Psychological Problems

<p>Hi, I am a freshman in college. I've been having some psychological problems this year, but I am afraid to go to a psychologist. When my parents registered my medical plan, they indicated that they wanted all bills mailed to them, along with the reason of visit. My parents are strongly against my visiting any kind of psychologist (when they had some serious family issues, they wanted to make sure these issues were only dealt with within the family). What should I do, and who should I talk to?</p>

<p>See if your college has free counseling, check in at the Health Center and ask if there's any way you can pay out of pocket for a psych bill, or if it can be billed confidentially as "Health Center Fees" or something like that. If neither of those are an option, see if you can go off campus to see someone and pay out of pocket. And keep trying to gently bring up the idea with your parents - that it's okay to ask for help when you have a problem, just to have someone objective to talk to and offer insight.</p>

<p>I hope things get better for you :-(</p>

<p>I think bacchalk's solution is the most reasonable. Have you considered talking to a trustworthy family member about your problem? Not your parents, I for one can never talk to my parents about certain problems. But maybe a relative who you think can keep a secret. Maybe just by talking to someone you can ,at the very least, get it off your chest by just telling someone.
Hopefully things will work out for the best...</p>

<p>Most colleges have a counseling center where you should be able to make an appointment with a counselor confidentially. These counselors may be social workers typically but they may also have psychologists on their staff. This service is often included within your annual Health fee so there would not be a separate charge or bill to pay and your parents would not know about it since no separate bill would go out for it. All such counseling would be kept confidential by the counseling center unless you signed an authorization form allowing the counselors to contact or speak with your parents. </p>

<p>Separate from this would be psychiatrist services (for medication management etc.) which may be offered through the Student Health Center since psychiatrists are M.D.'s and usually on the Health Center staff. At my son's college, charges for psychiatry appointments are made to the Student Billing Account. The charges show up as "Health Center Fee" or something vague like that but do not say "psychiatry appointment" on them. Whether or not your parents would even see this would depend on whether your college bills go to them (or they can pull them up online somehow). If you handle all your own bills, they may not see them. You can always ask the Health Center how they bill such appointments out and whether you can pay by check at time of the visit. </p>

<p>My son has had to use both the Counseling Center and also the Health Center (for his various needs) at his school. I assure you that had he not chosen to keep me informed about the appointments he has had, I would not know about them as his college protects the privacy rights of its students. I encourage you to go first to your Student Counseling Center for an appointment just to talk to someone. Tell them about your family situation and I know they will do whatever they can to help you and keep your issues private. It is a wonderful service most colleges offer and I only wish more students felt comfortable seeking out this kind of help especially in their freshman year when things can be so overwhelming. Help is there for you, please pick up the phone or walk over there today and allow yourself to start feeling better. Good luck!</p>

<p>Agree with jdasmom. A visit to the college psychologist is private. The college is not allowed to release any info. to your parents without you signing a release, whether it is grades, personal info., etc.It is rare that a college does not have a clinical psychologist, etc.</p>

<p>Chiming in that there is a good chance you can have a small number of counseling sessions at your own student health services without any fee - may well be included in the tuition and fees you already pay.</p>

<p>Please go, since clearly you are ready and willing, but fearful only of losing you privacy. The sessions will surely be private and there well may never be any bill which compromises your privacy.</p>

<p>Good luck and let us know if it works out for you.</p>