Openly gay, crazy and neuro-diverse writer and performer from Wales now living in London. Interested in all things related to theatre, writing, art and mental health.
Junior Contributor I
The portrayal of Mental Illness in Film and TV.
So there are numerous films and tv shows out there that portray mental illness/mental distress that I think further stigmatise mental illness. The example that springs to my mind are the way that the characters with mental illness are portrayed in "The Bird Box". Not having read the book (yet) I can’t comment on the book’s portrayal but for me, the film reinforced the negative stereotype that people with mental illnesses will harm or hurt ‘sane’ people. The fact that all of the ‘insane’ characters behaved erratically, committed violent acts against the ‘normal’/’sane’ survivors and were ultimately responsible for the death of Tom worries me as a ‘mad’ person who suffers from a mental illness.
There are countless other examples of mentally ill characters being dangerous to ‘normal’/’sane’ people and I am beginning to wonder if, like the LGBTQ community, those of us with mental illnesses should be asking for more than a vague stereotype based on outdated ideas of who and what ‘crazy people’ are.
What do other people think? Can you think of any examples that counter this argument? I’d love to hear your perspectives.