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I’m Scared to Ask for Help Because I'm a Psychology Major

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Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

Disclaimer: I am not generalizing that all graduates of psychology have felt the same way if I use “we” or “us” in some statements.

I just graduated from a four-year course to get my BS in psychology, and a common belief of people who know too little about our field is that “psychology graduates should be more understanding.” If we express too much of what we feel, the “shouldn’t you be more sensitive?” line gets thrown at us. This might even be the main reason why I haven’t gotten into therapy yet, despite experiencing depression for more than three years. I know I am not supposed to diagnose myself, but I know too much about psychology. Before considering therapy, which my best friend (who’s also a psychology major by the way) highly recommended, I observed the symptoms I was experiencing. When I was in sophomore year in college, I started seeing some of them.

1. Getting out of bed was harder every day. I was known in my class since freshman year as the girl who slept in between lectures. Why? Because I have been up all night. Why? That’s the question I’ve been trying so hard to answer, but I can tell you how I felt during those sleepless nights.

2. I felt this kind of nothingness, with no apparent reason. I spent more hours locking inside my bedroom staring at nothing, than actually doing something productive. Every day I think to myself, “Why am I even here? Why am I studying this course when I can’t even get help for myself?” With every passing day of fighting, I almost tried to approach one of our professors who was also a psychologist. But I was eaten by the pride that I am a psychology student who should be more knowledgeable on how to handle certain emotions.

3. I started getting angry with myself. I became very apologetic with even the littlest things. Like being a minute late for a date with a friend, for unintentionally blurting out hurtful things (or at least I think they’re hurtful) and feeling so guilty, for not doing a friend’s favor immediately, for not getting good scores on tests I knew I didn’t prepare for, for just about everything.

4. I had unintentionally projected these feelings of self-hatred towards my family. Every time I hear the small criticisms from my parents, I start getting resentful. At most times, I just hate talking to them about how my day at school went. I have become more and more sensitive to them that when they ask me things about myself, I feel so irritated and an argument begins. I find myself being a bitch and very disrespectful.

5. The thought of taking my own life is getting too often. The sadness, the anger, the tiredness, all the emotions were mixed up and I have nothing on mind but to just end it all. I was hurting the people around me because of this overwhelming self-hatred, and I couldn’t think of anything but taking my own life. These thoughts come to my mind even when I’m having fun with friends, out on a lunch with my family, and even during our organization’s event during Mental Health Awareness Week.

Yes, I am a psychology major graduate and I’m aware that I should know better to not have to struggle in silence for years. It’s the fear of being judged by my classmates, and the thought of whether my parents would understand what I’ve been going through or not. I just got so used to the cloak of being an active member of our psychology organization and the responsibility of an eldest daughter who must graduate on time. Obviously, I had a lot on my plate and I used them as an excuse not to seek for professional help. Currently, I am reviewing for the upcoming Board Licensure Exams for Psychometrician and I am barely holding on to sanity so I could end up in a promising future career. Pass or fail, I am planning to get myself into therapy soon.

And for those who can relate to my story, I hope the fear of being “judged” and failing to meet the unsaid expectations from your parents won’t stop you from getting the help that you really need. Yes, we are the ones who should be more intact with our feelings but we also deserve to loosen up sometimes. After all, we are humans who are capable of feeling lost too. Your pain is valid, and you deserve the help you’ve been giving to others.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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Thinkstock photo via Maria Kuznetsova

Originally published: September 14, 2017
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