Media Madness Essay

Words: 1377
Pages: 6

With the ongoing advance in technology today, it is no surprise that the media is becoming an even greater source in acquiring and sharing information. But exactly how accurate are these reported information? As mentioned in Otto Wahl’s, Media Madness: Public Images of Mental Illness, Americans tend to retrieve most their knowledge about mental illness through the mass media (Wahl 3). When it comes to mental illness, it is safe to say that much of society views the mentally ill as deviants who are capricious and potentially dangerous. Or at least, that is how they are sometimes portrayed in movies, books, music, magazines, etc. Those who are knowledgeable about the severity and seriousness of mental illnesses often view the
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People in the movie are afraid of him. Not only is the movie reporting incorrect facts, but it is also mocking those who truly have these illnesses. It further promotes the stigma that we have in society about the mentally ill that they are violent and we should stay away from them because of that. In fact, statistics have shown that in the movies in which schizophrenics are being portrayed, 83% of the time, they are depicted as violent people (Brauser, 2012). That statistic alone makes it easier to understand why these individuals may be perceived that way.

The Good When we think about media depiction of mental illness, we often think that they are wrong most of the time. However, there are also very accurate representations of them as well. The movie, “A Beautiful Mind,” is a great example. In the movie, Russeel Crowe plays the character of John Nash, who was diagnosis with paranoid schizophrenia. He is a very intelligent and a genius mathematician. We later find out that much of his experiences in the movie were actually illusions. However, before we even find out about his mental illness, he was already presenting with different positive and negative manifestations characteristic of schizophrenia. For instance, he appeared to have a flat affect. In other words, he would appear very dull and spoke in a monotonous voice when responding to others. He also had a very distinguishing walk in which students would mimic. Nash was also socially inept. He speaks