Why Portraying Mental Illness Right Matters

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Mental illness is among the most analyzed subjects in the movie industry. Critics often demand an accurate account or else they become unforgiving. You might think that its just the movies, but its important for mass media to get their portrayal right for the following reasons:

  1. It will help remove the stigma on mental health patients.Mental illness often goes untreated. The people who suffer from it refuse to seek the help they need because of the shame surrounding the issue. These people choose to go on with their lives, trying their best to hide their problem.The proper representation of mental illness on mass media can lessen the stigma around it. Since there aren’t enough materials on the subject, people don’t understand mental illness. Mental illness should be perceived more positively as something that happens normally. Mental health patients need to feel that their condition can be managed and treated just like any other health condition. They need to be assured that they will not draw attention to themselves should they decide to come forward.
  2. It can help people catch early symptoms of mental illnesses. One of the reasons why mental illness isnt treated properly is the lack of awareness about the subject. Most of the time, the family and friends of the patients are the last to know about their loved ones condition. Their lack of awareness about the subject has made it hard for them to sense that their loved ones needed help. Seeing examples will help them catch early symptoms displayed by their loved ones. It will also help them learn how to approach someone who is suffering from any mental illness. They can assist their loved ones in seeking professional help.
  3. It can help people understand how mental illness affects peoples’ lives. Mental illness often makes it difficult for a person to function normally. Work, relationships, and self-care among others tend to be taken for granted when someone has a mental illness. This is perhaps one of the reasons why people with undiagnosed mental illness are often seen to be lazy and unmotivated. Proper representation will give people a peek at the thought processes of a mental illness patient. It will make them more compassionate if they learn what these people may be going through.
  4. It will help people provide better support for their loved ones. A mentally ill person requires a strong support system. Oftentimes, the family and friends of mental health patients want to help but do not know how to do it. A patient can be so unstable, making it difficult for the people around him to provide the support that he needs.

More accurate portrayals as well as real-life features on media of mental health concerns will give audiences information and tips on how family and friends can provide support to their loved mentally ill loved ones. They need to see examples of people dealing with mental health patients to know how it’s done.

Although movies are fun and entertaining, they can also be used as tools to educate people. The accurate portrayal of mental illness in media can make a huge difference in the lives of the patients. It can erase or correct misconceptions about specific conditions. It can also improve the support they get from the people surrounding them.

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