The Rise Of Mental Illness Essay

1596 Words7 Pages
The rise of mental illness is upon us, but this is nothing new. We have become exposed to different illnesses in the media, particularly films. No one bats an eye at the validity of a teenager being diagnosed with brain cancer, but people refuse to accept their family member having a mental disorder. Popular culture tends to associate persons with mental disorders as “crazy” and “dangerous”, and we accept these characteristics and do not question them. This becomes dangerous when judges or jurors in a courtroom also begin to adopt this ideology. In “The Myth of Mental Illness in the Movies and Its Impact on Forensic Psychology”, L.E.A. Walker et al. observe how the adverse portrayals of psychological disorders in films negatively influence public perceptions toward the mentally ill and, as a result, effect the outcome of court cases. I agree with Walker et al.’s point about the roles in these movies being so powerful that people generalize all sufferers of psychological illness into the same category and it is the duty of psychologists to normalize people’s views. I believe Walker et al.’s writing helps bring to light the stigma associated with psychological illnesses and how our duty is to help set the record straight. First, this paper will evaluate Walker et al.’s examples of characters in films and incorporate additional examples of negative representation. Then, I will broaden Walker et al.’s scope to also include print media rather than solely films and court cases.
Get Access