In addition, the stereotype of people with schizophrenia as having superior intellect or creativity had limited support in movies, although a few characters had genius abilities. Every person with schizophrenia will have a unique experience and their combination ... but are clearly a lot less dramatic than certain stereotypes propagated by the media make you think. So where have we learnt to believe that people with schizophrenia are more violent than other people? I pay attention, not only to how people with schizophrenia are misrepresented as violent, but also to other, less well-documented representations. When an autistic character shows up in film or television, they are far to often carbon copies of the same tired stereotypes. Stigmatization of ‘Schizophrenia’ in the Media Let’s consider some stigmatization of mental illness disseminated by the media as hypothesized by Myrick and Pavelko in a 2017 … However, such underrepresentation raises interesting questions about whether the paucity of non-Caucasian movie characters might affect help seeking and treatment decisions among members of minority racial and ethnic groups with schizophrenia and even contribute to greater endorsement of stigma by members of these groups toward persons with mental illness (44). 44, No. Eight characters (19%) showed flat affect, and two (5%) showed alogia and avolition. 44, No. For my doctoral thesis, I have spent the last two years examining the ways in which schizophrenia is portrayed in the U.K. national press between 2000 and 2015. One of the more prevalent stereotypes found in movies is the depiction of a character with a serious mental illness as dangerous and violent (4). This study appears to be the first to provide an empirically based content analysis of the portrayal of schizophrenia in contemporary movies. International Journal of Epidemiology 36:751–758, 2007 Crossref, Medline, Google Scholar, 30 McGrath JJ : The surprisingly rich contours of schizophrenia epidemiology. A majority of the characters engaged in unpredictable behavior (N=30, 71%) and displayed some form of self-harm, ranging from self-mutilation to suicide (N=29, 69%). Cross, 2014, Clement, 2008, Coverdale, 2002). Media messages associating violence with severe mental illness may also contribute to stigmatization and the consequences of social rejection, social distancing, and discrimination that are often experienced by those with a severe mental illness (33,34,43). Negative symptoms were less frequently depicted. 5, International Journal of Mental Health, Vol. One likely explanation is the media, which has been shown to frequently represent people with schizophrenia as aggressive, unpredictable killers who are both ‘mad’ and ‘bad’ (e.g. The myth that love can cure schizophrenia was found in nearly one-fourth (N=10, 24%) of the movies. Psychotropic medications were depicted or alluded to by slightly over half (N=23, 55%) of the movies, but other therapeutic modalities, such as psychotherapy or group therapy, were infrequently depicted. : Community attitudes to mental illness. : From shunned to shining: doctors, madness and psychiatry in Australian and New Zealand cinema. All too often, media portrayals of the mentally ill reflect our culture’s fear and ignorance about mental illness. The pervasiveness and nature of misinformation are difficult to ascertain because of the lack of empirically based studies of movies portraying schizophrenia. The Misrepresentation of Mental Illnesses Mental illness is often negatively or misrepresented by the media to our naive society. Movies have been criticized for paying negligible attention to psychopharmacological treatments for mental illness (19), while featuring other treatments, such as electroconvulsive therapy (21) and catharsis (19), as commonplace. How journalists report on mental illness is crucial, because incorrect reporting can easily reinforce stereotypes and stigma in society. Indeed, people with serious mental illnesses were more likely to be the victims of violent acts than to be the perpetrators (12). In order to consider the most frequent portrayals and how they might have changed over time, I am examining all articles published by 9 U.K. national newspapers –five tabloids (The Express, The Mail, The Mirror, The Star, The Sun) and four broadsheets (The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times) – published between 2000 and 2015 that refer to a diagnosis of schizophrenia in some way. The media uses mental illness as an excuse to illustrate terrible violence. A majority (N=35, 83%) of the characters displayed dangerous or violent behaviors toward others, and nearly one-third (N=13, 31%) of violent individuals engaged in homicidal behavior. Treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy and cathartic cures, which have been purported to be common in movies featuring serious mental illness (19,21), were infrequently depicted. Since 2010, there has been a push to force British media to take responsibility for the way they represent mental health. 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