Homicidal Maniacs and Narcissistic Parasites:
Stigmatization of Mentally Ill Persons in the Movies
List of Movies:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 6, episode 16ish)
A Beautiful Mind
50 First Dates
The Bourne Identity
50 First Dates – The mental disorder is anterograde amnesia and the person in question doesn’t go through much treatment throughout the movie. It is treated as a simple plot device with virtually no complications- no hospitals, doctors, or drugs.
A Beautiful Mind – The main character is schizophrenic, has delusions of spies and military secrets, and has two friends – an imaginary roommate and a child that never ages. He is admitted into a hospital and treated with drugs that tamper with his home life and his normal day-to-day functioning. A visible discomfort is visible while he is on treatment.
Donnie Darko – The main character is also schizophrenic, and eventually kills himself (by letting something happen to him) through delusions of time travel and a demented human-sized rabbit called Frank, who is later revealed as a normal man in a bunny suit at a halloween party. No treatment or drugs are involved, and the illness is really just implied.
Wristcutters – The main characters are all depressed (it’s a lame world beyond ours for the people who committed suicide, sort of like punishment, where a character there by accident journeys with a depressed man. They eventually fall in love and both get sent back to the real world via wormholes under car seats and such).
Stigma – (simple) a characteristic
Epidemiology - the study of patterns of health and illness and associated factors at the population level
It seems to me that the media likes to use mental illness in order to get away with the extreme behaviors we see in some movies. Plot devices, nothing really more, unless it’s a movie that focuses ON the disease, not the person’s life affected by the disease. For example, A Beautiful Mind focuses on the disease and how it affects the character, unlike Lovesick, where the mental illness is used as an excuse for the behavior of the characters.
The conclusion definitely concludes the ideas. People need to be aware that in reality mental illnesses may not be as they are on the screen, and the media could potentially have a negative effect on the treatment/acceptance/tolerance/ etc of a mental disorder.
No questions thus far.
plot device vs. central idea,
excuse for behavior, etc.
should someone receive treatrment?
are psychopaths really going to kill you in the middle of the night?