A continuous battle to overcome mental illness

In wake of Mental Health Awareness Day student shares his story

Kolby Spomer
Staff Writer

Two days ago, I went into the Counseling Center on campus because I was having suicidal thoughts. I couldn’t see any reason not to just kill myself, but I figured I might as well see what the Counseling Center had to offer, since part of my tuition pays for my ten “free” sessions, and wasting money is really annoying when I don’t do it on purpose.

I had been there before, but I didn’t find it very helpful, so I stopped going after a few visits. Maybe I just thought I didn’t do it right or give it a fair enough shake.

Maybe I just didn’t want to die. Regardless, I found myself sitting in their office filling out a questionnaire about my life history and present state of mind. When I went to turn in my file, the receptionist said that I would probably be looking at a week’s wait, at least. 

I guess my reaction wasn’t very convincing, because she then said that if it was really bad, I could meet with someone within the hour. I told her I would prefer that, as I could get everything in order sooner if it didn’t go well.

So I left for the library and waited for my 11 p.m. appointment. When I got back, I was greeted by a counselor, who seemed nice. We then spent the next hour talking about why I felt the way I did, how I most likely have some sort of depression, and things we can do in between our next meeting to help me.

I’m not going to give you all the details, but I will tell you how I felt. And it wasn’t better. I felt worse and worse throughout the meeting, and I didn’t really know why. I’m guessing now that talking about it makes you feel worse about it, which is infinitely better than feeling nothing, because it’s a feeling.

Hopefully with the help of the next couple sessions and maybe some sort of pill, I can start feeling more and more, and get back to something close to how I was as a kid.

Yesterday was Mental Health Awareness Day, coincidentally. This day is used to help acknowledge and raise awareness for mental health issues of all kinds, and then subsequently helping people with these problems feel okay about them and feel okay about getting help.

As I’ve grown up, I’ve felt less and less okay talking about how I feel inside, be it because I have a masculinity problem or because I just don’t want to feel like a burden. You may be asking yourself why, then, would I write about something like this.

At first, I didn’t want to at all. I thought I would just feel worse and worse and everyone would see it as weak and I would be shunned.

As I kept thinking about it, though, I also thought about how I would react to seeing an article like this. I’d probably see the Counseling Center as a new option, at least to check into, and I’d give them a shot.

And that’s why I wrote this article. I don’t know if I will ever get better, but I know that the counselor’s will help me try, and that gives me something to be hopeful for. If you feel anything close to how I feel, or you just don’t feel anything at all, I hope you go to the Counseling Center before you do anything drastic.

I can’t promise it will change your outlook at all, because mental health problems don’t just get fixed, but I can promise it’ll give you a new option. Plus, you wouldn’t want to waste those “free” 10 sessions.

The Counseling Center is located in the CSU, room 285. You can also call them at 507-389-1455 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the academic year.  

Feature photo courtesy of Flickr.

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