How Movies Misrepresent Addiction and Mental Illness

When Addiction and Mental Illness are Trivialized by the Media

In the United States, approximately one in five adults deals with a mental health issue every day. Addiction and mental illness (dual diagnosis/co-occurring disorders) are frequently depicted erroneously in the media. Symptoms are often trivialized or blown out of proportion. Mental health issues, such as addictive behaviors, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) become exploited material for media, popular television shows, and movies.

Addiction And Mental Illness

Addiction and mental illness, referred to as dual diagnosis (co-occurring disorders), presents challenges that require the help of therapeutic specialists. Mood disorders complicate addiction, so it’s important to understand them in order to take charge of them.

  1. Depression takes people away from friends, family, and favorite activities. Everything becomes difficult to accomplish, the future looks bleak, insomnia rules, and thoughts of suicide may occur.
  2. Anxiety can be disabling and cause panic attacks and irritability. People suffering from anxiety have difficulty fitting into social situations.
  3. Bipolar disorder can cause the individual to take part in risky behavior, be impulsive, and feel over confident during the manic phase and at other times he or she will suffer from depression.

White Sands is considered to be one of the best facilities in the country for treating dual diagnosis. Contact them today if you suspect someone you love is experiencing addiction and mental illness. Find out how they can help your loved one recover.

How Movies Misrepresent Addiction And Mental Illness

The entertainment industry is more interested in money-making sensationalism than in facts. The people portrayed as suffering from mental illness in films are not presented accurately. How movies misrepresent addiction and mental illness is clearly visible in the stereotyped characters depicted in film storylines. It is unfortunate that viewers are so captivated by the characters in a movie that everything becomes real. False narratives, as well as both scary and humorous depictions of mental illness and addiction, stigmatize the actual victims of these diseases and can drive them further away from seeking the help they desperately need.

It is estimated as many as sixty-percent of Americans suffering with mental illness are not receiving treatment. There are a few different reasons for the lack of treatment, but the negative perception of addiction and mental illness proliferated by the film industry’s sensational movies, labels the mentally ill with a stigma that is painful to face. Making violent drug crimes as well as murder and mayhem the most popular themes for films is how movies misrepresent addiction and mental illness.

Is it any wonder people suffering with addiction and mental health issues avoids getting help? White Sands Addiction Treatment Center in Florida provides treatment programs for dual diagnosis, and has both doctors and psychologists on staff to meet all patient needs.

Media Portrayal Of Addiction

The frequent and distorted portrayals of substance abuse in the media are irresponsible and glamorize drugs and alcohol. Why is it necessary to promote life-threatening behaviors to be successful in the movies, on television, and in advertising. People of all ages are impressionable, especially if they are susceptible to peer pressure. Over $25 billion is spent annually on advertising for alcohol, prescription drugs, and tobacco.

Between the advertising and the exciting movie portrayals of drinking and drugs, it’s not surprising so many young people want to try it for themselves. Movies show rebellious tough guys and girls drinking hard liquor, using drugs, and engaging in reckless sex. The media portrayal of addiction causes the characters to become heroes to rebellious teens, and they readily mimic the behavior not believing it can destroy their lives.

White Sands Addiction Treatment Center is ready to help your family member go through the necessary steps to take back control of his or her life. Therapy and counseling provide the knowledge and tools to help each person to avoid relapse. Call and talk to a counselor today and get your loved one started on the road to recovery.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.