Mass Media And Mental Media Essay

879 Words4 Pages
Negative attitudes toward mental health are directly influenced by mass media. In 2017, media controls our surroundings, to the extent that we are inclined to believe everything we see and hear from media. Social media is poisoned with exaggeration and grossly falsified stories. Since it is so personal, people rarely approach social media with a careful eye. Trusting mass media is a slippery slope, as many misconceptions can be easily made about people, especially those with mental illnesses. For example, there are many false, widely accepted stigmas against schizophrenia in the United States. It is important to understand stereotypes, versus realities of mental illness so that members of society can improve the lives of those with mental illnesses, instead of hindering them. A common stereotype against schizophrenia deals with the criminalization of schizophrenics. The criminalization of mental illness in America is a growing problem resulting from factors such as crime television and movie productions. Diefenbach (1997) hypothesized that portrayals of those with mental illness on television are “significantly more violent” than the actuality of mental illness in America. Experimenters have linked the two, finding outstanding evidence relating media to the criminalization of mental illness. Misrepresentation in media contributes to the criminalization of people with mental illnesses in America.

It is too common that the killers and bad guys on crime television shows
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