Mental Illness In Wintergirls By Laurie Halse Anderson

1064 Words 5 Pages
The stigma that surrounds mental illness can he heavily influenced by how mental illnesses are portrayed in books and films. Although some texts are able to accurately portray the affect a mental illness can have on a person’s life, there are some texts that romanticise and inaccurately depict mental illnesses such as depression, anorexia, bulimia, bipolar, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. This can have a damaging effect on how mental illnesses are viewed in society. In turn, this can have consequences for people with mental illness as these inaccurate portrayals may discourage them to seek help. Of course, most books and films today that feature some form of mental illness are not trying to encourage the behaviours that are sometimes …show more content…
It tells the story of Lia, an eighteen-year-old girl who suffers from anorexia nervosa. Along with the theme of this eating disorder, the book also features a character who suffers from bulimia nervosa. Unlike some texts, Wintergirls shows the shocking side effects of living with an eating disorder. A lot of books and films which tell the story of a person living with an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia fail to mention the more unpleasant side effects that come with food restriction, binging and purging. These side effects include lanugo (soft, fine hair growing on the face and body), damaged teeth and gums, intolerance to cold temperatures, thin hair, brittle nails, fatigue, dizziness or fainting, loss of menstruation, bad breath, and more serious complications such as liver and kidney damage, heart problems and sometimes even death. This book also tells in graphic detail how a character dies from complications caused by her bulimia. The way the author describes the two characters’ battles with mental illness is confronting and shocking, but it is the truth. This book exposes what living with an eating disorder is really like. It can be used to make people realise the extreme health risks that come with restricting food intake, binge eating and …show more content…
One example is post traumatic stress disorder. This mental illness is portrayed in The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, through the character Charlie. Charlie is tormented by troubling memories, including his best friend 's suicide and a history of childhood abuse. Although it is never mentioned in the story, Charlie’s actions and behaviours indicate that he suffers from

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