I'm constantly getting movie recommendations because, get this, it has a character who is mentally ill. Umm... would you, a diabetic, want to see every film with a diabetic character? No. At least diabetics are portrayed correctly in film, whereas the mentally ill are overdone and stigmatized.
When I turned on Netflix today, the ad at the top was for Benny and Joon. I'd heard the title before, but never knew what it was about. When I read the synopsis, I just about choked! It reads, and I quote, "Benny is the overprotective caretaker of his mentally ill but artistically talented sister, Joon, who falls in love with an eccentric comedian." So, if you're mentally ill, that it? You can't be anything else? I don't know about you, but I'm many other things. I dance, play an instrument, write, and do photography.
I watched Girl Interrupted because, well, I wanted to, but I've given up on watching anything that has been suggested after trudging my way through Manic.
One of the most stigmatized portrayals of Bipolar Disorder got the actress an award. Sally Fields in (the ever epic) ER. I'm not dismissing her performance, but her role was what ran through my mind when I heard those words put on me. She was the reason I was afraid of coming out with my illness.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have plenty of things to blame Hollywood for, but mental illness stigmas are the worst. Along with women's body image issues, what defines a "real" man, and 40 year olds playing teenagers, and in turn, making me look 12.
"I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell."
"Unwell"~ Matchbox Twenty