Media Depictions: Mental Illnesses

Representation studies, involving content and form analysis of media messages, often claim that the negative framing of mental illnesses in different media genres is stigmatizing and contributes to perpetuating the public's negative attitudes toward those afflicted. However, a new trend demonstrated in the digital media, normalizing disorder as everybody's problem, removes stigma, making disorder acceptable.

Mental disorders are common worldwide, with 25 to 35 percent of people in most countries meeting diagnosis criteria at some point in their life. At least 350 million people live with depression, the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization's 2012 report.

Both factual and fictional media are the general public's primary sources of information about mental illnesses. Representation studies consistently show that both entertainment and news media ...

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