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Should I go to my university's free counseling service? I'm just too embarrassed...


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For those of you who have been reading my posts lately you will know that I have been coping with self-injury and feelings of depression and anxiety. These deep feelings are really getting in the way of my life, which is making me even more concerned because this is a very important year for me (in my final year of studying to be a teacher, have to complete student teaching rounds this year, and excel in my results in order to secure a good job...)

 

Someone suggested that I seek out some kind of counseling or therapy, such as student counseling which is often free. Well I'm wondering if I should go to the student counseling offered at my university, but I'm just too embarrassed to go. I feel as though my problems aren't 'serious' enough to go see the student counsellors. Anyway, this is what the website says:

 

The Monash University Counselling Service provides a free, professional and confidential psychological counselling service to all Monash students and staff. We offer individual appointments and also run regular group programs in such areas as exam skills, stress management, assertiveness and communication skills, time management and motivation. Individual, face-to-face counselling can be sought for any kind of problem but most commonly would involve:

 

- Transition to University

- Procrastination, Motivation and other academic problems

- Uncertainty about deferring or changing course load

- Relationship problems

- Self esteem and confidence problems

- Help coping with stress, anxiety and depression

- Family problems

- Grief and bereavement

 

The service also offers a fee-for-service, vocational testing and consultation service.

 

The ones I have bolded are probably the areas that apply to me which make me feel that it would be appropriate for me to seek out this counseling. But I don't know. As I said, I don't feel as though my problems are serious enough. I'm really depressed, and feel like I can't do anything, even though I'm in a very important year at university. I'm embarrassed to just rock up at the counseling room and say, 'Hi, I need counseling.' What do I say? How do I go about it? I've never been to counseling before.

 

What am I supposed to say when they ask what the problem is? I just don't know. I'm anxious I'm too timid to seek out this help offered, but I don't want to lapse back into the pattern of self-injury and deep depression.

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You need to tell them that you're self injuring and are depressed....

 

This is a perfect time for you to get help, and if it is free, probably the only time you'll ever get these services for free.

 

There is no need to be embarassed, that is what the counselors are there for. You wouldn't be embarassed to go to the doctor if you broke a leg or had bronchitis, and this is really no different.

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Absolutely you should go - most of people who see the counsellors are in the same position as yourself. Don't feel embarassed, they are there for this very reason. I went to mine at Uni a few times and have never regretted it. The only thing is that they have pretty long wait times e.g. 2 weeks so you may wish to book in advance. You won't regret it!

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Yes, go. You've been able to apply yourself to three reasons in their list of suggestions, although I would encourage you to go even if you could only apply yourself to one.

 

For starters, you tell them that you're anxious because you've never been to counseling before, and go from there.

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don't feel shameful. they are very confidential and their offices are usually not in the front of the building or anything. personal problems can be very small or very very serious. nobody will know.

 

the waiting lists are huge....but if you book it now you can get it sooner than if you wait any longer. that just shows that a lot of students are using the service, meaning a lot of people need help. just like you.

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Thanks for the advice everybody. There are drop-in hours in which you have to go to if you have never had an appointment before. This is where they assess your needs and decide what kind of help you may need. Then, after I've gone in to do that (IF I bring up the courage to do so), I will go on the waiting list for an appointment.

 

I'm very nervous. I just know I need the help. Argh.

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yay! do go.

it took me soooo long to book an appointment. i was too embarrassed to go for a few reasons. some of them resound yours... i didn't think my issues were "big" enough for help. and i really didn't want someone to see me there. plus, i didn't know what exactly do you do in therapy?? lol

 

anyway, i'm really really glad i went.

the appointments are a little annoying. they're every 2 weeks, instead of 1. it's a bit of a long wait but i'm so glad i went. my counselor is great! she gets what i say. she's understanding but doesn't throw pity at me.. i was really nervous going in and almost cancelled but now, i cant believe it took me that long!

 

so good luck. don't feel discouraged if you don't click with your counselor right away. i lucked out there, maybe you will too. i hope this helps. =)

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I've been pondering the same thing. Where I work there's a chaplain service thingy open for general counselling too. As much as my life is digging into depression, I just think the problems I have aren't serious enough; just the whole deal of being lonely and me as person being unwanted/unattractive - pretty damn lame/petty hey ](*,)

(plus I'm not particularly religious which is an even bigger waste of their time and mine because there won't be anything I can really gain)

 

That said, actual self-injury is pretty serious so if you need weight of numbers, go!

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definitely go

 

I recently started seeing my school counsellor (same kind of thing). Only reason I went is cos my best friend organised it for me. It is scary at first, but its to be expected. Lots of people (including me ) find talking about feelings to friends hard, let alone strangers. But it gets better

I love my counsellor now and I can tell her anything and she gets it.

 

Seriously give it a go. You have nothing to lose, and if it goes bad, dont go back!

 

Oh and I also thought my problems weren't big enough either, but you'll probably find that they are, and even if they aren't, theres no harm in chatting.

 

good luck x

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haha, funny that (well not really, just saying). I went in today as well to the onsite Councillor (chaplain) to ask how the counselling worked, like times, arranging, all general stuff.

 

But as he was telling me the basics of how it worked there, I was thinking "no, I can't do this". A mix of embarrassment as mentioned in this thread but (strangely enough given my situation) that leftover foolish pride I have.

 

heh when are you next going try? I'll try again then too

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haha, funny that (well not really, just saying). I went in today as well to the onsite Councillor (chaplain) to ask how the counselling worked, like times, arranging, all general stuff.

 

But as he was telling me the basics of how it worked there, I was thinking "no, I can't do this". A mix of embarrassment as mentioned in this thread but (strangely enough given my situation) that leftover foolish pride I have.

 

heh when are you next going try? I'll try again then too

 

I don't have any pride or anything that I feel the need to save. I'm not really embarrassed anymore either. A little maybe. But mainly just scared and awkward, I don't know what I'm supposed to say, or do, or where to start!

 

I don't know when I'm going to try next. Probably never. I'm too scared to go

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I assure you, even just talking about it will help. There's no need to be scared, these people are there to listen, and want to help. You don't have to have something prepared to say. Don't think about it, just go. Not enough students use the counselling services available.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I overcame some more personal obstacles and went into have a chat with the Chaplain at work. It was a good chat and stuff, but felt very embarrassing given the basis of it all was so stupid. And because it was that, it kind of worked out just to be like eNA. Bit of an out-pouring, the person giving his views and some advice. All the same advice you get here though (join clubs, join this, join that, say hi, etc.) because well, that's all there is really.

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Please, definitely go. I have all of the problems you bolded and spent a day at the doctor's getting everything sorted. I was put on a waiting list as well but if you really need the help urgently, which in your case I think they'd agree you do because self injury is involved, they should prioritize. I was extremely nervous but it was all I had and the support has been great. It's just really good to have people help get you on the right path. The sooner you inquire the sooner arrangements can be made, and you can take it one step at a time to see what the doctor says and what you're options are. You won't be forced into counselling or anything you don't want to do.

As for feeling awkward, perhps you might. I know I did. But it just has to come out before anything can be done to help. Keep in mind that at universities, they do see a lot of this. And they won't treat it any less significantly just because of that. I'm pretty sure I started off stuttering and picking at my sleeve like I always do, but it did get easier, they really did make me feel comfortable and talked to me before asking the appropriate questions. Hopefully that'll be your experience too.

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