In cinema, it is common to stereotype mental health and classify characters as “unstable” because of their mental health condition(s) or perceived conditions. The problem with telling Hollywood stories involving mental health conditions is the villainization of those characters. While depictions may not always be offensive, they can be inaccurate.
Movies about mental health conditions can feature a variety of characters with genius-level intelligence or sensational, exaggerated quirks. However, the misinformation spread through these movies can be harmful. Unfortunately, good movies can inaccurately portray mental health.
10/10 Split demonizes dissociative identity disorder
M. Directed by Night Shyamalan, Division Follows Kevin, a man with dissociative identity disorder who kidnaps a group of young girls. Kevin has a total of 23 alters that interact with the girls, but each is a different level of brutality.
Kevin has a host identity that is extremely dangerous, called “The Beast”. Unlike all of his other transformations, The Beast has incredible strength and agility. This portrayal of Dissociative Identity Disorder is damaging; Division suggests that those living with DID are violent and dangerous.
9/10 The clown uses mental health conditions to justify violence
One of the most iconic villains in existence, the Joker finally got an origin story with a film in 2019. the clown The film follows Arthur Flake, whose neurological condition causes him to laugh uncontrollably at random moments. Sometimes, her laughter is considered inappropriate. This makes Arthur an outcast from society, often ostracized for his behavior.
Arthur is portrayed as a product of his environment. He is bullied and ridiculed by almost everyone, and this is a driving factor in his deteriorating mental health. He is villainous, dangerously violent, and murderous, perpetuating harmful stereotypes surrounding mental health.
8/10 Visits misdiagnose mental health conditions
M. Ratri Shyamalan tour Follows two children visiting their grandparents. There, Becca and Tyler notice that their grandparents, Nana and Pop Pop, are acting a little strange, and of visiting The twist reveals the reason.
It is revealed that Nana and Pop Pop are actually escaped patients from the mental hospital where the real grandparents worked. tour Nana and Pop Pop indicate living with either dementia or schizophrenia. The symptoms of these characters are far removed from the reality of dementia (especially “Sundowning”) or schizophrenia, which garners. tour Some criticism.
7/10 Fatal Attraction falsely represents bipolarity
While fatal attraction Considered an unprecedented film, the depiction of mental health is subpar. Glenn Close portrays a bipolar woman who becomes obsessed with a married man after a one-night stand. As time passes, he becomes more angry and dangerous.
in fatal attraction, Close’s character quickly becomes antagonistic as he threatens the safety of the man and his family. Her character is allegedly bipolar, although the portrayal of the woman and her symptoms are inaccurate. Broadly, bipolar is characterized by mood swings. but, fatal attraction Take it to an extreme, which is both harmful and offensive.
6/10 Psycho is old when it comes to mental health
While the horror classic Psycho Entertaining and terrifying, the portrayal of mental illness is deeply outdated and inaccurate. The film focuses on Norman Bates, who works at the Bates Motel and lives with dissociative identity disorder. One of his alters kills any woman who notices him.
in psycho, Norman’s DID stems from his trauma and his unhealthy relationship with his mother. In turn, the mother became the altered host identity and killed many people. Psycho Norman and portrays DID as something to be feared, perpetuating villainous stereotypes of mental health conditions.
Martin Scorsese film, Shutter Island, centers on a man who believes he is a US Marshal. Teddy Daniels is sent to a psychiatric hospital to find a missing patient. Shutter Island Explores the mental health conditions that prevent Teddy from knowing what is real and what is not.
Many have speculated Shutter Island Discusses delusional disorder, or other stress-related conditions, but the film does not treat DD accurately. Teddy’s mental health condition is sustained by the staff, who hope that he will regain his memory. Shutter Island was wrong, especially because Teddy could enter his delusions at will and was incredibly violent.
4/10 Turner and Hooch label Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Turner and Hooch is a spy movie that follows a man, Scott Turner, and his trusty sidekick, a dog named Hooch. The two bond as Hooch helps Turner with the case and Turner’s symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder.
Turner and Hooch Turner’s OCD doesn’t show outwardly, but it’s very evident in his compulsions. Turner and Hooch It’s light-hearted, but it can be harmful because it suggests that people with OCD can overcome OCD by having a pet. The film does a poor job of showing how to live with OCD.
3/10 I, I, and Irene illustrate the wrong traits
the events of Me, me and Irene Follow Charlie, played by Jim Carrey, who lives with DID. While Charlie is mild-mannered and nice, his alter, Hank, is aggressive and tough. Both Charlie and Hank work together to stop corrupt cops from taking Irene, the one they love, from their care.
In the film, Charlie is diagnosed with DID and schizophrenia. It’s always expected an exaggerated performance with Jim Carrey, and this one is no different Me, me and Irene. While this is done for comedy, the film inaccurately portrays the symptoms of DID.
2/10 Midsomer accurately portrays trauma but inaccurately portrays bipolar
Many feel that Ari Astor did an incredible job portraying the mental health condition through Danny Inn Midsomer. During the cult-centric horror movie, he appears to be dealing with what fans believe is PTSD, depression, and/or anxiety. This presents through panic attacks, which begin after the death of his parents and sisters.
However, Dani’s sister is said to live with bipolar, and this portrayal is completely false. Get in soon Midsomer, it has been revealed that her sister killed her parents and committed suicide. The portrayal only furthers the stigma surrounding bipolar and its association with villainous behavior.
1/10 Glare demonizes mental illness
Stanley Kubrick’s shine Features one of the most iconic horror movie antagonists. Jack Torrance is a writer who moves into a hotel with his family in hopes of curing his writer’s block. At the hotel, strange things begin to happen, the history of the hotel is uncovered, and the family is haunted by spirits.
Jack, who falls under the influence of the hotel, begins to show symptoms of several mental health conditions, particularly schizophrenia. Jack is shown to deal with psychosis, delusions and alcoholism, which lead him to terrorize his family. Mental health conditions are explored from a sinister angle, Jack is seen as a monster, and his mental health is sensationally sensationalized. unfortunately, shine Villain mental health conditions and permanent fear.
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