Mental Illness In The Media Analysis

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Authors, Kimmerle and Cress , inform that, “It is a frequent finding that exposure to television has a socializing effect on the audience, that is, television influences their perception of reality” (The Effects of TV and Film Exposure on Knowledge About and Attitudes Towards Mental Disorders). Today in society, media has a stronger influence on public opinion than ever before, especially in television series and film. One topic that these media outlets can heavily affect are those which focus on people with mental issues. Although disorders, such as anxiety or depression, are quite common in society, the term “mental illness” still carries a negative connotation in the mainstream. There are those who believe that because media can be so …show more content…
Many even living in denial because of the stigma that comes along with mental illness. In their article “Student filmmakers ' attitudes towards mental illness and its cinematic representation” the authors explain that, “Population surveys have showed that negative opinions about mental illness are widely held, particularly in relation to schizophrenia, addiction and alcoholism”(Bradburn et. al.). Too many people in society pair having a mental illness with being a psychotic killer of some sort. This could be due to the manner in which some directors portray one who lives with an otherwise harmless disorder such as schizophrenia. The unfortunate truth is that, although these depictions of certain mental disorders are strictly made for entertainment purposes, people overwhelmingly accept it as truth. In the article “Opening the Door to Happiness” the author points out that, “Though we live in a time of unprecedented tolerance of different races, religions, and sexual orientations, mental illness -- an involuntary medical condition that affects one out of four people -- is still regarded as a mark of shame,” (Lieberman). In other words, it is a shame that we live in a time period where equality for all has been accepted as the social norm, for the most part, but someone living with a mental disorder which they cannot control is thought to be some sort of monster. That is why it has become a …show more content…
In the article “Opening the Door to Happiness” Lieberman states that, “The stigma has persisted because the public has not become aware of psychiatry 's advances in the same swift way that it became aware of advances in heart disease, cancer, and AIDS treatment”. In mainstream media there are tons of medical dramas that present the viewer with accurate depictions of what doctors and patients experience. However, there were rarely programs that show the relationship and treatment between psychiatrist and patient or therapist and patient. Which can lead one to believe that anyone with mental issues simply lives in hospital for “crazy people” for the rest of their life. Which is not, and has not been the case for quite some time now. In his article Lieberman discusses programs that portray those with mental illnesses in a non-degrading manner and

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