Mental Health in the Media has always been a problem in this world. It's amazing and heartbreaking to see what people with illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, and personality disorders go through on a day to day basis. But the sad truth is, almost no movie or TV show will EVER get a mental illnesses 100 percent correct.
Now, this can stem from many different things. The first reason no one can ever get mental illness correct on the big screen is due to to fact that mental illness is different for everyone. No matter how many people you study, no matter how many questionnaires are sent out, you will always get different answers, simply because everyone feels everything differently. Everything in the world is defined differently by others. What makes sweet little Sally happy may not make Kim Kardashian happy. So expecting to understand a mental illness based on the number of people you ask about it is absurd in and of itself.
Second off, media often tries to write in or use mental health without doing the research.
"Yeah this guy is schizophrenic. He just hears and sees shit; cool, let's film it!"
"So the goth chick has depression. Always crying, marks on her arms covered by long sleeves and black clothes. We got this!"
"Split personality. So just act like a different person every few scenes. It'll be fine."
No darlings, it's not that simple.
The biggest problem with media and mental health is that the media romanticizes almost every last mental illness they use. Yes, I hear all those signs of annoyance from the people with mental problems, because this is an extremely common thing. The media loves for the depressed girl to become happy when a boy enters her life and it's like depression never hurt her. They will try to fix the illness they chose to use in their movie by making anxiety seem like this cute shy teen whose just afraid to talk to people or by having a man with schizophrenia lose his symptoms because he loves a girl. News flash: MENTAL ILLNESS WILL NOT BE FIXED BY LOVE!
Mental health is miscommunicated to the world by the people who have the power to show everyone how hard it really is to get out of bed every morning when you feel no reason to. Mental illness is affecting more and more people every day. All too commonly do people with mental illness get told to let it go or relax. It's not that simple. It never will be, because if it was we would have done it. And we would have been free.
I think I can speak for all people with mental illness when I say we aren't just our diagnosis. We are people and we try day after day to fight a battle we can't even see. While media says that depression is always overcome, it is simply not true. While media says medication can help, it doesn't always fix us. Because no matter what we do, we are still mentally ill. Medication will not remove the voices, but rather it holds the possibility to silence them for a few minutes. Nothing will ever fully take away our illness except the moment of our last breath. So please, stop telling us to change. It's not always up to us.
Media, do us all a favor and teach people our truth. Don't use crummy love stories to fix our problems. Don't act like you can understand everyone's mind because we are under the same diagnosis.
We are people too. We deserve representation. We deserve love. We deserve change.