I hate the news. I don’t watch news shows and I try not to read the news articles that pop up when I’m searching for stuff on the internet. To me, instead of being a helpful, information filled platform, the news has become replete with negativity, slander, scare tactics, and celebrity gossip. If I were an alien from another planet and saw just today’s news I would think that the human race was vicious, murdering, pedophile, rapists and yes that includes an article about Bill friggin Cosby!
Perhaps it’s human nature to want to know such horrible things. To feel informed we need to know that others are suffering, doing illegal things and dying. Some may argue that society shouldn’t turn a blind eye to these things, sighting that we need to know so we can change things for the better. Hahahahaha Right! Knowing that celebrities make stupid mistakes and do illegal things makes us so much better as a society. Knowing that some random person was brutally murdered in a country thousands of miles away helps you do what exactly? Be afraid and trust no one? Where are the “positive changes” this information is creating? I’m sure it’s there; maybe the media isn’t reporting it because it’s too darn positive.
Mental illness has made the news a lot within the last few years. There is no such thing as unbiased reporting. It’s a matter of what is considered “newsworthy.” No one wants to read that millions of people suffering from mental illness continue to lead productive, regular lives. NO, they want Amanda Bynes, reportedly a diagnosed schizophrenic, is off her meds and sleeping in a shopping mall. Brittany Spears was never more news worthy than when she was shaving her head before her diagnosis of bi polar disorder. I was heartbroken when I heard of Robin Williams’s suicide, a long time sufferer of bi polar and substance dependency. Once again, not positive information, and certainly not considered success stories of mental health.
These events show the devastation mental illness can cause. It brings light to the fact that mental break downs are not just limited to the “regular” people. The problem is that if society’s main source of information regarding mental health is just the media it’s no wonder people become fearful when they hear words like schizophrenia and bi polar disorder when linked to family or friends.
There is so much research, tons of evidence, and scientific studies that explain what mental health spectrums are: The differences between severe, moderate, and mild symptoms and functionality. There are numerous success stories and amazing accomplishments from those with mental illness. Do we see any of that in mainstream media, no. Sure the information is there somewhere, but only if you look really hard and genuinely want to learn about it.
Out of curiosity I did manage to find one semi positive article about mental health today, hidden within the yahoo news. The link is here: https://www.yahoo.com/health/study-finds-1-in-5-americans-lives-with-a-mental-103153362632.html
At this point all I can do is continue to avoid and not support the vile crap that calls its self “news.” Perhaps one day society will take a step back and ask: what benefits are we really getting out of this skewed information? Are we better people for knowing it? Are we making positive changes as a result?
In the meantime, those of us with diagnosed mental illness will go ahead and continue to lead our boring non-newsworthy lives.