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Mental Illness in Movies!

It can be extremely challenging when confronted with mental illness in movies.  On the weekend, I watched Blue Jasmine with a friend and I thought it was an excellent movie.  I thought Cate Blanchett did an amazing job with her portrayal of her character.  Nevertheless, I found it extremely confronting with the characters mental illness and my own story.

When the character mentioned the medication that she was on, I could tick and say yep tried them. But when she mentioned ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy) as part of her treatment for mental illness I wanted to run for the hills.  I find that any mention of ECT treatment that is probably a trigger for me to feel all the anxiety I felt with my own journey.  It is never easy to admit that I had this treatment but it was the only way for me to survive going off cold turkey off a hard anti depressant and its withdrawal symptoms.  I have seen this treatment shown in Homeland and in a way I do not think it shed the best light on the treatment as in my case it was dignified.

It would be extremely challenging for actors and actresses to portray a character with mental illness if they have not had any personal experience with mental illness.  Movies need to also make sure that they are representing illness when possible in a good light due to all the stigma out there in regards to mental illness.