5 thoughts on “Five Stresses of Studying Counseling with Concealed Mental Illnesses

  • January 25, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Such a powerful story, i too am in a position of medical responsibility but also suffer with mental illness. I have been open with some of my work colleagues about my condition and luckily my immediate boss is very supportive as i’ve proved that I can do the job over 12 years without a incident. I too long to be more open about my condition but the stigma surrounding mental health is immense and ive been told to tell no one else i work with which i find quite difficult. I feel like Im a chameleon changinbg my skin to blend in with the background waiting constantly to be found out. thankyou for your story it is an inspiration to me and I encourage you to stick with it All the best Agricola.

    • January 25, 2018 at 8:12 pm

      Agricola, thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry you feel the same pressure as I do but I am encouraged to read that you have done well in your field for 12 years. I am only studying to become a counselor, not in the field yet, but my practicum supervisor really believes in me and thinks I have a lot of potential as long as I stay healthy. I keep receiving positive affirmations about my academic ability and counseling skills. Anyways, thank you for reaching out and sharing your story, and I’m really glad to hear my story inspired you.

  • January 26, 2018 at 3:09 am

    Dear Anna,
    You have a POWERFUL voice and I too can identify with you! I am what is often called a “late bloomer” I suppose lol. By that I mean, due to suffering through years of childhood sexual abuse and being rather introverted and shy, I didn’t get to experience a lot of things my peers did.
    For instance, due to the abuse, I feared most guys and also, had a lot of family responsibility when my mom worked. (She never abused me or anyone!) So I didn’t date. I rarely wore make-up, never learned to drive and didn’t attend college right out of high school. I went to college to earn my two undergraduate degrees in social services/mental health beginning when I was in my early 30’s. I went part time and worked full time to pay the bills. For a while I worked 2 jobs including one at a mental health agency as a respite care counselor.
    In my personal life, I began to see a therapist and was diagnosed with P.T.S.D. due to the abuse, Major Depression, and later was hospitalized due to things intensifying after I filed a civil suit against my abuser. Several times I was suicidal but ALWAYS I’ve known when I needed help or support and quietly got it. Except once when in the hospital I had to postpone an important exam. I called my professor and told her where I was and why. I was extremely fortunate she kept my confidence AND, I haven’t been in a hospital in YEARS! I graduated summa cum laude but in the process during the court case etc, I was not able to work for the first time in my life due to anxiety and depression and ended up on disability.
    I will be returning to the workforce soon after a significant absence and my greatest fear is that despite medical records being private and confidential, someone will find out and I won’t be allowed to pursue a career I am good at!
    Kudos to you for sharing!

    • January 26, 2018 at 8:03 am

      Thank you for sharing your story. You have survived so much and you still want to help others in the field of mental health (if you are still in that field). I see so much strength in you. I believe the mental health field needs people like us who have survived mental health issues and found ways to cope and recover. We can truly instill hope in clients, even if we never share our personal stories. Thanks again for sharing and stay strong.

      • January 31, 2018 at 2:06 am

        Hi Anna,
        Thank you for your kind words… Yes, I very much want to work again in the mental health field–it is my passion and an honor to bear witness to people’s struggles and help them to access their own power, inner strength and wisdom! It is also a way of giving back!
        My abuser recently passed away and although it has stirred up feelings and memories it has also been freeing in a sense. My heart aches for my (half) siblings pain over the loss of their father and I suppose, with his death, goes any POSSIBLE chance he will ever apologize and try to make amends. That is more of a child-like hope that I guess a part of me hoped might happen but I knew better. Still, I can’t help but think of how far I’ve come because if something like this had happened years ago, I probably would have had a much more intense response.
        I hope you are well and I totally agree–the world needs people like us!


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