The Representation Of Mental Illness

1426 Words6 Pages
When thinking of mental illness, what image pops into your head? An unstable old lady in restraints talking to herself? A pre-teen harming themselves in a bathroom stall? Norman Bates? The Joker? All these inaccurate examples stem from the medias representation of mental illness. This is an important issue to address as, society has been fed these wrongful depictions for decades and it can be challenging to overcome and shift these presentations (Uwujaren). The representation of mental ill health in film, exploits mental illness especially when it is a negative depiction. This can have detrimental effects to real individuals who suffer from mental illnesses (Uwujaren). Horror films in particular spew a certain tone and mood; many times the villain suffers from mental illness, when this occurs audiences immediately associate mental ill health with these characters (Goodwin204). Stigmatization and stereotypes are conjured by the film industry that leave audiences believing all mental ill people are like what they see in films. The film industry repeatedly uses mental illness to portray negative characters, this can be detrimental in reality. On an ethical scale, the exploitation of people for entertainment is wrong. Staggering amounts of people suffer from mental illness; while the media presents these illnesses to generate money, real people suffer (Holliday). Some questions we must ask are: What is a just or unjust depiction? How do we determine what is ethically
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