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Mental Illness in Popular Culture

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Mental health professionals and advocates typically point a finger at pop culture for sensationalizing and stigmatizing mental illness, perpetuating stereotypes, and capitalizing on the increased anxiety that invariably follows mass shootings at schools, military bases, or workplaces; on public transportation; or at large public gatherings. While drugs or street gangs were Mental health professionals and advocates typically point a finger at pop culture for sensationalizing and stigmatizing mental illness, perpetuating stereotypes, and capitalizing on the increased anxiety that invariably follows mass shootings at schools, military bases, or workplaces; on public transportation; or at large public gatherings. While drugs or street gangs were once most often blamed for public violence, the upswing of psychotic perpetrators casts a harsher light on mental illness and commands media's attention. What aspects of popular culture could play a role in mental health across the nation? How accurate and influential are the various media representations of mental illness? Or are there unsung positive portrayals of mental illness? This standout work on the intersections of pop culture and mental illness brings informed perspectives and necessary context to the myriad topics within these important, timely, and controversial issues. Divided into five sections, the book covers movies; television; popular literature, encompassing novels, poetry, and memoirs; the visual arts, such as fine art, video games, comics, and graphic novels; and popular music, addressing lyrics and musicians' lives. Some of the essays reference multiple media, such as a filmic adaptation of a memoir or a video game adaptation of a story or characters that were originally in comics. With roughly 20 percent of U.S. citizens taking psychotropic prescriptions or carrying a psychiatric diagnosis, this timely topic is relevant to far more individuals than many people would admit.


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Mental health professionals and advocates typically point a finger at pop culture for sensationalizing and stigmatizing mental illness, perpetuating stereotypes, and capitalizing on the increased anxiety that invariably follows mass shootings at schools, military bases, or workplaces; on public transportation; or at large public gatherings. While drugs or street gangs were Mental health professionals and advocates typically point a finger at pop culture for sensationalizing and stigmatizing mental illness, perpetuating stereotypes, and capitalizing on the increased anxiety that invariably follows mass shootings at schools, military bases, or workplaces; on public transportation; or at large public gatherings. While drugs or street gangs were once most often blamed for public violence, the upswing of psychotic perpetrators casts a harsher light on mental illness and commands media's attention. What aspects of popular culture could play a role in mental health across the nation? How accurate and influential are the various media representations of mental illness? Or are there unsung positive portrayals of mental illness? This standout work on the intersections of pop culture and mental illness brings informed perspectives and necessary context to the myriad topics within these important, timely, and controversial issues. Divided into five sections, the book covers movies; television; popular literature, encompassing novels, poetry, and memoirs; the visual arts, such as fine art, video games, comics, and graphic novels; and popular music, addressing lyrics and musicians' lives. Some of the essays reference multiple media, such as a filmic adaptation of a memoir or a video game adaptation of a story or characters that were originally in comics. With roughly 20 percent of U.S. citizens taking psychotropic prescriptions or carrying a psychiatric diagnosis, this timely topic is relevant to far more individuals than many people would admit.

33 review for Mental Illness in Popular Culture

  1. 5 out of 5

    R.J. Gilmour

    The book is an edited collection of articles all relating to the portrayal of mental health in popular culture. This includes, television, film, literature, graphic novels and video games. It is a fascinating introductory read for anyone interested in how mental health is understood and portrayed and would make a great reader for any classroom. "How to explain the rise of slasher franchises two decades later? It is plausible that unique social and medical conditions of the early 1980s, when AIDS The book is an edited collection of articles all relating to the portrayal of mental health in popular culture. This includes, television, film, literature, graphic novels and video games. It is a fascinating introductory read for anyone interested in how mental health is understood and portrayed and would make a great reader for any classroom. "How to explain the rise of slasher franchises two decades later? It is plausible that unique social and medical conditions of the early 1980s, when AIDS emerged, encouraged the slashers' proliferation in the era. AIDS connected the dots between sex and death (once known in psychoanalytic lore as 'Eros and Thanatos')." xiii "Some of those who blame movies and mass media for stigmatizing mental illness also claim that such negative portrayals deter persons who need treatment from seeking treatment. Critics make eloquent arguments and present persuasive data, but without necessarily contemplating the contribution of direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising. DTC ads became legal in the US in 1985, but skyrocketed after 1997, when the FDA further loosened its rules on television "infomercials." Previously, advertising psychiatric medications had been discouraged but was not officially outlawed." xv "Dissociative disorders, Spiegal contends, "force us to reexaime our assumptions about the solidity of identity and the consistency of our control over our minds and bodies....One philosopher has gone so far as to contend that such challenges to our sense of selfhood constitute the very definition of "horror." 'Horror' is the title I am giving to the perception of the precariousness of human identity, to the perception that it may be lost of invaded, that we may be, or may become, something other than we are, or take ourselves for [.]" 39-40 "The Exorcist appeared at a moment when film studies emerged as a discipline heavily invested in Freudian psychoanalytic and structuralist Marxist theories that emphasized the power of cinema to influence audiences on a preconscious level." 51 "Ravetto-Biagoli comments that the shift "between being captivated by the image of Madeleine and being captive of Scottie's obsessive gaze forces us to see the relation of seduction to obsession, blurring the lines between possessing and being possessed by the gaze." 56-57 "In fact, today there are only 35,000 state hospital beds for the mentally ill, yet there are 10 times more severely mentally ill persons housed in prisons and jails. This is almost the exact inverse of the state of affairs in 1969, when there were over 350,000 state hospital beds and fewer than 30,000 severely mentally ill inmates. This had led many to term "deinstitutionalization" as "transinstitutionalism." 100-101 "Through his appraisal of mental illness in popular culture, Gerbner concluded that the mentally ill represent "a stigmatized group that serves as a lightning rod for [viewers] pent-up insecurities and, at the same time, demonstrates the moral and physical price to be paid for deviance." 109 "As Houcllebecq writes, few authors [Lovecraft] 'have ever been so impregnated, pierced to the core, by the conviction of the absolute futility of human aspirations.'" 216 "A second, and not unrelated, trope that Lovecraft deploys in his evocation of the terrifying nature of existence is the inability of language to adequately express the nature of horrific objects." 218 "Rather than decades of progress, equality, and opportunity, postwar America continues to struggle with its own internal failings: the base truths of poverty, systemized racism, enculturated misogyny, entrenched patriarchy, and the prevalence of violently divisive international relations (epitomized in postwar decades by the Cold War, and exemplified today in rhetoric surrounding terrorism) reveal the root hypocrisies that disconnect the desires and needs of individuals from themselves." 290 "A true moment of mysteries tremedum et fasinans, to understand madness within the ecstatic (and the ecstatic within madness) shakes the very ontological foundations of western culture, resulting in an experience, as R.D. Laing proposes, where "mundane time becomes merely anecdotal, only the Eternal matters." 291 "Heavy metal concerts represent the physical, ritualistic expression of these Dionysian and chaotic impulses." 332

  2. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Excellent essays examine how mental health is exhibited in literature, movies/tv, graphic novels, and music.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Camilla

  4. 5 out of 5

    Paul Warner

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    616.89 M5495 2017

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

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    Ron

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    Devon

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    Travis

  11. 4 out of 5

    Meygan Walters

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lily Formosa

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sonia Saccani

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    Emil

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    Human

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    Cate

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    Vasilis St.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

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    Katie Holland

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    Jay

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    Elon

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    Malachi Key

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    Rachel

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    Ongo Gablogian

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    fspirate

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    Tomato S

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rory

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    Olga Gajek

  32. 4 out of 5

    Lizzie

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    Daniel

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