The Misrepresentation Of Mental Illness

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Misrepresentation of Mental Illness Mental illness is often portrayed wrong in the media. Most movies and television shows exclude the details that truly go along with mental illnesses. We must clarify the actual effects of mental illness versus the misrepresentation we are shown on television and in movies. Mental illness is unfortunate, becoming a cliché. The media make mental illness a stereotype specifically making it seem like all people with a mental illness are violent or a criminal. 61% of Americans said they believe people with schizophrenia are violent individuals. These people believe this is because of the way the media reflects the view of the disorder by using violent characters who are involved in violent events. In real life, mentally ill people are more likely to be the victims of crimes rather than the one’s committing them. Jarune Uwujaren uses the example of The Dark Knight in her article “Mental Illness: How the Media Contributes to Its Stigma”. Uwujaren backs up this example by saying “The Joker’s motives for wreaking havoc on Gotham City are never fully explained. He seems to be bombing hospitals in nurse outfits not because he’s spreading any coherent message of villainy –he’s just a lunatic.” (Uwujaren) Although The Dark Knight is completely fictional, the news reporters are linking mental illness with violence even when reporting stories that are true. A Huffington Post article about the James Holmes mass shooting says “cracks in the mental health system” at the school he attended. There are always precautions to take with school shootings, but you can’t always prevent it. This is portrayed as psychosis due to the violence intended by the shooting. This is a misconception because the maj... ... middle of paper ... ...ness. Reaching out and being there for someone with a mental illness will mean more than anything to them. People with mental illnesses are more likely to be a danger to themselves rather than to other people. They need people they feel comfortable around is suicide attempts and nervous breakdowns. People with mental illnesses just don’t want to be judged by their illness based on how the media portrays it. Mental illness can be overcome with the right support and medical help. To make mental illness known well, the media should portray it as it really is. Mental illness does not make the victim crazy. Mental illnesses are true diseases that make the obstacles in life that much tougher than they really are for a person without a mental illness. The stigma against mental illness prevents many people from seeking the lifesaving treatment that could help them.
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