Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Mental Health & HIV

Refused therapy by my University

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I decided to seek out couseling services at my university (something that honestly I had been looking forward to since I was 16, currently 21 years old).  I never sought out help elsewhere because my parents highly stigmatize mental illness and I didn't want them knowing I harbored feelings of anxiety and depression for most of my life.

I was informed today that the university's counseling center was choosing not to take my case and wanted me to go elsewhere and use my parents insurance, giving me resources for clinics that specifically cater to HIV+ individuals (completely overlooking the fact that the source of me coming there was not to deal with my diagnosis...which honestly isn't a big issue in my life in relation to my long-term issues with anxiety/depressive feelings).  I'm so irritated that they singled out that issue as the most important when I blatantly told them it was really of no significance to me in relation to my other issues.  So now I'm stuck keeping to myself as I have been for the past 10-12 years of my life due to not wanting my parents to have to deal with this (in addition to me not wanting them to know, the thought of being an additional financial burden to them absolutely would destroy me emotionally).  I don't know what to do but suicide has become a topic on my mind on an almost daily basis anymore. 

I'm so irritated right now...just so very...very irritated -_-  Anyways, this is more of just a me needing an outlet to rant moreso than anything since I know what I /should/ do but I emotionally cannot bring myself to do it.

P.S.  To add an additional layer of annoyance, the two clinics they referred me to are nearly an hour away via mass transit (living in Chicago) a college student taking seventeen credit hours I don't have time for that!  I'm rather insulted that they even suggested it...

Anyways, thanks for reading whoever has made it thus far through my rantings  ::)

I feel the frustration in your post. Can't blame you at all for feeling the way you do but I can't help but wonder if the counselors at your university feel qualified to help. Maybe I'm way off base.

Having parents that stigmatize mental health issues sucks.

If push comes to shove I would cut back on your class load and get the help you need. Sounds like you might be getting to that point.

What exactly do you think your parents would do? What are you afraid of? What do you think you should do? (btw-suicide is a bad option)

Your mental health comes first. Please know that people from this forum with better advice than mine will come around. Hang in.


Thanks, Mitch, as far as my parents, they just have a history of making fun of depression and basically not believing it exists in much the same way many people think ADHD doesn't.

Interestingly though, I got an email tonight from the Psychologist who runs the center (after replying to the email I got informing me of their decision to not see my case) stating  that she will "check in with our counselors to find someone [that I can see].

So...I guess everything may work itself out? I'll see next week i guess -_-

Well..I read your posts and here are my thoughts...

1.  It's up to you who you tell.  But these are your parents, they made you, and hopefully they love you.  This is a disease that is affecting you and if they care at all about you they will help you in whatever way you may need.  Or they might not help you and maybe they aren't the best parents and then that would at least let you know you need more independence from family members who won't help you when your ill!  With the ACA you can have health insurance that will cover you and the financial burden would not be so much that you would have to contemplate getting help or not.  If you use your parents insurance or you get your own....Either way its just responsibility creeping up and that is something everyone goes through.  At least now its affordable and available.

2.  Suicide is not the way out.  HIV research is coming a long long way and wouldn't you feel silly if they cure HIV in the near future.  Even if they don't cure it, they are coming so far with the science that there is no doubt that they are going to at least "functionally" cure it.

3.  It's all mental.  Thoughts are just thoughts.  Until you actually take action its just draining thoughts in your head...and if you think about negative things like...My parents aren't going to understand or help me....I'm going to be alone....its all too much...and start getting suicidal its like floating around in a pond of need to get up, dry off and do something else...Exercise...pick up a hobby, learn something different...just get out of that negative mind set.  It's bad and its bad for you.  That's the last thing you need when your trying to keep stress away and stay healthy through this.

4.  You're not alone.  There are millions of people with this disease living and there were a ton of people who have passed with this disease that didn't get to this point to even be offered these medications.  There are more people then you know that understand what you are going through that are affected by it and doctors and scientists are researching to cure it.  Help is out there if you look for it and sometimes its just not as easy as the first step.  Might take a few more steps forward in your search to find those who understand and can help the most.

Just as another person who is going through the same thing you are.... who never thought this would happen...Kick the suicidal thoughts to the curb, they are worthless and you have a lot of stuff to enjoy while your here and have your health still.  Face depression head on by making the right decisions like eat healthy, exercise regularly, stay positive, and just be yourself.

Does your university offer real therapy? Maybe its standard that they would refer you outside.  Sounds like you might benefit from long-term therapy and maybe the university doesn't do it.  Or maybe it does. Does it?

But yeah, referring you to distant HIV clinics was rather crass. You have a right to feel insulted.  That surely wasn't intentional. I wonder whether anyone HIV- and especially mental health professionals will, at first interview, buy a 21yo's argument that HIV is NOT part of the mix in a 21yo's mental health challenges....  Well that it may be not an issue.  They just won't see that but a therapist will after a few sessions. Or, you might discover, its more an issue than you realise.

Also, suicide ideation. Well please tell SOME mental health professional about this, whether on campus or in a clinic or wherever.  I hope you get it sorted soon. 



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