“The dangers of negative media portrayals include increasing societal stigma and discrimination against persons with mental health challenges, causing … Do you think of a disheveled character running rampant in a small town or of a woman hearing voices as she plots revenge on her adulterous husband? The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. Look out for: Stigma in the workplace affects not only patients but healthcare workers as well. The series portrayed a bleak life for people with mental illness and groups like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) criticized its theme of hopelessness. Those who suffer from mental illnesses may have to see their conditions play out on the small screen in ways that are exaggerated, inappropriate, or just plain incorrect. As a result, people who have not experienced mental illness can begin to understand the importance of supporting friends or loved ones who may be going through a similar situation.. The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. Portrayal of mental illness in entertainment media is extensive and predominantly perpetuates myths and stereotypes about mental illness. It feels like a huge win for those who suffer from a type of mental illness when the disorder is portrayed accurately on TV. With less time spent on reports and insurance claims, you’ll have more time with your patients and your community. The creator and head writer of Euphoria had also struggled with drug addiction and mental health in his youth.Due to his personal experiences, he was able to display an utter realness of these issues without glamorizing or sensationalizing it. Accurate portrayal of mental illness does not always make the most entertaining products. In the HBO show Euphoria, we are introduced to  Rue Bennett, a recovering drug addict who has no intention of staying clean. Sensitive portrayals of people with mental health problems in television programmes such as Homeland and Coronation Street are helping to promote … Languages: English, Spanish. This is extremely important when dealing with sensitive topics, since without having experienced these issues, it is easy to inaccurately represent them. Over the last decade or so, parts of society have become more comfortable talking about certain mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety. Finding an accurate representation of mental illness on TV is no small feat. Little does she know that she has a roommate that is diagnosed with numerous mental disorders that she is not treating by taking her medication. Considering that 63 percent of Americans get a lot of their news from family and friends according to the Pew Research Center, and 46 percent of U.S. adults often get news from a TV source, it matters a lot what’s said and how it’s said. So, while filmmakers intend to entertain their audience with inaccurate portrayals, they may be causing more harm than they realize. Many depictions of mental illness on TV are misleading, a government-backed report says, but EastEnders and Shameless are praised. ICANotes helps healthcare professionals stay on track with proper documentation and with greater peace of mind. 13 Reasons Why is a TV series produced by Netflix about Hannah Baker who died by suicide leaving a box of cassette tapes behind detailing the reasons behind her decision. Here’s what was found: What does this communicate to the audience? Many Americans rely on the media as their main source of information. Whether it’s a film, news program, newspaper or TV show, the media perpetuates many myths about mental illness. Suddenly, you find your whole days blending together to create one endless and suffocating loop. From idiot savants performing enormous computations in their heads to schizophrenics having episodes of raging violence and mayhem, Hollywood has been stereotyping mental illness for decades. This article reviews dominant media portrayals of mental illness, the mentally ill and mental health interventions, and examines what social, emotional and treatment-related effects these may have. This type of mindset is unhealthy for the audience because it can lead to victim-blaming behaviors, and not offering unconditional love and support to people they know who may be going through the same ordeal. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Media portrayals of those with mental illness often skew toward either stigmatization or trivialization. Throughout the series, we focus on the content of the suicide note, the personal details of Hannah Baker, and an entire oversimplification of the reasoning behind the suicide, given to us by the thirteen cassette tapes left behind. It always confused me, because I didn’t really know what it meant. However, mental illness is not something someone chooses or suffers from because they are weak. These tapes also tend to place blame on other people and outside influences, which presents suicide as an acceptable response to hardship. Mental illness is also portrayed in the news inaccurately. The most accurate portrayals of mental illness in teen TV and movies, and how they can help others. When mental health issues are misrepresented in TV and movies, help to shed light on this by adding to the conversation surrounding it. This a person with an identifiable mental illness who happens to possess special powers that are either related to the mental illness or serve to compensate for the disorder. I had a therapist once who said that these states will wax and wane. And conflict is interesting — it’s what draws an audience in. It only focuses on the events that follow, which can be insensitive to the majority of suicide victims who have had mental health issues, rather than using suicide as an acceptable response to hardship. Change ), My Experiences as a Feminist Living in a Developing Country, http://www.verywellfamily.com/how-strong-is-the-link-between-bullying-and-suicide-460620, Describing or depicting the method or location of the suicide, Describing the personal details about the person who died, Presenting suicide as a common or acceptable response to hardship, Oversimplifying or speculating on the reason for the suicide, Sensationalizing details in the headline or story. A survey of mental illness on TV found that the portrayal of characters was often perjorative including flippant lines in the hit comedy Friends. While talking about suicide and depression on television and in the media is not always harmful, inaccurate portrayals of suicide and its aftermath can be incredibly misleading for young people. Because of this message that they are sending, it also implies to the audience that someone who is considering suicide is selfish. In the seventh episode, we see Rue switch from her manic state to a bipolar depressive episode. The tapes are the main focus of the show, which is sharing the sensitive content of the suicide note. Photo: Me, Myself & Irene. These tapes depict many heavy topics including sexual assault, bullying, drug addiction, mental health, and suicide. When we consider sensitive topics like mental illness, media portrayals often do more harm than good. The portrayal of mental illness in pop culture is often volatile, stigmatized and inaccurate, says Dr. Vasilis Pozios, M.D., an Ann Arbor-based psychiatrist and frequent Comic Con panelist where he often speaks on mental health representation in the media. There have been many cases of teens replicating Hannah Baker’s suicide, which resulted in Netflix cutting out the suicide scene, but it was already too late for many families. In Euphoria, Rue’s depression is not glamorized. These are the things to avoid when reporting on suicide, designed by mental health professionals (https://reportingonsuicide.org/): The show Thirteen Reasons Why essentially breaks each and every one of these guidelines. Characters with mental illness are often portrayed as violent and dangerous, are sometimes played off as punchlines and mental health professionals such as psychiatrists commonly take on a villainous role. For every accurate portrayal of autism in Rain Man, there's a misconstrued attempt in The Accountant. In fact, only about four percent of violence in America can be traced to mental health problems. The chances of an individual morphing into a reptilian like beast with rhinoceros tusks and abducting young girls, presents an unlikely case. It also gives people who deal with depression, anxiety, or OCD representation, without idealizing the use of drugs and alcohol, giving a realistic look on the effects of drug addiction and mental illness. Sources for locating movies were Internet and print movie databases that allowed a search by topic or keyword. These stereotypes lead to a stigma, which has a harmful effect on many individuals due to the following reasons: The media has a lot of power, and media and healthcare professionals can work together to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness. However, sometimes writers misrepresent mental illness simply because it creates conflict in a story. ( Log Out /  AUTHOR; YASHVI GUPTA Misinterpretation of mental illnesses - For better or worse, the media, including films, shapes our ideas and ways in which we understand those around us. Accessed 2 Aug. 2020. There is a clip of Rue’s sister finding her after Rue’s drug overdose, which could be classified as a graphic scene, but we can see that it is not being glamorized for the duration of the show. It says that people who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia are more violent than people who had not been diagnosed with schizophrenia — a stereotype based on inaccuracy rather than fact. Let’s look at examples and work toward creating a more honest and accepting society together. Schizophrenia, which is commonly misrepresented in the media, usually does not lead to violence. Pinterest. 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