UnREAL : yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

I was already mildly annoyed with this show's presentation of mental illness, thanks to the episode where Rachel describes borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder as the same thing (just with different names). But I am completely bored, annoyed, and exhausted with how bipolar disorder is portrayed on TV. For awhile there were a few good examples (Six Feet Under's Billy is one) and now it's the same mess it's always been: perfectly normal adult on medication, stops and five minutes later she's on the roof. This is unbelievably irresponsible and gross. Not only does it perpetuate the myth that medication is the only thing that holds people with bipolar disorder together, but it further the idea that mentally ill individuals are dangerous. I was loving this show because it seemed like a window into the ugly underbelly of shows like the Bachelor, and now it seems to be scrambling for shock value to up ratings. This is what made me fear it's placement on Lifetime. This is crap. Show writers, maybe talk to an actual mental health professional, or someone with bipolar disorder before you put the same campy nonsense on television as every other irresponsible soap opera.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

But have you already considered that, in the series storyline, Shia could have messed up her meds weeks before her death? Besides that, Mary was drinking all the time, and we can't forget how her husband reappeared, bringing back terrible memories of her life. These three factors together can justify how things went in the last episode. (Sorry if my grammar is crap, english is not my first language haha)

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

Since they make such a point in the show of the timing of Shia choosing to mess with her meds to keep one of "her girls" on the show, I find it hard to believe that the show wants us to believe this has been going on for weeks. Even her starting drinking is unrealistic to me, particularly when you consider what her life was like before. Bringing the husband on to the show is yet another totally unrealistic moment, since it was alluded to that she had sole custody and a restraining order because of violence against the child. TV would not be able to trump a restraining order without huge liability. While I do think that it's possible that an individual could be triggered into suicide through revisiting trauma, too much of the rest of this is just drowning in TV tropes. It takes three months for SSRIs to fully leave your system, and if she was taking medication specifically for mood regulation, like Depakote, it can be stopped without disaster. That medication is used for detox from other addictive medication because it provides mood regulation support immediately, and can be discontinued without disaster. A depressive episode also requires a slow ramp-up, and everything they show in the episode is evidence of mania, until the suicide attempt. It's a trashcan mess of an episode.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

Wow, I didn't know all that stuff, and I get your point now and must say that Unreal lost some points with me right now, even still loving it. Maybe it would be better if Shia had done what she did in the beggining of the show, so they could show the consequences now.
Since you know a lot about bipolar disorder, I wonder what you think about Ian Gallagher's story on Shameless. He suffers from the same disease, and his character was really weird in the last season of the show. Have you already seen this show?

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

I have not seen that show, so I feel like I shouldn't comment. A good means to measure accuracy in tv is the "off medication" plot device, which is used in basically every show. (Note: what do these writers think happened before medication? Did people just explode?) This is part of why Six Feet Under was such a good show. Billie is usually medicated, but recognizes that he loses his creative edge when medicated (the sad side of medication use, which is almost never mentioned). So he'll stop taking it, and at first the response is positive: he has more energy, more creativity, his ideas are bigger, he's more passionate. There's a gradual acceleration, however, and an increasing paranoid edge to his behavior. After a period of months, his behavior has accelerated to a full manic state, which is very unpredictable and wild. It's only at this point that behavior becomes reckless, and usually family has to step in to coach them into remedicating. Six Feet Under demonstrated what could be accomplished by taking your time with mental illness. Shows unwilling to do that should leave mental illness out of the plot.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

I totally agree with you and this show lost me when she killed herself. Over the top ridiculous drama this show didn't need. I also agree with you about SFU. That show was brilliant. I would suggest, though, not comparing the two as Unreal is mind numbing frivolous fun where SFU actually had something to say.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

It actually only takes 14 days for SSRIs to leave your system, but you wouldn't use SSRIs for management of bipolar unless the person was currently suffering from depression as SSRIs can actually exacerbate mania. Whatever meds Shia swapped out appeared to keep her mania at bay, so it was most likely an ant-psychotic or lithium (that would definitely fit with the doctor's orders to never drink with it). Ultra rapid cycling or ultradian cycling doesn't require a slow ramp-up; someone with that type of bipolar can shift between mania and depression in the same day.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

yeah they mentioned they were antipsychotics. and its actually very realistic that if she was off her meds for say a week.... drinking... and her ex who has traumatized her, told her while she was off her meds that she was going to ruin her daughters life--- a manic episode could totally ensue. not THAT off the mark. yeah its far fetched, she might not necessarily go straight to suicide but definitely a manic episode which sometimes is unfortunately attempted suicide

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

Also, I don't know if you remember the scene where she went to face him alone and how cruel he was. It was a perfect storm. It wasn't just the pills or just a battered woman who couldn't take it. They gave us a complex situation that lead to tragedy.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

I agree with you about 90% of the above. The only thing in the back of my mind is this: I take a low dose of an SSRI (?) antidepressant for mild recurring depression. I accompanied my father to the Mayo Clinic in a rush and forgot to pack my antidepressants. It took me a day to realize they weren't there. Then my doctor was out of the office back home. By the time the doctor called me back, understood the situation, and called a prescription in to the local pharmacy I was either 4-5 days without them.

I have never been so sick in my life. Stomach issues, brain zaps (look it up - it sucks), cold clammy sweating, headache - like the worst flu you can imagine. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be on a higher dose plus I am sure there are additional meds for bipolar disorder. I had to be there for my dad but I wanted to be crying rocking in a corner somewhere. (Slightly OT - I wonder what the effects of being on these 10 years now is doing to my body). It was AWFUL. So I can only imagine the additional meds she wasn't taking + alcohol added in as well.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

what you're describing is another reason why this episode was a mess: SSRIs give you withdrawal symptoms. I've coached a lot of people through this withdrawal (though some Big Pharma companies and doctors unwilling to read medical journals will insist this doesn't happen) and it is awful. If Mary was taking an SSRI, she would have been under a desk shivering and sweating within a day. I assumed she was taking a mood regulator like Depakote, since they keep saying she has bipolar. There isn't usually physical withdrawal from Depakote (like there would be from Zoloft or Paxil) but it would be a gradual decline in ability to maintain an even mood balance.

I think I would be in absolute shock if someone took their time with a mental illness story. They might have been able to pull off the Mary storyline if she had arrived unmedicated, without telling producers of her decision.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

But wouldn't the fact that she was drinking alcohol mask some of the withdrawal symptoms? Or at least make the producers (not Shia) think it was a result of the booze

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

Certainly not all people have the same reactions going off medications. The people who didn't need your coaching because they didn't go through withdrawal assumedly didn't call you to tell you. That's selection bias right there.

Plenty of people don't have issues, and I doubt that they are extremely rare exceptions.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

you need to rewatch the episode. she was not on SSRi's. she was on antipsychotic medications. they specifically said that. and those are completely different --- you can be off those a shorter amount of time and something very heavy like what she went through could trigger a manic episode for sure. i've seen it happen.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

My husband and I finally watched the latest episode last night and I griped about the exact same things you mentioned above. It is obvious the writers are depicting varying mental illnesses as they "think" they would play out, and not from actual experience, research, or from talking to people who really live with Bipolar or Borderline. I agree that Shia only altered about one week of Mary's meds, because she only pulled pills from that weekly travel carrier you get at the pharmacy and not from a full bottle. Not even a full-fledged Borderline would feel the effects of missing meds in the system after one day.

I agree with you that meds are not the only way mental illness is treated. There are plenty of sufferers who regulate themselves with a healthy, daily dose of Mindfulness, and they are doing just great.

Long story short, I'm sure the writers/producers/creators/directors, etc., are banking this show on every viewer's willingness to "suspend disbelief" (in the spirit of entertainment, of course!), but give me a break. The way this show portrays mental illness is totally campy and absurd.

Besides, this show has already given us cheating spouses, rape, familial death, coming out, two doses of mental illness, AND a suicide. Are they leaving anything for future seasons?

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

Your interpretation of the character as 'perfectly normal' doesn't take into account the situation she's in, which is far from normal. On the day she jumped, she had been encouraged to open up her heart to love, then been blindsided by an appearance from her abusive husband, who assaulted numerous people. Then when she tried to assert her power he psychologically attacked her. Also she didnt even know that she was off the drugs, so she had no defenses.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

Yes, but depending on what medication she was on especially if it was an antidepressant as ZeeMed mentioned, she'd be feeling weird or even withdrawals. Plus she would know something is wrong and you typically don't feel suicidal a couple days or a week off meds. Personally I've gone through mild withdrawal from different antidepressants and it's never made me suicidal.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

Oops I meant ZeeEnds* my bad.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

This is exactly the problem: people who are off drugs don't suddenly have "no defenses" as you describe them, and they would not have experienced such a profound shift so suddenly, even if antagonized. They made a point to describe this character as bipolar, and off medication they presented her as manic; once she encountered her husband, they shifted her to depressive. That's not how mental illness works; no one cycles that fast. Suicidal depression is also almost never causal; depressed feelings rarely have an origin point -- sadness has an origin point. Depression is different. If they wanted to maintain the manic storyline, with the mania caused by sudden absence of medication, it would have been fitting for her to fly into a rage when confronted by her husband. Still, even that level of reaction wouldn't have matched...and I'm not sure where they're going with the alcohol thing. Obviously alcohol and medication doesn't mix, but the way they're having her drink implies she had a drinking problem in the past. Ugh, even writing this is reminding me what an utter mess that storyline is. And whatever happened to the rape victim girl?

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

Actually... the portrayal of Mary's bipolar was pretty accurate. First off- going cold turkey off medication, particularly for someone with bipolar (as well as PTSD), can actually aggravate the symptoms to be worse than they might be otherwise. Alcohol can also trigger the swings between mania and depression to be worse.

Keep in mind also- the time between her unknowingly going off the medication and the roof would be some weeks and over those weeks she was also being encouraged to drink a great deal of alcohol.

And she was taking more than one kind of medication. Only one of the medications was swapped with a placebo... so she's not only gone cold turkey off mood stabilizers, she's also mixing alcohol with her other medication. One hell of a disaster that wasn't even slightly her fault given that she was coerced into alcohol and tricked into taking a placebo.

Did anyone see what the powder was that got mixed into her pills?

Finally the nail in the coffin would be a very traumatic event- her abusive ex-husband- that comes back into her life when she's already in that dangerous phase and putting her right back into the trauma that she was beginning to move on from. (Made worse later on when they were alone... why was he still on the set?!... by telling her that she wanted to be hit, she knew she deserved it, that she made him do it, that no one would love her and that her disease would be given to her daughter.) And did anyone think she might need therapy to check in with her? No? Of course not. They were focused on the date and ignored the obvious warning signs that her sister picked up on even before she started to babble about England and her daughter getting an English accent.

So I found it pretty realistic and the outcome very much what I'd have predicted. I liked her beforehand- there were some 'suggestions' at her past but she clearly had a handle on herself, she had her medication all sorted out, she refused alcohol, and she clearly in a good place.

Also. I'm both a mental health professional as well as someone who has a close family member who suffers from bipolar type 1. I could see this coming. Urgh.

Post deleted

This message has been deleted.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

The powder was just a probiotic.

People need to know

14 years ago I was diagnosed with depression that got pretty damn severe and have been on ( er, "tried" trial & error st yle) zoloft, celexa, lexapro, paxil & wellbutrin ..oh Plus Effexor. then when doctor was like "whoops jk you're bipolar" Bipolar type 1 that is, then it was depakote, lamictal but was on lithium for a long while.

Although some of the characteristics of Mary did mimic those a person with bipolar would experience in manic upswing, in bits in pieces, I am here to tell you it never happened like that for me in that short amount of a timeline like that.... Get off meds, one week plus alcohol and BOOM suicidal on the roof.

If what people are saying is true and her pills were replaced with probiotics then the meds were exiting her system as she was taking alcohol. in my experience I always went crazy when I drank tons of alcohol WHILE ON MEDS FULL BLAST consistently, but not when coming off or off. & it would only be Manic never really suicidal, maybe I had manic mood swings were I felt I wanted to just not be around that day out of misery but never so to the point where I was dissociated and disconnected and just went and did the act like Mary.... I would maybe feel like I didnt want to live that day or maybe thinking about suicide but had enough sense & just be unstable,cry, not make sense....but do it to a family member and/or reach out to them or a doctor/mental health professional for help.... basically I was sane enough to know I was unstable, not feeling solid emotionally and needed to get stable because I didnt want to GET to the point Mary was....which usually doesnt happen as fast as it did for Mary.

WITH THAT SAID...or written. Everybody who suffers mental illness is different. built different, made different, chemically, biologically, physiologically, have different histories, backgrounds.... different factors & environments, situations. There are so many forms, levels of it, We cant discredit anyones experiences & challenge what their symptoms were or are or how it felts for them but in fiction- writers & producers do need to step up in the responsibility dept more, without a doubt. They need to RESPECT the illness and CARE about it and not just USE it as some sort of trick for ratings.

also for people who dont suffer from it need to educate themselves a little more before they sound off on comments section or judge ( not on this thread but on certain articles on the internet, I read and some of the things people say makes me hate humanity sometimes) People need to know medications for depression are usually antidepressants. Bipolar /Mood disorders are usually treated with mood stabilizers - TOTALLY DIFFERENT CLASSES OF MEDICATIONS and dont do the same things for each of those illnesses. but depending on the person can be mixed /matched. some people respond well to medication therapy only and thrive. some people respond to talk therapy, DBT or some sort of specialized behavioral therapy only without meds and thrive. Some people need a little or alot of BOTH meds and therapy together....and thrive. but 0 % of people diagnosed or undiagnosed can manage it with WILL POWER alone.
so please never expect that out of yourself or someone else. Treat your loved ones with love & respect regardning their symptoms as if you would with someone throwing up from chemo treatment due to cancer. Because its the same thing. Illness. Just affects a differnt organ in the body.

I dont understand why some people think "mental illness" is a mind over matter thing or "isnt real" and that its invented by Big Pharma all because a friend of a friend was "alot worse than better" ON MEDS AND THIS AND THAT>

PLEASE RECOGNIZE THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT TREATMENTS and medications for different types of mental illness. its a journey. just because you or your loved one was diagnosed with one and started a medication that made it worse doesnt mean "ALL MEDS MAKE DEPRESSION ....ETC... WORSE on MEDS and everyone can battle depression by diet and exercise cause "thats what worked for my cousin" AND EVERYONE WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES SHOULDNT TAKE THEM" .... it took many, ALL OF THE MEDS I STATED ABOVE to FINALLY get to the right COMBINATION of treatment to stabilize me & get me thrive at my full potential. Im not mentally ill, I am someone who struggles with mental health issues.
its a journey....and he!! for some. esp when a medication doesnt fully get its benefit going until after 2 months or so & you wait and wait and stick it out & get thru the side affects to see if they wear off to get better only to realize that medication IS NOT FOR YOU..bc of.the side effects ...or maybe lack of effect at all... then you have to face trying ANOTHER med? only to have the same result? Do it all over again? Some say forget it and just dont try to get it treated. But just because those certain meds are not for you, it doesnt mean its not for the next person. But in the middle of trying to find the right treatment - you are untreated. Someone else may be struggling with that silently too.

So Im here to tell people who have never personally experienced mental illness to please be careful what you say about it in comments section because people suffering from mental health issues will read your words and take it as if its the truth...because they are not exactly in thier best of mind. Just because so and so tried 2 diff types of med for this or that condition and ONLY MADE THEM SICK doesnt automatically mean NO MEDS WORK NO ONE. always be sure you include that experience was what you or someone you knew experienced . because that is all you know. you cannot say it wont help others.
#1 thing you can do for someone with mental illness is give compassion, patience and if you are their support sytem- support them and be a help dont challenge their symptoms & tell them its all in their head or scoff at it. be seen as their support, their help ....not a hurdle. because making someone feel they have to conceal their symptoms as not to burden you or push you away....thats hurdle. waking up everyday for someone with a mental illness is a hurdle on its own.what the support system can do is stick with their loved one that needs help and coordinate with the doctor and ride their @ss like zorro UNTIL YOU FIND THE RIGHT MEDICATION AND/OR TREATMENT AND DO NOT GIVE UP because...

DIAGNOSING THE PROBLEM IS HALF THE BATTLE. I was never "properly" diagnosed because I never followed up when I fell off track with the first med that didnt work...because I was unstable and had no one to help me and the thought of throwing up every day due to side effects while working full time plus school was something I couldnt do. I didnt think I could take time off to take care of myself without people finding out and then id be shamed. then I lost my insurance and then was diagnosed wrongly again by a shady two bit cheap doctor..... I lost a good 10 years of my life ON THE WRONG MEDS, FOR THE WRONG DIAGNOSIS. you cannot BLAME MEDICATION AS A WHOLE for making depression worse if the medication you were taking was for bipolar, vice versa. you cant blame the meds if the med in question is treat something you were not diagnosed with!!!! its the HUMANS YOU BLAME. So it crushes me when people get all mixed up playing the blame game about antidepressants being the devil or this or that med sucks and dont take it because it only made my so and so sick when your particular situation could be stemmed by the wrong med for the wrong diagnosis or INDIVIDUAL person itself.

So, even if I dont think Marys mental health portrayal was completely accurate, the one lesson I do feel people need to take away from this is : be kind with your words because they do have the power to influence someone with mental health issues to go to drastic measures. OTHER peoples words and actions can do another person in although I really hate to belive other people are responsible for our emotions or lives, but truth is people have a strong influence. so remember that next time you are on some news site and you want to bash a certain person because that certain person could be reading and they are struggling with a mental illness if they've already had so many hard blows that particular day ( people being harsh) and they could read that one comment and to you...it was that one comment but to that one person that could be their final straw. ....thats the lesson... your one small dig could be that person you have no idea existed's final straw and you would have no idea it was your harmful words that did it.

this world does need to know the truths about mental illness. how complex it is... and the fact not all people who suffer from mental health symptoms are bat sh!t crazy and unstable mables. Some of the best people I know have experienced it. Some of the most brilliantly beautiful minded people I know have too. I think its because once you've experienced that pain and suffering first hand you tend to see the world and have more compassion for people you otherwise would have rolled your eyes to it before.

So if you take anything away from that episode with Mary jumping off the roof- the one thing that is true is how powerful kirks words were to Marys fragile condition. Yes, its that easy.

Compassion everyone! thats all :)

Re: People need to know

Your response was super long but very helpful and informative :-)

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

Well said

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

Thanks for shedding some insight into this. I don't know much about mental illness and also was loving the show but this particular storyline seemed very heavy handed compared to the rest of how the show went. The producers went from doing unethical manipulation to basically breaking several laws with all of this. Still love the show but dang I kind of want a comet to destroy the entire crew now.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

I can agree with this to a point. The thing is, most shows aren't really trying to push a message so much as just trying to entertain and yes, "up ratings" as you said. They don't really have time to drag out the amount of time it would normally take for the character to succumb to the effects of going off of the medication. I'm not trying to be hurtful or insensitive to mental illness, since I and some people in my family have some forms it but tv shows/movies usually are insensitive to mental illness so I don't watch for them to be accurate since they rarely ever are accurate on any issue.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

I'm not by any means saying that the show represents illness, or anything for that matter, in an accurate light, however, mental illness whether it is bipolar, personality disorder, depression, etc. does not all fit in one box for each person. That's why mental illness is one of the most difficult diagnosis to make. My depression may be very different than someone else's even if we were diagnosed the same and on the same meds. Who's to say whether someone with _____ would or wouldn't do ________?

I will say, though, the series showed Mary's downward spiral (it seemed like) in a matter of days. So, a few missed doses and she's already off her rocker???? Could it have happened? Sure. Especially if she's drinking in the interim. But people I know have kicked meds for weeks and even months at a time before effects (for better or worse) started to show.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

I feel like the episode from Monday just worsened my initial feelings that their depiction of mental illness is one of the worst I've seen in a long time.

The "letter" from last night was just plain stupid. Why would anyone listening in at home believe that someone who was out of their mind enough to commit suicide was capable of writing a rational letter to her daughter, that includes a reference to "her decision to stop taking medication"? So in this version of the story, someone off medication is still rational and thoughtful, and last week that same person had absolutely no self control? Such sloppy handily; it's this type presentation that leaves people who are ready to come off medication for depression terrified to do so, and leaves people who are unmedicated in a place where they're handling the mentally ill people in their lives like live grenades.

And I agree with the poster who said that he wants the entire cast to be hit by a comet. At this point, that's the best possible outcome.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

Speaking as a person who has gone through depression, when she was in the trailer with her ex-husband... the things he said to her? If someone had said parallel things to me when I was in one of my emotional and depressive states... I honestly would have probably killed myself. On one hand you may be right that mental illnesses are complex and I understand why you would think that they were dramatized in this episode, but in reality sometimes mental illnesses are just very simple, in a way, for the person who's going through them.
So step off your high horse and rephrase the offensive things you're saying, because I've been through similar *beep* and I'm telling you it is pretty realistic. If you want to, feel free to educate that mental illnesses are complex and that they differ immensely between one individual and another- but don't claim that their depiction in this show are "yet another unbelievably bad presentation".

PS: In the episode with Rachel and her mom arguing, Rachel mocks her mom by listing several random mental disorders; we're not even sure if her mom actually diagnosed her with all of them one after the other, or if Rachel added in a couple for a more humorous and sarcastic quip. No she is not saying that they are the same.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

I thought Rachel said that she confused borderline pd and narcissistic pd. I remembered thinking that I always confused borderline pd and histrionic pd.

Either way, Rachel wasn't saying that they're the same thing, she was saying she confuses them, emphasizing how ridiculous her mother was in diagnosing her with this and that, blurring the lines of what the illnesses actually mean.

And even ignoring that Rachel said that she personally gets them confused, I've never been under the impression that I'm supposed to believe the things Rachel says or that she has a solid grasp on reality. She doesn't seem to know herself at all or have any ability to step outside of herself and look at what's going on. Not very insightful.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

1. They said Mary was taking anti-psychotic medicaton and mood stabilizers.
I have patients who take both and if they miss a couple of days their symptoms will severely worsen rather quickly. Add to that a trigger event like the stress-inducing situation of the tv show and her husband and daughter there and that's totally plausible. I've seen worse. People suffer from different versions of Bipolar Disorder which manifest differently.
The less realistic part is how quickly she went from manic to depressive episode but I guess like someone else said it's possible she had portrayed rapid cycling.

2. As for Rachel, what she said was that her mother was so desparate to diagnose her with something that she kept changing the diagnosis from Bipolar to Borderline to Narcisstic, and honestly, the symptoms of each can be overlapping in some people (which doesn't explain why her mother is even treating her, highly unethical). From what I saw Rachel didn't present Bipolar behavior (at least not Bipolar I), but she very well could have some Borderline and Narcissitic tendencies judging by her self destructive and yet selfish behaviors, her inability to maintain intimate healthy relationship, her alcohol problem and other issues.

3. I've hardly ever seen a true realistic portrayal of mental illness in tv and film. That's very rare. But oddly this show is far from the worst I've seen...At least they didn't confuse schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder like almost every movie ever.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

Just curious, what movies confuse schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder? I've only ever noticed schizophrenia and bipolar disorder mixed up.

I’ve seen honest faces before. They’re usually attached to liars.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

It was actually borderline or narcissistic personality disorder she said confused her, not borderline or bipolar. And it's the character that gets them confused, not that they're actually the same thing.

I’ve seen honest faces before. They’re usually attached to liars.

Post deleted

This message has been deleted.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

I agree that they did show mental illness somewhat accurately. While the timeline was a bit fast, many people do react differently and in different time spans when on or off their meds.

What everyone seems to forget though and what they seem to portray perfectly on this show is that the context of a scene is so easily and willingly manipulated. What we see may have never have been the way that it was shot.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

The better question is: Why are you looking to a TV show about a reality show for a "realistic" depiction of anything, let alone mental illness.

TV shows dramatize everything and they are for entertainment purposes only. That would be like me looking to How to Get Away With Murder or Ally McBeal for an accurate description of the practice of law.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

television shows influence public perception. The outcome of an incorrect presentation of law (to use your example) is pretty much nothing, other than maybe a few people attempting to get into law school without the academic aptitude. The outcome of perpetuating misinformation about mental illness is that more people interact with the mentally ill like they're always on the verge of breakdown.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

Perhaps if this were a high brow show I could see someone having this show "influence their perception" to quote you. But as I said, this is a TV show about a behind the scenes look at the production of a reality show.

Nobody should be looking for this to be a depiction of real life, it is not a documentary. All shows take liberties, this is no different.

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

I dropped my basket...led to intense out patient therapy..they came and picked me up in a white van at 8am and brought me home at5:00...the "team" thought it would do more harm than good for me to stay at the hospital.....I was diagnosed with severe depressive disorder generalized anxiety and ptsd----I am on six Rxs...the pills dont make me not have the mental illness. What do is help me not stay in bed four days in a row,or not be afraid of walking into the grocer. I can sometimes talk to a new person with crying.. But beyond that there are other skill That taught me to listen to my body....Not to get overwhelmed by stopping and doing a visualization exercise..On the days I am become focused on suicide I write a list of 20 reason why I cant kill myself that day. that be simple like 1.My bedroom is a mess I would want crime photos in here 2. the dogs might star to eat me.

I know crashing off your meds is horrid. but if she has been through therapy she should have recognized "the darkness" worked some of her DBT..and gone for help

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

FXX's 'You're The Worst', S2 has been lauded by critics and mental health organizations for its portrayal of Depression/ Major Depressive Disorder in a way that was realistic and sympathetic. While I had a few minor issues with the depiction, as a mental health professional I'd say the accolades areô well deserved (re: shows that have gotten it right, ie: SFU, though I took offense to Billy trying to 'kill' his sister/remove her tattoo- the whole 'oh no, they're crazy! They must be dangerous too!' trope one typically sees in entertainment when one of the characters has a mental illness).

Re: yet another unbelievably bad presentation of mental illness

rachel has mental illness herself in fact nearly everyone on the show has some form of personality disorder. thats the point powerful people in hollywood are filled with these individuals. i think the writers who worked on reality tv shows themselves are simply shedding light on what really goes on behind the scenes. not all ppl with mental health are evil but not all of them are saints either.
Top