Media Madness : Public Images of Mental Illness
This work seeks to expose the myths about mental illness and the way it is distorted by the American media. Statistics show that one out of every five people in the US will experience a psychiatric illness. The author of this book attempts to show the many ways in which false views of mental illness, purveyed in the media, shape the ways even the most enlightened of us view the world around us. He argues that inaccuracies about mental illness in newspapers, magazines, movies and books make it clear that this is not merely stereotyping, but rather a pervasive ignorance. He looks at the media's role in presenting this image.
- Paperback | 242 pages
- 152 x 222 x 14mm | 90.72g
- 31 Oct 1997
- Rutgers University Press
- New Brunswick, NJ, United States
Back cover copy
From Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, Kojak, and Melrose Place, from books, music, cartoons, advertising, and newspapers, we all derive our images of mental illness. These omnipresent media portrayals are at the least insensitive, inaccurate, and unfavorable and at the worst stigmatizing and pernicious. In this important book, Dr. Otto Wahl examines the prevalence, nature, and impact of such depictions, using numerous examples from film, television, and print media. He documents the remarkable frequency of these images and demonstrates how the media has stereotyped the mentally ill through exaggeration, misunderstanding, ridicule, and disrespect. Media Madness also shows the damaging consequences of such stereotypes - stigma, rejection, loss of self-esteem, reluctance to seek, accept, or reveal psychiatric treatment, discrimination, and restriction of opportunity. The forces that shape current images of mental illness are clarified, as are the efforts of organizations and individuals to combat such exploitation.