Mental Health and the Media

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Mental Health and the Media

The kind of information the media portrays about mental health in most cases leads to these perpetrators being labeled as crazy. This leads to a lot of negative effects on the victims with mental illnesses. In reality, an individual with mental illness is most likely a victim in almost all cases. When a violent criminal is labeled crazy, there is a spread of a certain dangerous stereotype that brings about a complicated relationship between mental illness and criminality. How the media portrays people suffering from mental illness always lead to trivialization or stigmatization (Cohen, 2011). All and every form of media for example television, magazines, newspapers have received a lot of criticisms for disseminating inaccurate and negative descriptions of individuals with mental illnesses. Mental illnesses like schizophrenia lead to more disruption to society than to those with it and these people should be isolated from the rest.

The first article I will analyze in this assignment is the article in the Health Communication Journal that was published in 2007 by Pavelko and Myrick. Mental illness patients suffer a lot from overgeneralization as portrayed by the media whereby, every individual with a particular disease is expected to show the same signs and symptoms. For example, it is assumed that every person suffering from depression is said to be suicidal and all those suffering from schizophrenia suffer from hallucinations. Having the same type of mental illness does not guarantee the same symptoms. As much as to one individual it might cause hallucination; to another person, it might bring about memory loss. For example, the assumption that all those suffering from schizophrenia hallucinations are so wrong as in reality, just between 60% and 80% of individuals with schizophrenia undergo auditory hallucinations while a very small number undergo visual hallucinations (Gauntlett-Gilbert, & Kuipers, 2013).

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