Letters to the Editor

Letter: Sufferers should address mental health issues

In response to Alexander Pike’s courageous article, “In memoriam: on mental health at Brown” (Post- Magazine, Nov. 14): I am disturbed by the lack of conversation about mental illness at Brown. I have seen some of my closest friends battle with eating disorders, anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. I myself have finished a semester incomplete due to anxiety and depression so severe that I experienced a loss of reality and saw no point in completing my classes or even my degree. It’s common. And it is always kept hushed. Why does it seem that Brown students, who are so open to tackling difficult social issues, are ashamed to admit mental illness or bring the conversation outside a psychiatrist’s office? Attention to mental health should be a preemptive measure, not one only taken when crisis strikes. The inherent instability of the life of a college student, combined with high-stress, high-stakes academics, is the perfect environment to wreak havoc on one’s mental health. And the intelligence of Brown students is almost a crutch here: I’ve seen a weighty responsibility to do something great, combined with an ongoing existential crisis, propel many students into depression, whether mild or severe. Brown offers so many things that promote mental health: Yoga and Mindfulness, Brown Meditation Community, music groups, intramural sports and fitness clubs and the Brown Outing Club. Let’s be able to say, “I’m not doing this to be great — I’m doing this to be healthy, body AND mind, to love myself and achieve my potential.”

 

Jacqueline Roberti ’15