The Author

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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
I am overcoming schizophrenia, and I believe others can too. Here is how I am managing my condition...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Horror Movie Sends False Message of Mental Illness

I saw the movie Orphan last night with an old friend, the movie was good, however, it links mental issues to violence which is not okay. I am not going to say too much about the movie for those of you who are interested in viewing the movie, but that the little girl had a history of violence and mental issues. The message the movie made was that people with mental health issues are extremely violent.

This is what puts fear in our neighbors, coworkers, friends, etc. For instance, a while ago an associate from the neighborhood was commenting that he and his daughter do not associate with their neighbor because he has schizophrenia. When I heard this I wanted to jump out and tell him my mental health status to prove that people with schizophrenia are friendly and upright individuals because I am not weird or violent.

Why can't the girl just be a violent person and drop the whole mental illness scenario excuse? Nowadays, people are snapping on people and committing murders because they lost their job, their partner was cheating, lied to them, or simply didn't get what they wanted or expected. The girl could have grew up in an abusive home and was acting out what she saw. The movie did not label a specific mental illness, (thank God!) but said the girl was a patient of a mental hospital.

Besides that concern, I enjoyed spending time with my friend from my old school. I had not seen him in three years. We enjoyed each other's company and plan on going out again sometime.

8 comments:

K.C. Jones said...

At least you're not alone in noticing this stereotyping and its awful consequences with this movie-and others. I read another blog that also did a really good job at talking about the problems with the scenario specifically in regards to this movie. If I find the link again, I'll let you know-it was very interesting, as the person did find out what the mental illness was supposed to be.


I am however, even more glad that you had a good time with an old friend!

ACDesign said...

OMG, I saw this preview and was very upset. I feel the same. If you have time, check out my recent post regarding the new Halloween movie. Stigma keeps growing. And...I would love to hear what you think of my most recent post (August 4) since I value your opinion. Keep up the good work!

Lady_Amanda said...

I agree with you. There are too many movies and T.V. shows out there illsturating that violence comes with mental illness. I think people really need to be educated. I don't know when to shut my mouth, though. I probably would have told the guy you were talking to that I did have schizophernia. It's hard to know when to take a stand. I think we have to do it together. More voices are stronger than one. I will help you make a stronger voice.
Hugs,
LA

Joy said...

It is amazing that the media can be so blase about throwing mental illness around, feeding into stereotypes, etc. considering how uber-sensitive our society is to practically everything else.

I haven't seen the movie and had no plans to but I'm glad you got that information out there.

Found you from doing a search on "schizophrenia" under "Interests" in my profile. :o)

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog and would like to congratulate you on your strength in sharing your journey with us. I happened upon your post about delusions and would like your feedback on something. I know some people who have schizophrenia and never know how to react when they reveal their delusions of persecution to me. I know that arguing their reality is a no-no. What can I say that will help them feel supported and comforted? Any feedback, from you or other users, would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Valash said...

Anonymous,

I hear you...let me get back with you on that so that you can be more effective.

Ashley

Valash said...

Hello Anonymous,

I spoke to my therapist about your question of how to support and comfort someone that has persecutory delusions and confides in you...

In short she said to show empathy, like by saying I understand you feel like... what can I do to let you feel more safe? Try to maintain neutral facial expressions and tone of voice so that you come off as non-threatening.

Another thing you could say depending on their level of psychosis, is there another explaination to explain why you believe people are after you, etc.

Also it is important that you do not make promises you cannot keep, like promising not to share information with professionals when or if the person becomes a danger to themself or to others.

You had a very good question, this is something I will blog about so other people can be more helpful when or if the opportunity arises.

I hope this was beneficial to you. Thank you,

Ashley

Christine said...

I wrote this to YouTube video about mentall illness and horror films: "From sleazy, overrated bestsellerists like King and Koontz to purveyors of exploitation, horror exploits mentally ill in fantasies of gore, filth and perversion. Great, huh? "
And I mean it. Despicable. Scummy.