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Updated February 4, 2021

How Mental Illness and Therapists are Portrayed in the Media 

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How Mental Illness and Therapists are Portrayed in the Media  essay
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Introduction

Mental illness is the disease which interferes with the normal functioning of brain. It causes disturbances in thinking capability or ones behavior, making it difficult for one to cope with others and adhere to daily demands and routines.

Mental problems can be associated to excessive stress as a regard of to a particular situation or series of events (A.L. Miller et al., 2014). It can be caused by genetic factors, biochemical imbalances, reaction to environmental stresses or a combination of these. Many people don`t believe that mental illness is real and can happen to anybody and therefore, most families are not well ready to cope with how to handle their loved ones who have mental illness. It is good always to remember that there is hope and help, in that with proper care and treatment, many people will understand how to cope and recover from a mental illness or emotional disorder.

On the other hand, therapists should be in a position to put more efforts in reducing symptoms of mental illness and bear with various challenges. When it comes to media, including TV episodes and newspaper articles, the way mental illness is portrayed and announced shows lack of persuasion in educating and influencing the public.

Through media Advisory Service works with journalists, scriptwriters and other media professionals, individuals with mental health problems are portrayed with less concern, accuracy and sensitivity (A.L. Miller et al., 2014). The paper outlines how media portrays mental illness and therapists leading to stigma in society.

The Accuracy of Description or Representation

The description or representation of mental illness and therapists has got no accuracy, reports show that stories which involved mental illness, criminality and violence where more exposed than positive stories involving mental health issues. This issue was challenged that journalists lacked more knowledge of mental health issues and their interest was to give out stories that will draw their reader`s attention (H.A. Huskamp, 2014).

Whether is helpful for our understanding of mental illness.

Dealing with a mentally challenged person is not a simple task, it needs a lot of understanding, care and more attention to the person affected. It makes it useful also to understand mental illness in order to know on how to cope with the victims and find proper treatment for mental disorders.

Whether it increases or decreases the stigma associated with mental health and going to therapy.

For the media, it tends to get wrong a lot when portraying mental illness and psychotherapy; this gives out inaccurate report, hence resulting to stigma and may prevent the individuals from seeking help. In circumstances such as school shooting of Gifford’s shooting, the person`s mental illness is portrayed as something dark and dangerous (H.A. Huskamp, 2014).

Whether these movies, songs, books go aligned with what people who are suffering from mental illness experience.

According to the research, it is clear that they do not align with the mental illness experience because they do not create any awareness as per as mental illness is concerned. Evidence-based example is that, when a tragic or violent act happen the reporters tends to exaggerate mental illness and depict it negatively (Hermens, 2013). They also attack therapists by portraying them as incompetent in these situations.

When I see it portrayed in a movie, song, or book, whether it gives me a clear sense of what the mental illness is and how it affects the person
To me it does not give a clear sense because, it portrays inaccurate information as if mental illness is violent and unreliable and thus, the victims should be thrown out of the society.

Evidence based example is that, in most markets we have some people who have mental problems and nobody is bothered because of the stigma associated with them. In other hand, this is not what should happen the thrown people can be of help to our society if well taken care of.

Conclusion

To my opinion, it is clear that media report on mental illness is delicate, this is because bias or incorrect report can easily ruin one`s life and cause a lot of stigma in the society. We should work together to avoid this stigmatization by reporting the matter to the news station or journalists in case of misquotes, in order to let them know why they should not use this type of language again and also correct them on how to report mental illness cases.

Sources

  1. A.L. Miller et al., 2014 “Recent Issues and Developments in Antipsychotic Use,” in Psychiatric Clinics of North America Annual Review of Drug Therapy, ed. D.L. Dunner and F.T. Rosenbaum (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company.
  2. H.A. Huskamp, 2014 “Managing Psychotropic Drug Costs: Will Formularies Work?”
  3. Health Affairs.Hermens, 2013. The University of Sydney, clinical research unit, Brain Mind Research Instituten Sydney, Australia

References

  1. A.L. Miller et al., 2014 “Recent Issues and Developments in Antipsychotic Use,” in Psychiatric Clinics of North America Annual Review of Drug Therapy, ed. D.L. Dunner and F.T. Rosenbaum (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company.
  2. H.A. Huskamp, 2014 “Managing Psychotropic Drug Costs: Will Formularies Work?”
  3. Health Affairs.Hermens, 2013. The University of Sydney, clinical research unit, Brain Mind Research Institution Sydney, Australia

How Mental Illness and Therapists are Portrayed in the Media  essay

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