More about the media

I always use the phrase, suffering from schizophrenia and NOT schizophrenic but recently I read about schizophrenic weather.

A phone company advertised; This is a crazy, generous offer.

On NBC’s America has talent; one of the judges commented that a group of contestants resembled people who had exited a mental institution.

Dr. Phil, the TV pop psychologist tried to reassure a woman with compulsive behavior that she was not insane because insane people suck on rocks and bark at the moon. I have no doubt that he regretted saying it the moment it was out of his mouth, but the damage was done.

Brian Williams, anchor on NBC’s Evening News, referred to a kidnapper and rapist as arguably the face of mental illness. He apologized.

CBS announced that they are about to premiere a new show called The Crazy Ones starring Robin Williams, who in real life copes with bipolar disorder, but after checking previews, it appears as if the show has nothing to do with mental illness. It’s a comedy where crazy ideas turn into genius.

 Is it necessary to hear this kind of thing? Think of how a person who has a mental illness must feel, please.

2 thoughts on “More about the media

  1. Sabrina Schram

    Jill – This is Sabrina from Musical Minds (now called Instruments of Healing) writing to you. I hope you are well. What a thoughtful piece. As you know, my husband and I are people living with mental illnesses and we find ourselves constantly cringing every time we hear stuff like this strung throughout the media (and it is hanging around all over the place!) I know that organizations such as NAMI (the National Alliance for Mental Illness) here in the states has a program called Stigma Busters where they try to battle the media’s various uses of stigmatizing language (such as “The Crazy Ones”) but I feel like as each year goes on, there is more of this – not less. They have a huge uphill battle. Of course, the tragic events that have taken place here lately have been a field day for the media to just stigmatize away and hype up the country and the world that people with mental illnesses should be expected to be violent. The truth is that only 11% of people with mental illnesses are actually considered to be violent – sometimes perpetuated by substance abuse – and a much larger percentage of those with mental illness are likely to be victims of violence and hate crimes. I often wish the media would show encouraging, positive stories about people with mental illnesses – people who have been living well with what they’ve got despite their difficulties, and who have had good hopeful outcomes. It would be good for the public to see that face of mental illness too.
    I would like to know your thoughts. I also had a question for you. Please do email me at

    All the best,
    Sabrina Schram


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