The Media And Federal Government

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Mental and Social Disorder

One in every seventeen people in America suffers from a mental disorder. These disorders inhibit the afflicted person from functioning properly and coping normally with daily life. Many afflicted with a psychological disorder do not exhibit obvious symptoms, as medical advancements have made it possible for these disorders to be suppressed or even nonexistent. Today, however, harsh stigmas exist that unfairly categorize those with a mental illness as violent, unfriendly, and abnormal. The media and federal government are culprits in fabricating the unrealistic depictions of mental disability that define the portrayal of those who are mentally or psychologically disadvantaged.
The media is and has been one of the strongest outlets of perpetuating negative mental illness stereotypes. Since the invention of the television and its spread to every American household by the 1960s, television shows have manufactured an image of the mentally disabled as dangerous and unpredictable . The shows depict the mentally ill as very violent; “One in four mentally ill characters kill someone, and half are portrayed as hurting others .” The ways in which mentally disabled are filmed within a show also differs from the ways that non-disabled characters are shot. Studies show that they are usually filmed “alone with close-up or extreme shots, reinforcing their isolation and dislocation from the other characters ” and from society. In movies, like One Flew Over the
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