WHY SOCIETY VIEWS BIPOLAR DISORDER AS A JOKE

We are constantly exposed to the topic of mental illness daily; on the news, in magazines, and on TV. Films today glamorize the struggles and problems of those who are mentally ill by displaying a false outlook on mental health and the necessities to achieve overall wellness. We obsess over entertainers like Robin Williams, who shocked fans and the world when he lost his life to depression. Amy Winehouse, who died at the age of 27 due to her manic depression, bipolarity, and alcoholism, was talked about for months in the news, displaying helicopters swarming her estate looking for more information on her death, claiming she couldn’t have died due to her deteriorating mental health.

We see movies such as Silver Linings Playbook and Mr. Jones that add a more comedic essence to the lives of those who suffer from depression and bipolar disorder by glamorizing the true struggles of those who are not mentally stable. We make these characters in these films seem pleased and happy with their lives in order to undermine and avoid the horrors of living with mental illness. We are fed lies on screen that tell us that finding love or reconnecting with long lost friends will instantly fix mental illness, healing the wound and making life better again. We form this ideal picture in our heads of how we think those who suffer from mental illness react and cope with their day to day struggles.

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