Week of:
Jul 13, 2018

Grieving a parent's death

Dear Alice,

My mother just died and I've just gone back to school. If this was on paper, you would see my teardrops covering it. I feel like I have no one to talk to. I see the school grief counselor once every three or four weeks, but I was wondering if there is anything else that I might be able to do to lessen my feelings of depression and the feeling that I've been abandoned.

Lonely and Depressed

How long does mourning last?

Dear Alice,

I'm sorta new at this, but I'll give it a shot anyway. My dad died of a massive heart attack just over a year ago. I went through a pretty rough mourning period, but it didn't seem to last very long. My mom is still very much in mourning to this day. I guess my question is: How can you tell if you've mourned enough? And how can you tell if you're avoiding it?

They say the worst is over when the pain stops and the good memories start. But how do I know I didn't just skip to the good memories?

— Distressed Lion

Not ready to talk about loss

Dear Alice,

My father just died. I'm really depressed. I'm not looking for sympathy, so I haven't told any of my friends. I'm not on good terms with my family and that has made the situation all the more difficult. I feel like I need somebody to talk to, but I'm afraid to approach my friends. I know in situations like this people over-compensate by smothering the person with sympathy and attention. What I need is the exact opposite. I need to work this out on my own. Maybe someone that will be there when I want them to be. I'm not looking for the number of a hotline where I will just end up talking to a stranger. Nor do I want to talk to the counselors or any other strangers. You're the first person that I've said anything to about this. Who can I talk to about this?

No where to go

My friend needs counseling

Dear Alice!

I have a close friend who has a number of rather difficult issues. One of the most important is a long history of abuse (largely psychological) from her mother during her childhood. (She is now 19.) It is incredibly difficult to talk to her about any of these things. I would like her to see Psych Services, but I am worried about the fact that there are only a limited number of sessions available — that is actually one of the reasons she has offered to me as to why it would be a waste of time to go.

Unfortunately, the only medical coverage she has is through her mother's medical insurance, she has no real money outside of her parent's control — it would be extremely difficult for her to pay for counseling, in other words, without alerting her parents.

What can she do? What can I do?

Legit reasons to go to therapy/counseling?

Dear Alice,

I don't have what would qualify for legitimate reason to go to the campus counseling center. Is this service typically only for medical related problems? I just want to be able to talk to someone about some of my problems right now. I feel like I "know" the answer to all my questions (regarding time management, developing healthy eating and sleeping habits, confusion, signs of depression, life management, etc., etc.). However, I thought it would be helpful to talk to a professional that would help me talk through some of things I'm thinking about. Who can I see?