When mental illness is depicted on TV shows and movies, it’s not always kind. While Crazy Ex-Girlfriend got a lot right, for instance, 13 Reasons Why, not so much. And when it comes to medications, like antipsychotics or antidepressants, realistic depictions are often lacking. For instance, they may show a character whose antipsychotics make them act like an entirely different person (not the case), or they’ll show someone who is immediately “cured” after a day on antidepressants (also not the case).
These media stereotypes—mixed with the lack of quality information online—contribute to misinformation and myths about mental illnesses and the drugs used to manage them, particularly antipsychotics, David Brendel, M.D., PhD, a psychiatrist based in Boston, tells SELF. “Many of these mental health conditions have been treated as problems with people’s personalities rather than as medical conditions, and so there’s been a lot of resistance and judgement about many of these medications,” he says. more