Mental Health and the Media: A Call to Action

Humanizing psychotic disorders is the next step in challenging mental health stigma

Having a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder has been difficult because of the symptoms but also because of the stigma I’ve had to face.

There have been many misconceptions about mental illness propagated by media sources like movies, the news, and television shows over the years. Whenever I to turn on the news I would hear comments about how people who committed crimes had some sort of connection to mental illness. It’s been statistically proven that people diagnosed with a mental illness are less likely to commit crimes than those who are just normal people. There were also many movies that stigmatized mental illness and shaped the way people thought about those who had a mental illness creating misconceptions and prejudices surrounding those who had been diagnosed. For years it made it difficult for me to disclose my diagnosis because I wasn’t certain of what others would think of me or if they’d judge me or treat me differently. I still use critical discretion on whom I do and don’t disclose my diagnosis to. However, at this critical point in history, there are those out there who are willing to challenge the misconceptions and prejudices of stigma.  more

We Asked What It’s Like to Have a Mental Illness in Prison

In the ’60s and ’70s, deinstitutionalization swept the US. Poorly run state mental hospitals were shut down and set to be replaced with less isolating, community-based programs. It was a promising and ambitious plan that never fully took off—the hospitals closed, the community programs fell by the wayside, and the mentally ill wound up somewhere else: in prisons and jails. But the correctional facilities that moonlighted as America’s mental health hospitals weren’t—and still aren’t—equipped with the staff or resources to help inmates manage their conditions effectively.

How do circumstances like waiting months to see a psychiatrist or not having access to medication impact the people who rely on this care to stay healthy? We asked six former inmates who were managing psychological conditions during their sentence what their experiences with prison mental health services were like. While some spoke about positive and attentive care, others weren’t so lucky.  more

Voices Made Them Do It

When someone says they’re hearing voices, what does that really mean? Are they schizophrenic? Imagining things? Or have they simply lost their minds? There’s a long history of people who went crazy hearing voices. From celebrities to serial killers, people who heard voices in their heads sometimes were driven to madness or found a way to channel their sounds for the greater good.

Some of these people managed to pull themselves out of the downward spiral that they were in and make legitimate and palpable changes to society. Some gave into the voices and ended up becoming a statistic, and one woman used her voices to help her find a career as a psychic. Unfortunately, most of the folks who went insane hearing voices didn’t manage to turn their lives around.

18 Famous People Who Heard Voices