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You’ve probably figured out that I’m far from a ‘typical’ young adult; regardless of if we’re basing it off of experiences, interests, passions, or daily life stuff – mine tend to look a little different than most (which works great for me)

One of my favorite things to watch are movies and tv series featuring characters with mental illness and/or addiction. I’m the ultimate critique of how “real” or “exaggerated” hollywood paints the picture of mental health.

Here are some of my favorities:
Black Swan
I Am Sam
What about Bob?
The Perks of being a Wallflower 
The King’s Speech
Silver Linings Playbook
Little Miss Sunshine
Prozac Nation
Girl, Interrupted
A Beautiful Mind
28 Days

Now Hollywood’s partnership with mental health has both pros and cons, they are listed below:


  1. They get people thinking and talking about mental health.
  2. Hollywood can be used as a tool for change.
  3. It’s comforting watching a movie about someone with a mental illness you can relate to (especially if you are not open about it yet).
  4. Awareness (to a certain degree).



  1. Hollywood is very dramatic which creates an even more stigmatized view of mental illness.
  2. Seeing the behaviors associated with the mental illness on the big screen or on tv can be very triggering for some people.
  3. Hollywood is Hollywood and they can say or do or make up whatever they want so the information is not always accurate and with the current giant holes in people’s understanding about mental health and mental illness there is a lot of room for misunderstanding and being mislead.

UnknownOk. So, what about reality TV?

Now, this I feel strongly about. It seems like today there is a reality show about everything quite frankly the idea that people make money off of the pain and suffering of those struggling with mental illness disgusts me.

Most of the time the individual being ‘helped’ is very sick at the start of the show – so sick in some cases you wonder if they should be deemed “competent” to make those sorts of decisions.

I ask myself:

  1. What were they offered?
  2. How desperate were they?
  3. Where they tricked or confused?


I think back to the days before flying across the United States for treatment and how desperate that felt for me. I wonder if someone had told me the only way you were going to get help was if you let us film it. I wonder if I would have agreed.

It also kills me to think that the “reality” used for entertainment and ratings on these stations is some persons everyday-allday fight and is quite honestly not amusing or entertaining at all.

What do you think? Comment or shoot me an email at whereistandblog@gmail.com

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.