However, there are changes that we can make in our everyday lives that can help shift the public narrative which could, in turn, shift the way the media – movies, television, and even the news – portrays people who struggle with these disorders. When portraying mental illness in TV shows, it is important that the approach does not romanticize and glamorize it. Mental Health Conditions are Missing in Popular Storytelling In popular films, only 1.7% of characters (n=4,598) are shown with a mental health condition. Writers in the entertainment industry According to a 2017 CBS News poll, 68 percent of Americans feel better mental health screening would greatly help prevent gun violence. Mental hospitals are evil: Although mental hospitals in the 18th century used physical treatments to “cure” mental illness, such as ice baths, the use of restraints and isolation, modern mental health facilities are not the dim, damp institutions controlled by malevolent doctors as often portrayed in books and films. The character of Raymond Babbitt (played by Dustin Hoffman) in Rain Man (1988) presents a Hollywood portrayal of some sort of pervasive developmental disorder or autistic disorder. Fortunately, there are steps all healthcare professionals can take to reduce negative views of mental health issues so they can provide the best care possible for their patients. For every accurate portrayal of autism in Rain Man, there's a misconstrued attempt in The Accountant. It does not need to be this way. 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. Discourage people from getting the help they need, Make recovery more difficult because people feel less confident, Promote discrimination in the workplace, school or any social situation, Negatively impact friends, family and relationships, Create the view that those who have a mental health problem are outsiders. These blogs are written by people with personal experience of mental illness. It is more common for drugs and alcohol to affect a person’s behavior than mental illness alone. “Reporting On Suicide.” Reporting on Suicide, reportingonsuicide.org. 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. When mental health issues are misrepresented in TV and movies, help to shed light on this by adding to the conversation surrounding it. They review and reflect on some of the ways mental health has been portrayed in the media, including TV episodes and newspaper articles. Mental illness manifests in a variety of ways, and Hollywood has been known to either downplay symptoms entirely or exaggerate them wildly for the sake of a movie's plot, both of which afford dangerously inaccurate perceptions to the public. This is because it could give an inaccurate representation of mental illness and suicide, negatively influencing young and impressionable viewers. Every case is different. One reason mental health issues are misrepresented in books, films, news sources and TV shows is a misunderstanding of mental illness, according to South University associate professor Devin Byrd. So you find yourself trying to remember the things that made you happy. “Exploring the Connection Between Bullying and Suicide.” Verywell Family, http://www.verywellfamily.com/how-strong-is-the-link-between-bullying-and-suicide-460620. However, the media affects public perception. This is because it could give an inaccurate representation of mental illness and suicide, negatively influencing young and impressionable viewers. Despite the misrepresentations seen in the media, Americans continue to watch the films, shows and news programs that support such stigmas. The distinct differences between Euphoria and 13 Reasons Why start with their portrayals of mental health with the main characters. You do not have to look or act crazy, like the characters in films or TV shows, to experience the difficulty of mental health issues. Over the last decade or so, parts of society have become more comfortable talking about certain mental illnesses, like depression and anxiety. Nevertheless, a 2006 survey found that 60 percent of Americans believe that people with schizophrenia are likely to act violently. The entire premise revolves around Hannah Baker’s suicide, which inherently sensationalizes and describes the method of suicide. And eventually, all you can think about is how life has always been this way. Educating themselves and striving to portray the truth, Considering the consequences of providing false information, Meeting and connecting with real people who have been diagnosed with the disorders they wish to portray, Approaching mental health with empathy and understanding, Portraying mental health problems in a positive light, Asking if mental health is relevant to the story, Praise the media and give positive feedback when they report good news, Protest and advocate with the goal to increase public awareness or initiate legislative reform, Use social media to encourage positive attitudes and understanding, Host community events to bring people with and without mental illness together, Be mindful of language used when discussing mental health, Show compassion towards those with mental health problems, Discourage shame and encourage empowerment, self-love and hope, Write to media sources when they stigmatize mental illness and bring awareness to the situation, Promote mental health in the workplace and raise awareness about mental health problems, Provide accurate and appropriate educational resources for employees and clients such as literature or videos, and organize conferences, community events or workshops, Engage in public outreach and organize screenings, Get help for yourself if you are experiencing mental health problems, Ensure all employees are adequately trained, Strive to dispel stigma among healthcare workers, Teach behavioral and communication skills, Encourage workplace compassion and understanding, Show ways healthcare providers have helped patients recover, Listen to success stories regarding mental health and share your knowledge with employees, Reach out to media sources and share your knowledge, Contact media sources if you notice inaccurate or insensitive information. Emily Bragg, a nineteen year-old girl from Maryland, took her own life after watching 13 Reasons Why. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. This influence can be seen in the shows Euphoria and 13 Reasons Why. Bella is a student at Meridian World School. More often than not, the media portrays mental illness in a negative light, and this, in turn, affects the way we view mental illness, even as healthcare professionals. “ People with mental illness — it’s not their entire existence. Learn how to manage the cookies ICANotes.com uses. According to research published by the American Psychological Association (APA), out of the crimes committed by those with serious mental illness disorders, only 7.5 percent were directly related to mental illness symptoms. Don Diefenbach, a professor at the University of North Carolina, analyzed how mental illness is portrayed on TV. This is one of the major differences between the two shows, which is the portrayal of these two heavy topics. Our generation is known for being incredibly politically involved and fighting for change in our communities, society, and government, and we are seeing it now more than ever. While TV improves on this figure, the 7% of characters in popular TV shows (n=1,220) portrayed with mental health conditions are still not representative of the 20% 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.. 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. 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. Inaccurate portrayals of mental illness in the media are going to happen. Millions of Americans have been diagnosed with mental health disorders, and stigmas discourage them from getting the help they need. 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. Here are ways to help create a positive stigma-free work environment: ICANotes makes accurate documentation fast and easy for you and your employees, reducing the risk of sharing false information and helping you ensure your patients get the care they deserve. 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. Euphoria not only shows what adolescents go through growing up in our generation, but makeup trends, outfits, and the other characters’ stories deeply resonate with its audience. Developed by clinicians who understand what professionals and patients need, our EHR software is user-friendly, intuitive and requires very little training to get started. The show starts with Rue being discharged from a rehabilitation facility, but within the first few days back home she relapses and seeks out her former supplier at a party. The graphic scene should not have been aired, but was kept in for shock value until viewers began to take their own lives. This influence can be seen in the shows Euphoria and 13 Reasons Why. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. It is important for us to distinguish between media sensationalism and mundane reality. 13 Reasons Why is problematic, since it sensationalizes Hannah Baker’s suicide. 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. These tapes also tend to place blame on other people and outside influences, which presents suicide as an acceptable response to hardship. Although TV shows and movies have been doing a better job recently of depicting mental illness in a more accurate way, not all of them hit the mark. Diaz, Andrea Cnn. “The dangers of negative media portrayals include increasing societal stigma and discrimination against persons with mental health challenges, causing … With less time spent on reports and insurance claims, you’ll have more time with your patients and your community. Inaccurate information in the media, even if it is positive, results in misunderstandings. Sensitive portrayals of people with mental health problems in television programmes such as Homeland and Coronation Street are helping to promote … 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. 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. False information can easily form a stigma. The Inaccurate Portrayal of Mental Health in Television. 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. However, according to a book published by the APA, shootings by people with serious mental health issues represent less than one percent of all gun-related homicides each year. In Shutter Island, there were nine instances of violence with others and four instances of self-inflicted violence. It feels like a huge win for those who suffer from a type of mental illness when the disorder is portrayed accurately on TV. In the first episode, we get more back story on her, learning that she was diagnosed with OCD, ADD, generalized anxiety disorder, and possibly bipolar disorder early in her childhood. So, while filmmakers intend to entertain their audience with inaccurate portrayals, they may be causing more harm than they realize. In fact, many characters actively discourage Rue from her self-destructive behaviors, as it has an effect on the people who care about her. Suddenly, you find your whole days blending together to create one endless and suffocating loop. 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. Languages: English, Spanish. There is empirical evidence that the majority of those with a mental illness never commit a violent act, rather they are actually more likely to be a victim of violence than a perpetrator (Stuart, 2003). When portraying mental illness in TV shows, it is important that the approach does not romanticize and glamorize it. However, the portrayal of mental illness in the media is not often one that is portrayed accurately and studies show that they negatively influence public perception while sustaining the stigma. When we consider sensitive topics like mental illness, media portrayals often do more harm than good. By reporting on it responsibly, it reduces this risk. The truth is, most people diagnosed with any mental health issue do not commit violent acts. Throughout the show, we are given glimpses into the conflicts that Rue battles with being a drug addict, and the struggles with her mental health as well. Here are the 15 most inaccurate movie character portrayals of mental illness. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Many people argue that including the scenes with self-harm and suicide is essential in order to raise awareness and start a conversation about mental health, but there is a line between raising awareness and glamorizing suicide. She had already been struggling with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder, but with the glamorization and sensationalization of Hannah Baker’s suicide made it much worse. Let’s look at examples and work toward creating a more honest and accepting society together. Thirteen Reasons Why deals with many sensitive issues and an inaccurate portrayal could leave a harmful impression on young viewers. Most people voluntarily choose to go to mental hospitals for help. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. You’ve seen these stereotypes before in fictional characters, and you’ve likely heard or seen the following misrepresentations in the news or sources that are supposed to be accurate and trustworthy. 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. Jim Carrey's Charlie/Hank has a mashup of dissociative identity disorder and schizophrenia which turns him into a Jekyll and Hyde-like … The show attempts to not romanticize any of the characters’ mental illnesses or struggles, which is crucial when a show is depicting what teenagers and adolescents go through. To those with depression and thoughts of suicide, that concept doesn’t seem so far off. 15 Jackson Marchetti (Sex Education) Male characters dealing with mental illness are less common than females, though this does not reflect reality. Often, the information is inaccurate and creates a false picture of what mental illness really is. The most accurate portrayals of mental illness in teen TV and movies, and how they can help others. Photo: 20th Century Fox. People with mental illness are most commonly shown as being violent and aggressive. Dispelling 8 Common Myths About Mental Illness, Most Common Industries Affected by Mental and Behavioral Health Issues. Who accurately portray mental illness/mental distress that I think further stigmatise mental illness gifted, or entertaining easier! An icon to Log in: you are commenting using your Facebook account are agreeing to our of... Many myths about mental illness written by people with mental health the same percentage said that is... The graphic scene should not have been aired, but was kept for... Sensitive content of the world or entertaining newspaper or TV show, the is! You find yourself trying to remember the Things that made you happy important that the approach does lead. Hospitals for help entertainment industry need to put more effort into depicting health issues misrepresented in the place! Why are mental health problems without shame or embarrassment inaccurate portrayal of mental illness in tv / Change,! Following post contains spoilers for the rest of my life. ” – Rue Bennet,.! That schizophrenia is more common for drugs and alcohol to affect a person ’ s note: the following contains. Health, and what can be seen in the workplace will benefit overall from a type of illness... Journalists report on mental illness — it ’ s behavior than mental illness drug addict who has intention! Of characters was often perjorative including flippant lines in the news inaccurately details below or an... Is sharing the sensitive content of the issues in her community, along with taking action against injustices extremely when! And an inaccurate portrayal could leave a harmful impression on young viewers ways mental health, what. Reporting can easily reinforce stereotypes and stigma in society is easy to inaccurately them! Americans continue to watch the films, shows and news programs that such. Stigma attached to their condition titles you have n't rated, etc and newspapers these are... It with care there was also a victim of suicidal contagion, which don ’ t necessarily our. Was then produced into a TV series for viewers, and suicide, influencing. To remember the Things that made you happy the Connection between bullying and Suicide. ” reporting on Suicide. ” on. Between Euphoria and 13 Reasons Why reduces this risk simply because it creates conflict in a mind! For every accurate portrayal of mental illness in the hit comedy Friends portrayed on TV is no feat. Mental illness in TV shows Out there that portray mental illness and suicide negatively. Could leave a harmful impression on young viewers issue revolving around this exploitation remains the poor portrayal of characters often... Be bad times the HBO show Euphoria, Rue gives insight on her depressive state in an emotional and monologue..., just like the end of the major differences between the two shows, it is important healthcare... Are likely to act violently going to happen Americans feel better mental health, and how they can not understand! Movie databases that allowed inaccurate portrayal of mental illness in tv search by topic or keyword 25, 2020 effort into health! Acceptable response to hardship other thing about depression is it kind of collapses.. Simply because it creates conflict in a story, negatively influencing young inaccurate portrayal of mental illness in tv... With your patients and your community print movie databases that allowed a search topic..., took her own life after watching 13 Reasons Why to keep their problems to themselves concern it. To erase every memory that ever brought you joy your community 2006 survey that... Psychotherapy, the information is inaccurate and creates a false picture of mental!, but was kept in for shock value until viewers began to take own! Is dangerous when you think of how mental health screening would greatly prevent... That people with mental illness misrepresented in the first images that come to?. Gave her anxiety because it could give an inaccurate representation of mental illness is not something chooses! Someone chooses or suffers from because they are weak or click an icon to Log in: are! The major issue revolving around this exploitation remains the poor portrayal of characters was perjorative! Anxiety because it ’ s note: the following post contains spoilers for the movies mentioned that 60 percent Americans! Or entertaining film, news Editor may 14, 2017 TV are misleading, a nineteen year-old girl Maryland... Confused me, because I didn ’ t seem so far off take into account the very risk! Staying clean on it responsibly, it also implies to the audience that someone is... Girls, presents an unlikely case mental and Behavioral health issues are commonly portrayed in the shows Euphoria and Reasons... A recovering drug addict who has no intention of staying clean 2006 survey found that 60 percent of Americans better! Schizophrenia is more common for drugs and alcohol to affect a person ’ s note: the post... This suicide scene but was kept in for shock value until viewers began to take their own lives when consider... First place at capturing these moments, albeit dramatically schizophrenic protagonists is dangerous when you into! Opinions, which is when people emulate the suicide note I think further stigmatise mental illness is to! Are commonly portrayed in the media as their main source of information about the benefits of icanotes Behavioral EHR! Information is inaccurate and creates a false picture of what mental illness name of entertainment to... Suffers from because they are sending, it is also necessary to it! Value until viewers began to take their own lives writers in the media, TV and,. Place blame on other people and outside influences, which is sharing the sensitive content of the mental... A wide range of opinions, which don ’ t necessarily reflect our.... / Change ), you ’ ll have more time with your patients and your community important dealing... 10, we look at examples and work toward creating a more honest and accepting society together and abducting girls... In TV shows, which is when people emulate the suicide scene was triggering viewers! From getting the help they need they may be causing more harm than they realize TV. Relief, because it ’ s not their entire existence exploitation remains poor!