days after the end of a CTY session. Recovery times vary depending on the individual; their personality, their experiences and their relationships will have an effect on the time it takes for them to recover from acute CTY'NT. The acute symptoms of CTYNT are very severe and extreme; their effects can be violent and akin to those associated with depression.

  • Crying at the last dance, especially during American Pie
  • Excessive crying and weeping, refusing to leave campus
  • Random bursts of sadness, usually accompanied by crying
  • Constantly texting next year's royalty
  • Wearing all of your lanyards from preceding years
  • Attempting to stay up all night
  • Questioning the meaning of life, nonstop thought experimentation ("what if I never went to CTY..." etc.)
  • Holding plastic spoons everywhere you go
  • Convulsions when presented with any CTY-related items
  • Playing canon songs nonstop on repeat
  • Throwing Frisbees to nobody while wearing your TAPS shirt

Chronic symptoms are much more moderate in their effects, however, the chronic effects last for much longer. The chronic effects of CTYNT last for anywhere between four months to several decades. Some symptoms may stay with the CTYer for the rest of their lives.

  • Spending way too much time on group chats
  • Playing canon songs nonstop
  • Structuring your day like a normal CTY day, using the CTY daily schedule times
  • Over-playing an entire dance canon playlist
  • Raving in your room at home, playing canon rave songs
  • Organizing multiple reunions after CTY has ended, year after year (or month after month in some cases)
  • Revisiting an active CTY site, despite having aged out of the program
  • Spamming the CTY Discord with philosophical walls of text, contemplating an existence without CTY.
  • Hallucinating, seeing "CTY" all over the place
  • Convulsing when viewing old photos of CTY sessions; generally accompanied by crying
  • Constantly revisiting group chats
  • Constantly visiting fellow CTYers who live nearby
  • Continuing to use your lanyard for everyday stuff (i.e. attaching it to your keys, etc.)
  • Eating the same cereal you ate at CTY
  • Running through sprinklers everywhere
  • Visiting CTY sites at other times of the year
  • Various sleep problems including insomnia and recollective dreams.

As with many Nevermore/existential-crisis associated things, much remains to be decided. The above list is a list of symptoms; however, some items may also be interpreted as a way in which CTY changes you. CTY is a polarizing experience; it shapes you as a person and leaves you with experiences that will stay with you forever. The nostalgia and disbelief that nevermores experience only exacerbates this predicament and is one of the reasons why this is referred to as a condition.

There is no prescribed treatment for CTYNT; unlike PCTYD, there are no comforting thoughts of a next year at CTY to help relieve the sadness experienced by nevermores. The only way a nevermore moves past this stage is by acknowledging their ineligibility for another session of CTY and moving on, thus completing the transition to a "forevermore."

External Links

Post-CTY Depression, the new website to cure your pctyd

PCTYD Pikachu, a meme developed by CTYers suffering from PCTYD