• Share. Be Supported. Recover.

    We are a friendly, safe community supporting each other's mental health. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Media Portrayals of Mental Illness

L

letalis

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
68
Over the past few days, I have noticed a media bias in portrayals of mental illness.

Martinez's mother, Patricia Eugenia Martinez of El Paso, said her son suffers from bipolar disorder and has previously tried to enter North Korea by swimming across a river. But he was stopped and sent back to the United States, where he was placed in a California psychiatric hospital.
American in North Korea denounces U.S. policy - CNN.com

To explain why someone might seek refuge in North Korea, for instance, the media highlights his mental illness and history of bipolar disorder to explain his politically incorrect behavior.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott described Monis as "a deeply disturbed individual (with) a long history of crime, a long history of mental instability and infatuation with extremism.”
Sydney cafe siege: What we know, what we don't know - CNN.com

Australia's prime minister failed to elaborate what sort of "mental instability" the gunman displayed.

In a damning new report by the Smoking Gun, a crucial witness in the grand jury deciding whether to indict former Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson is revealed as having fabricated her eyewitness account of the altercation between Wilson and unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9. "Witness 40," identified as 45-year-old Sandra McElroy, has a documented history of racist remarks, criminal behavior, and mental illness.
Report: Darren Wilson's Key Witness Lied About Everything

According to Gawker, mental illness is akin to racism and criminality.

I have paid close attention to media portrayals of mental illness. Without question, bizarre, criminal, or deranged behavior is more and more frequently attributed to mental distress.

This sort of discrimination would not be tolerated if the issue was race or sexuality. In criminal matters, for example, race is rarely mentioned when black-on-white crime occurs. When white-on-black crime occurs, conversely, race is highlighted by the media.

Poverty and drug abuse are common instigators of violence. Why does the media fail to highlight these factors (poverty and drug abuse), and instead focus on inflammatory accusations, for instance, attributing violence and erratic behavior to mental distress?

This can only serve to further stigmatize the mentally distressed. Further, it is worrying that mental distress is targeted as a scapegoat for every untoward behavior.
 
Last edited:

cpuusage

ACCOUNT CLOSED
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Messages
37,634
Location
Planet Lunatic Asylum
Why does the media fail to highlight these factors (poverty and drug abuse), and instead focus on inflammatory accusations, for instance, attributing violence and erratic behavior to mental distress?
To perpetuate ignorance & fear & keep the masses in the illusion/control system.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2012
Messages
13,529
Location
The West Country
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott described Monis as "a deeply disturbed individual (with) a long history of crime, a long history of mental instability and infatuation with extremism.”
A long history of mental instability.... because he's a criminal or because he's into extremism?
Has he ever been diagnosed or treated (clearly not)?

This is pissing me off big time, actually. They're using the crazy card on this one. Very disappointing and stigmatising, especially as it all seems to just be speculation and there are no facts.
 
L

letalis

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
68
The NYPD shooter is an ideal example of the scapegoating and dehumanization of the mentally ill.

NYPD shooter had history of arrests and mental health treatment - LA Times

The commonsense interpretation of the NYPD shooter's motivation is that he was an extremist, agitated by the protests in Ferguson and New York. On his Instagram account, he mentioned Michael Brown and the protests prior to shooting two NYPD officers. On Twitter, there are numerous videos of Ferguson and New York protestors advocating the death of the police, so it isn't unreasonable to assume that he was motivated by violent protests.

The new interpretation advocated by the media is that he was a lone-wolf and mentally ill. The shooter admitted in court transcripts that he spent time in a mental institution. The media jumped all over it, and rather than tarnish the image of "peaceful protestors," they are blaming his actions on a mental condition.

This is a dangerous path to tread. It stigmatizes mental distress and justifies violence and the dehumanization of the mentally ill.

The protestors refusal to accept responsibility for this act of violence and blame some fictitious mental disorder is cowardly and outrageous.

The media understands that the mental health community has no unified voice to defend itself and uses this opportunity to scapegoat all of us.
 
Last edited:
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
cpuusage 11 Tactics Used by the Mainstream Media to Manufacture Consent for the Oligarchy Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 22
Hardknocks88 "Matt's Happy Fantasy dreamland Mental Health Techique" Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 2
Z A different approach to mental health Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 4
OCDguy A possible Spiritual Guide to Mental Well-being Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 2
LORD BURT Human Spirituality & Mental Illness: Barriers Lost Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 5
H Friend is using my mental illness to convert me to Christianity Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 16
cpuusage The National Spirituality and Mental Health Forum (UK) Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 1
cpuusage Katie Mottram on Spirituality and Mental Distress Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 4
cpuusage Inventing Mental Health First Aid: The Problem of Psychocentrism Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 1
cpuusage Inspirational links connected with spirituality & healing in relation to mental health Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 1
BrianHorlicks Jesus Christ 'may have suffered from mental health problems', claims Church of England Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 16
BrianHorlicks Seeing Mental Illness as a Spiritual Illness. Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 8
cpuusage Emotional Strategies and Skills for Aspiring Mental Health Workers Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 2
cpuusage Why I Don't Like the Idea that Mental Disorder is a Disease Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 1
cpuusage Does Mental Illness Exist? Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 17
cpuusage A new approach to diagnosing mental disorders could become an alternative to DSM-5 Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 1
cpuusage Spirituality and Mental Illness Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 3
cpuusage Psychiatric Hegemony: A Marxist Theory of Mental Illness Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 1
shaky Mental illness mostly caused by life events, not genetics Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 1
BrianHorlicks ITroubled Souls: Spirituality as a Mental Health Hazard Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 2
cpuusage The punk counsellor using his DIY ethic to promote mental health and wellbeing Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 3
cpuusage Mend the Gap: A New Hope for Mental Health. Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 13
cpuusage American Psychological Association To Classify Belief in God As a Mental Illness Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 166
cpuusage Personality trait or mental disorder? The same genes may weigh in on both Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 7
cpuusage Study Finds Sexist Attitudes Linked to Poor Mental Health in Men Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 4
cpuusage Shocking general attitudes to mental health Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 5
cpuusage Catholic view on spirituality in mental health Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 2
cpuusage Opening A Dialogue In Mental Health Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 1
N If you could choose your mental illness... Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 47
cpuusage Open Dialogue is a collaborative non-hierarchical approach to mental healthcare. Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 13
cpuusage An introduction to peer-supported open dialogue in mental healthcare Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 11
J Does anyone know what kind of mental issue I'm siffering from, and is there a medical term for it? Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 3
cpuusage An Alternative Form of Mental Health Care Gains a Foothold Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 1
cpuusage What Is The Purpose Of Mental Illness? Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 2
cpuusage Most People with Common Mental Disorders Get Better Without Treatment, Study Finds Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 7
cpuusage Psychologists and Psychiatrists Approach Mental Health Differently Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 6
cpuusage When is art a better tool for understanding mental illness than science? Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 1
Kerome Vipallasa Sutra: Buddhist view on mental illness Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 2
L Mental Disorder Mapping Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 1
cpuusage Mental health is not a function of the individual Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 1
F Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 1
W Ramadan Mubarak! (mental health and Ramadan) Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 3
cpuusage There Is Nothing Trendy About Mental Illness Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 6
cpuusage Bayesian reasoning implicated in some mental disorders Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 4
cpuusage Want to reduce mental illness? Address trauma. Want to save the world? Address trauma. Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 6
cpuusage A fresh approach to mental health Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 1
CrazySteff95 The Connection Between Mental Health & I.Q. - Questionnaire Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 5
cpuusage The Mental Disease of Late-Stage Capitalism Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 3
cpuusage Dabney Alix on Spirituality, Shamanism and Mental Health Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 8
cpuusage 5 Reasons I Wish We Would Stop Talking About ‘Recovery’ for Serious Mental Illness Spirituality, Psychology and Psychiatry 2

Similar threads

Top