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Representations of Mental Illness in Television

Analyze the ways in which mental illness is represented on modern television shows, focusing on particular shows and characters within them. Examine specific examples of how various forms of mental illness are represented, including depression, anxiety and PTSD. Research how representation has changed in recent years, focusing on if and how it has improved or become more prevalent compared to television produced years ago.

  • Good examples to write about include the TV series You're the Worst and Jessica Jones as well as the films Love & Mercy and American Sniper. – BoomBap 8 years ago
  • To whoever writes this article: "You're The Worst" Season 2 was the best representation of mental illness and depressive behavior I've ever seen on television. That being said, it was extraordinarily triggering for myself and for other sufferers of mental illness to whom it's been recommended. I'd strongly advocate for its inclusion in this piece, but proceed with caution. – Piper CJ 8 years ago

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Latest Comments

I loved this article. You put forth some very well thought out and thought-provoking ideas about the objective and subjective nature of art. Given how complex this topic is, I think you do an admirable job of working towards an objective definition of art. Still, I think it is important to consider whether the emotional reaction provoked by art is as incomprehensible as you argue it is. Is it not possible that one could understand why a piece of art stirs an emotional reaction in them?

That's Just, Like, Your Opinion, Man: An Argument that Art is Objective

I thoroughly enjoyed your article. You really captured what makes “The Witch” such a spectacular movie, from how it creates atmosphere to how it taps into deeper, psychological fears to elicit a reaction. It understands that the most interesting thing about a horror movie isn’t whatever force acts against the characters, but the visceral ways in which they react to it. I’m looking forward to seeing more likeminded horror films in the future.

The Witch: Yes, It is a "True" Horror Film

As much as I loved “Life Is Strange”, I remember being just as angry as most of the fanbase was back when Episode 5 was released. Like you said, the ending rendered pretty much every choice made throughout the game as ineffectual. That being said, I would say you make a really good case for the ending by examining how DontNod constructed it and the implicit meanings behind it. I throughly enjoyed your analysis.

Games like “Life Is Strange”, along with other games like Telltale’s “The Walking Dead”, occupy a tricky position. They’re marketed as games based around player choice, but some of their most effective storytelling moments have that choice either taken away or rendered meaningless. I think they do a good job of question what player choice means in the context of a much bigger story.

Life Is Strange: The Illusion of Choice, Part II