Editorial: Mental illness more than a triviality or trope

Photo: Selene Basile

Photo By: Selene Basile


FIU is a diverse community and our students come from all different walks of life, have different experiences and different lifestyles. This is why students should take the time to learn, understand and respect the different situations members of our Panther family are facing, such as mental health disorders.

Students face various struggles during their college years and during this time, it’s not uncommon to come across someone who has self-diagnosed themselves with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or some other diagnosis that is normally inaccurate and belittles the true struggle those who truly suffer from these types of diagnosis’s face.

Unfortunately, with the amount of daily stress college students face, it’s not uncommon for us to feel like we’re having a mental breakdown at times but it’s important for students to remember that stress happens. While you may feel that the stress for that upcoming project or test you have is consuming you or that your heart is beating faster than usual as you stand in front of a class auditorium to give a presentation it doesn’t mean that you’re suffering from a disorder. The anxiety and stress you’re feeling will pass.

On the other hand, there are those students who truly feel like they do suffer from a mental disorder but are too afraid to ask for help because they are afraid of being labeled and judged. The mainstream culture is partly to blame for this as mental health disorders such as depression and obsession have been romanticized over the years through books, t.v. shows and movies, but at the same time, this culture has also stigmatized and alienated other type of disorders such as schizophrenia through movies like “Psycho” and “Black Swan.”

“Suicide Squad,” for example, has romanticized the Joker and Harley Quinn’s relationship, turning her obsession with him into pure love and the Joker’s detachment with reality into an excusable reason as to why he shows Quinn love through abuse. While the entertainment industry may say otherwise, mental health should not be taken lightly and this is why students who feel that they are suffering whether it’s something like temporary depression or a long-term illness should take advantage of the free services our university’s Counseling and Psychological Services offer.

CAPS offers a variety of free services for students ranging from body image, relationship, individual or group mental health counseling. Besides having a 24-hour emergency hotline that connects you directly with one of their counselors, CAPS is also able to help students who need long-term treatment create a plan and locate the proper professionals.

Any sessions that you hold with a CAPS representative is completely private, confidential and will not appear on your academic record. Students should not be afraid of making a private session with one of CAPS professionally qualified therapists and should take advantage of this service if they feel like they need help or just need a stress-fest release session.

CAPS is located at SHC 270 in MMC and WUC 320 at BBC or online at caps.fiu.edu. If you have an emergency you can reach their hotline at 305-348-2277 but always remember that if you are in any immediate danger to dial 9-1-1 instead.

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