Here We Go Again: Romanticizing Mental Illness

Romanticizing Mental Illness-Stop it!

Not too long ago I wrote a piece calling Dr. Dan Gottlieb on the carpet for a show he did with the authors of a new biography about the troubled artist Vincent Van Gogh. 

He spent the entire show going on and on about how people with mental illness are somehow more creative and insightful and … Jesus H. Bullcrakers! 

Now the network nitwits at TNT have come up with a television series about a schizophrenic, the guy from ‘Will and Grace’ who solves crimes because he has some unique insight into human behavior.

My family has been ravaged by mental illness. Try romanticizing never knowing when you’ll get the phone call where a doctor in the E.R. tells you that your schizophrenic sister, who has a tendency to wander the streets alone at night into the morning hours and who would follow anyone with a tender smile down any dark alley, has just been raped or worse.

Or how about this one, you cretins at TNT: Watching your agoraphobic younger brother drink and smoke himself to death in the basement of your parents’ house. Hey! I smell a TV series! We can make him a detective!

This all started with Ron Howard and his movie ‘A Beautiful Mind’ That wasn’t such a bad film and I can live with the occasional misguided attempt to show people with mental illness in a more tolerant light but the problem is … THEY NEVER GET IT RIGHT!

You show people with mental illness in a more positive light by showing the rest of us what these people can and will accomplish in their lives REGARDLESS of the mental illness, not BECAUSE of it!  



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