Mental Health: A Conversation — On Screen #3

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MENTAL HEALTH ON SCREEN

Lately, a bunch of celebrities have opened up about their personal struggles with mental health, as actress Kristen Bell penned an essay to share her story for instance. Whilst sharing our story is brave step to take, it can also benefit many other lives. Many TV shows have thus introduced storylines that focus on mental illness as film plots do.

Let’s concentrate on a few of these storylines (side note: this list is based on suggestions, I claim by no means to have watched these, these are sole recommendations).

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EMPIRE (Fox TV show, 2015 musical drama) ☛ character: Andre Lyon

Son of the hip-hop mogul Lucious (Terrence Howard), Andre Lyon is an executive in the empire_bipolar.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlargefamily’s company. Andre has a bipolar disorder and his on a spiritual journey to find his identity. Trai Byers, the actor who portrays the character, has stated that he works a lot on emotions which are ‘in the darker places of [himself]’. The storyline tackling his illness focus on his relationship with his dying father, after being off medication, his coming death pushes him to the brink.

Many critics and experts have declared that it was indeed a faithful portrayal of bipolar disorder.

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PRAYERS FOR BOBBY (Lifetime docudrama, 2009)

Based on the true story and as told in a book entitled Prayers for Bobby: A Mother’s Coming to about_main.jpgTerms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son by Leroy F. Aarons, this is the story of Bobby Griffith. In 1983, Bobby’s mother (Sigourney Weaver) discovers that he is gay. She tries to talk him out his orientation due to her Christian intolerance. After accompanying him to psychiatrist and eventually seeing him with his boyfriend, she explicitly rejects him. Bobby falls into depression and self-loathe, eventually leading him to commit suicide.

Not only is this the story of Bobby, it is the story of a parent who struggles with suicide loss.

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ONE TREE HILL (The CW drama) ☛ storyline: Jimmy Edwards’ downfall

Tree Hill High School student, Jimmy Edwards was a good friend with River Court guys JE.jpgLucas, Marvin, Antwon and others. As Lucas and his other friends’ popularity increased, he found himself lonely and upset. In a time capsule video dedicated to future students, Jimmy highlighted that he was being ignored by his old friends but also bullied. The time capsules were revealed sooner than expected so he expressed his anger directly to his old friends. Someday, he took a few students hostages in a classroom. As some people were hurt, Jimmy believed that nothing could get better and killed himself.

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BIG BANG THEORY (CBS sitcom) ☛ character: Pr. Sheldon Cooper

Portrayed by Jim Parsons, Sheldon Cooper struggles with personality disorders which q995res31408include obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and borderline personality disorder (PND). Sheldon has struggles interacting with others, nevertheless, his mental health problems do not deprive of a successful career and social life.

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Do you recall any film/TV show which portrayed mental illness in a way that moved you? On the contrary, do you have any examples in mind of unfaithful and clichéd representation? 

LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

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THIS IS MY BRAVE is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization created by Jennifer Mars12509647_1221465791214926_6815945515575526590_nhall because she learned first hand how powerful and therapeutic it was to live openly and not hide her diagnosis. She wanted to give brave individuals from the community a platform through which to creatively share their stories of living with mental illness to educate and inspire others. Jennifer was diagnosed with Type 1 Bipolar Disorder in 2006 at the age of 26. She’s had four hospitalizations within five years – two before any diagnosis was reached, and two more because she was trying to protect her newborn son (postpartum psychosis) and her unborn daughter – and all were because she was unmedicated at the time. Writing her way through life with a mental illness became her way of healing, and her blog BipolarMomLife has become an inspiration to many.

+ A song by young singer-songwriter Nicola Elias about social anxiety:

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Additional resources:

Blogs about mental health:

SEND MY YOUR BLOG URLS AND INTERESTING LINKS YOU FOUND TO ADD TO THE LIST!

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TAKE THIS SURVEY ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH & YOU FOR AN UPCOMING BLOG POST.

MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH IS OVER BUT IT THAT DOESN’T MEAN WE SHOULD STOP SPEAKING UP ABOUT IT! KEEP SHARING YOUR STORY!

#imnotashamed #youmatter #sicknotweak #fightthestigma

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#1: What is mental health?

#2 Mental Health in school

8 thoughts on “Mental Health: A Conversation — On Screen #3

  1. social anxiety is real, I might add i do suffer sometimes from it because the pressure of being ‘GOALS’ can be a bit stressful, but we need to remember that everything we do is because we wanted and in on our own way we are goals!!

  2. I’m new to your blog, just stumbled upon it. And I’m immediately captivated by the contents of your posts! Especially this one in particular. Can’t wait to read more!

  3. Hi Giulia,
    Thanks for mentioning these issues to fight stigma. I blog at bipolarbrave.com and discuss the challenges and solutions I’ve found having bipolar disorder. You’re welcome to stop by.
    God bless,
    Katie R. Dale

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