Archives for May, 2012
A lot of college students spill about questions pertaining to their sexuality. Oftentimes, a student who has always considered him or herself to be ‘straight’ suddenly has feelings for someone of the same sex. Many of you write in because you’re feeling very confused as to whether the feelings you have for someone of the same sex are true feelings and are sexual in nature, or whether they are just some passing urge that will dissipate with time. The added stress comes when you’re in a monogamous relationship with someone. Not only are you questioning your identity as you’ve known it, but you’re also having thoughts about experimenting with someone else when you’re in a monogamous or committed relationship… While I can’t speak to whether or not your partner would be okay with you connecting with someone else intimately on some level, I can say that it’s completely normal for some people who are ‘straight’ to also at some point become ‘bisexual’ or some other form of sexual orientation that they did not previously identify with. What I learned in graduate school, and what I’ve also heard from various friends and acquaintances throughout my life, is that sexuality is on a spectrum, and people can lean one way or another or anywhere in the middle at any point in their lives.
Since this May is mental health awareness month, I want to talk about mental health and the impact it has in our lives. For those of us who have ever struggled with mental health issues, it’s important to understand that we are actually a part of the majority of people living in the United States. In fact, one in four adults in the US will suffer from some form of a mental health issue in his or her lifetime. We are not alone. It’s important to engage in supporting others with mental health issues, like our responders do at Spill. Peer responders provide confidential support for their peers by empathizing with their struggles and writing responses to them with feedback. We can engage in conversations with people and educate them in order to eliminate the stigma that still surrounds mental health issues. While it can be very empowering to acknowledge that depression or anxiety or whatever it is that ails us is a part of who we are, it can also be very powerful to recognize that any one part of who we are does not make up all of who we are. In other words, you are not your _____________________. Fill in the blank (with depression, anxiety, stress, anger, distress, sadness, etc.)