It’s no secret that mental health struggles are often inaccurately portrayed in the media. From caricatures of “outlandish” people to Hollywood endings that wrap up all loose ends, mental health issues are often misrepresented and distorted in TV shows, movies, and even news stories.
But while these inaccurate portrayals can be harmful, these have become an eye-opener for producers, directors, and anyone in the entertainment industry. Inaccurate portrayals of mental health led to a slew of conversations surrounding the topic. It also created an opportunity for better, more accurate representation in the media.
Nowadays, a growing number of shows and movies somehow try to depict mental health struggles accurately. These honest portrayals can be helpful for those who suffer from mental health issues in real life. Here’s how:
1. It starts a conversation.
In recent years, there has been an increased focus on mental health issues in the media. This is a positive development, as it helps to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness and start a conversation about these important issues.
One of the most important things an accurate portrayal of mental health in the media can do is bring up mental illness as a real-life issue. Too often, mental illness is seen as a personal failing or something to be ashamed of. However, accurate depictions of mental illness help to show that it is a real medical condition that should be treated with care and compassion.
In addition, accurate portrayals of mental health in the media can help to start a conversation about these important issues. Too often, people are reluctant to talk about mental illness for fear of offending someone or being seen as weak. However, by starting a dialogue about mental health, we can help to create a more understanding and tolerant world.
2. It inspires people to seek help.
Accurate portrayals of mental health in the media can inspire people to seek help for their own mental health issues. Too often, people with mental illness feel alone and nobody can understand what they are going through. However, seeing accurate depictions of mental illness in the media can help people realize they can get help.
It can also inspire them to seek support from a mental health professional. In Euphoria, Zendaya’s character Rue who’s gotten addicted to opioids, has succumbed to the dangers of withdrawal. This has been shown on the show to be an incredibly difficult and painful experience.
This portrayal of addiction and mental illness can inspire many people to seek help for their own struggles. They realized that treatments like opiate detox and therapy could be as accessible if only they asked for help. This is a good thing since effective treatments for mental illness and addiction are available and can make a huge difference in people’s lives.
3. It gives people a better understanding of mental health issues.
Given the importance of mental health in our lives, it is unsurprising that mental health issues are often portrayed in the media. However, these portrayals are not always accurate and can sometimes do more harm than good.
When mental health issues are accurately portrayed in the media, it gives people a better understanding of them and how they can impact people’s lives. This can lead to more empathy and understanding for those dealing with mental health issues.
On the other hand, inaccurate portrayals of mental health issues can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and misunderstandings. Therefore, the media must take care to portray mental health issues accurately.
4. It breaks the stigma.
An increased focus on mental health in the media has become prevalent. This is a welcome change, as mental health disorders have long been stigmatized and misunderstood. By accurately portraying mental health issues in the media, we can help to break down these barriers and encourage open discussion about these important topics.
In addition, people struggling with these issues can feel more understood by seeing accurate representations of mental health disorders. Therefore, the media must continue to move toward a more accurate and open portrayal of mental health struggles.
5. It shows sufferers that they’re not alone.
In the show The Big Bang Theory, it was revealed in the 9th season that while Sheldon is a genius, he has a problem with letting go of things, making him a hoarder. This portrayal of a character with a mental health issue only shows that even successful and intelligent people can suffer from mental health issues.
This is an important message to send, as it helps to break the stigma that mental illness is only something that affects “weak” ones. Letting sufferers know they’re not alone is one of the best things we can do to help them. And accurate depictions of mental health in the media can go a long way toward achieving this goal.
While there’s still a long way to go regarding an accurate representation of mental health in the media, the progress that’s been made is worth celebrating. After all, these honest portrayals can help change the lives of people suffering from mental health issues in real life.