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How I see how Mental Illness is portrayed by the Media

How I see how Mental Illness is portrayed by the Media

This is the 5th blog in a series about Awareness of Mental Health Problems.

These blogs are written based on work I completed for my mental health studies, of which the majority is written from the heart and based on my own personal experiences of poor mental health.

This part is based on how I feel mental illness is portrayed by the media in films and newspapers and how that coverage can influence attitudes in the general public.

How do I think mental illness has been portrayed by the media in films and newspapers?

Films:

Usually in a dramatic, negative way.  Some of the films portray people as ‘mad’, being out of control, causing both emotional and physical damage to people and physical damage to other people’s items.  On the whole, it makes those watching the films, fear mental illness as the people are portrayed as dangerous.

Newspapers:

Again, usually in a dramatic, negative way, causing destruction and damage in their path, especially the sensationalised stories of celebrities ‘going off the rails’.

I feel there is some changes but positive reports are small and inconsistent, and easily forgotten with some sensational, poorly, worded headline along the lines of ‘Bonkers Boris causes Bedlam’ or ‘Made Justin hits fans!’

There appears to be no portrayal that these people are suffering in some way and need help, and so the people reading (and believing) the paper will not see this.

How does media coverage influence the attitudes of the general public?

If media coverage can affect people’s attitudes and beliefs in a negative way, it can do the same in a positive way.

Media coverage could do this by high-lighting positive success stories of people over-coming mental ill health to achieve something and so be a positive role model for others.

The stories could also be about how a mental health condition could be used to be an advantage of success, for instance, someone with OCD tendencies using that to be a success because an actor wants the lines to be absolutely correct, or the goal-scorer always scoring the goals.

If more ‘celebrities’ spoke out like those of Stephen Fry just recently, then people would follow and share their stories.

If you want to talk about your own mental ill health, learn about some natural therapies to help cope with mental ill health, or learn about mental health awareness and first aid, then please get in touch.

PlumEssence is based in ST18 near Stafford, and easily accessible for Rugeley, Cannock, Hednesford, Hixon, Uttoxetor, Trentam and surrounding areas.

Examples of Mental Health Problems

This is the second in a series of blogs and videos to help give you an initial awareness of mental health problems. The first blog is here: https://plumessencetherapies.co.uk/the-meaning-of-mental-health/

The videos and blogs will cover an awareness of:

Mental Health in general, stress, anxiety, phobias, depression, post-natal depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dementia, eating disorders, ADHD, OCD and PTSD.  All of these subjects will be based on my personal thoughts, my personal experience, and research used to pass my Mental Health Problems qualification.  I have also been asked to talk about the difference between bullying and banter, and alcohol and drug dependency.

I hope you will find the information interesting and informative and it helps break the stigma of mental health and encourages people to talk about it.

Examples of Mental Health Problems are:

Anxiety and panic attacks.  Anxiety is a normal emotion.  It can be described as dread and inner turmoil.  The person can be nervous, fearful and worry and these feelings are exaggerated, taking over and begin to interfere with every day life.

Depression.  Depression can affect someone’s ability to think straight and effects how we feel about ourselves and the world around us.  It can result in a person feeling worthless.  Depression takes many forms, including:

Bipolar Disorder, also referred to as Manic Depression – episodes of feeling very high and then very low.  It’s like very extreme mood swings.  High episodes of bipolar disorder can make someone feel overly confident and can result in reckless behaviour which is usually quite risky to their own physical and mental health.  Periods of being very low can result in suicidal thoughts and extreme worthlessness.

Postnatal depression or Postpartum depression affects people, usually recognised in women, after childbirth.  It usually manifests itself within 6 weeks and can be slow progress or come on suddenly.  People with postnatal depression tend to feel really low, irritable, lack self-worth and self-esteem and feel unable to cope sometimes, becoming quite hostile to friends, family and even children.

Rage and anger can be a mental health problem when they become regular occurrence and affecting the relationships with people they care about, work with or life in general.  Rage and anger can manifest itself physically, towards others or resulting in self-harm, sometimes with poor coping strategies of drugs and alcohol to try and remain calm, which in themselves can cause further mental health problems.

Abuse of substances such as drugs (prescribed or un-prescribed) and alcohol, for instance.  Reliance on drugs and alcohol can cause a spiral of physical and mental health problems which can be harder to recognise, cope with and manage.

That’s all for now.  Just some examples of mental health problems. These will be expanded upon throughout the series.  

In the next video and blog, I will look at how mental health care has changed over time and an indication of the problems people with mental health problems, may face day to day.

If you have any subjects you would like to cover, please let me know.  If there is anything on here you would like to talk about, or find out about therapies and training offered by PlumEssence to help and educate about mental health, then look at www.plumessencetherapies.co.uk or call Tracey on 01889 808388 or 07803399594

Mental Health Awareness Trainer

I’m a 1st Aid for Mental Health and Awareness Trainer.

It moved me well out of my comfort zone!

I had to produce a 10 minute video as part of the new mental health role to work with TT Training Academy (which can be seen here)

I did this yesterday 7th September 2019.

After many takes this week and then realising there was no such thing as perfect, I decided I was better off keeping it real.

The video was sent for asessment and today 8th September, I now have certificates to say I’m:

A First Aid Campion for Mental Health and

A 1st Aid for Mental Health and Awareness Trainer.

Phew.

I feel I could cry with relief.

I’m now officially part of the TT Training Academy team. https://lnkd.in/gZf5RK4

reducestress #workplacewellness mentalhealth #workplacewellbeing #anxiety stressmanagement #depression mentalillness workplacehealth

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