The Stigma Of Mental Illness Essay

1064 Words Nov 17th, 2014 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 romanticised and even encouraged on social media (for example on “pro-ana” websites), however sometimes people ignore the message that the texts are trying to get across and these books and films end up doing more harm than good.
Eating disorders are often viewed inaccurately in society due to the unrealistic portrayals in books and films. Of course, a lot of the behaviours associated with eating disorders are shown accurately, but there are some things that the writers often leave out or depict incorrectly. For example, it appears as though most characters in fiction who suffer from an eating disorder are underweight. This can be harmful as this fuels the myth that a person has to be underweight to have an eating disorder. Although…

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