The Media and Mental Health

One thing I find irritating in this time of COVID-19 is how the virus is blown out of proportion by the media. Everything the media says doesn’t help anyone’s mental health. They focus on so much negativity. Not to mention they like to portray anyone with a mental illness as evil, murderous, suicidal, and all mental illnesses have a personality disorder. What?! Noooo!

Image by Simon Watkinson

Look at the movies. Fight Club, Psycho, What About Bob?, and many more. They portray the most inaccurate accounts of a variety of mental illnesses. Or in real life, when someone is murdered by someone else, the news stations say, “And so and so has a (enter mental illness)…” And? It doesn’t make every one of us with a mental illness a murderer or suicidal. Anyone can be these things for a variety of reasons. Not just because someone has an illness in the mind.

I get upset by the misportrayal of characters who have depression being suicidal and that every mental illness has an element of Dissociative Personality Disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder, and Schizophrenia. Not all mental illnesses are equal. Not to mention, there are different levels of each illness.

I just believe that the media should leave mental illness alone if they’re not going to do their homework to make sure whatever mental illness they want to portray. Make sure to show that not everyone with a mental illness is violent or wants to kill themselves. Yeah, I know that there are some people with a mental illness who are like this, but they are far and few between. It’s the ‘normal people’ we should worry about but the media’s depiction of us shows otherwise.

Dear newscasters and movie/tv show producers,

Please stop blaming us for every bad thing that happens in the world and misrepresenting us. We are people just like you with a mental condition that we can’t help having. If you’re going to talk about mental illness, please do your research and get your facts straight. Stop classifying us with all the bad going on in society. Start trying to understand us.

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