Mental illness as entertainment in mainstream media

An analysis of psychopathology as a plot device (particularly in horror films), a phenomenon I’ve come to identify as "sexy slasher" movies, and humanism (or lack thereof) in depictions of mental illness in mainstream television, films and books.

  • Mental illness is quite a broad spectrum. Perhaps choose to focus solely on psychopathy in horror films (or something similarly narrow). It would also be interesting to analyze what these portrayals do to aid or challenge the continuing mental illness stigma. – Laura Jones 9 years ago
  • I find that many movies are consistent with characters with split-personality disorder (archaic name I know :) ), schizophrenia, or sociopath characteristics. The Silver Linings Playbook touched on the drama's of Bipolar Disorder and it's related spectrum. However, I feel that many say these depictions of mental illnesses are indulging in the stereotype. Although true in some cases, I would venture to say that most films and literature are now playing so much into the stereotypes that there seems to be the adverse effect happening. The stigmas are being dramatized to the point that they're proving themselves to be invalid and disproportionate. – rmadisonhaymore 9 years ago
  • I can think of a couple of horror movies that have mental illness as a plot device, but not so much to mock people with mental illness. If anything it is just used as a way to create a sense of fear of the unknown in viewers. Also with a huge push in getting rid of mental illness stigma in the past decade, like rmadisonhaymore mentioned in her post, films like Silver Linings Playbook, I think that mental illness will be portrayed in a better light as a way to continue to reduce stigma and humanize characters with mental illness. – pallasngai 9 years ago
  • In doing this topic, an examination of One Flew over the Coo-coo's Nest will be vital in some form, so have some mention and analysis of that. – JDJankowski 9 years ago

Want to write about Writing or other art forms?

Create writer account