Counselor and artist Sara Nash discusses her own experiences of feeling “overwhelmingly lost, in pain, invisible, and at times, hopeless” — and asks whether it’s truly good that she rarely shares these feelings when she talks to college students about suicidal ideation.
“It is ironic that in a field that believes fiercely in the power of speaking about painful issues, mental health professionals are reluctant to talk about our own lived experiences of emotional and mental health challenges, and we tend to stigmatize one another for speaking up about our stories,” writes Nash. “Our training teaches us to focus on other people’s pain, and to avoid discussing our challenges, even with our colleagues as we go through school. The reasons for this are complex, but I believe we do this, in part, because somewhere along the line we got worried about revealing our vulnerability. We got scared that our vulnerability might make us appear less qualified, less credible, and we started policing each other. We bought into the myth of professionalism-perfectionism and now are facing an isolation similar to that which burdens so many college students.”
Me too (Saranash.com, February 19, 2015)