Exploiting Mental Illness In The Media

Exploiting Mental Illness In The Media

There is no doubting the influence the media has on our lives.With media comes privilege and power to change the world. It controls what billions of minds across the world are exposed to and absorb. Unfortunately, the power the media possesses is all too often used for nonsense, coercion, and brain washing. But mostly, it’s used for bullshit that is somehow passed as news. While I’m not ashamed to admit (well, maybe a little) that I’m one of the billions who have succumbed to the “news” spewed by the media that eats away at our brains like acid, I have to say that I have become quite sick of what I’m seeing.

Recently, all you find online, on the tv, in trashy tabloid magazines, and even actual legitimate newspapers is Amanda Bynes and how she’s “insane” and has “lost her mind”.

The media will jump on any and every opportunity to exploit this woman. Let me just say, I am absolutely sick by not only the coverage this has gotten, but the things that are being reported about her. Not to mention, the comments made by the public as a result of the media’s influence.

On every media outlet I’ve come across I see people making fun of Amanda Bynes, I see people retweeting and favoriting her tweets, and I see people putting in their two cents about how “crazy” she is.

I would like to remind everyone that when you’re making fun of Amanda Bynes, essentially, you’re making fun of a vulnerable human being with a severe mental illness. While the details of her mental disorder aren’t public, (and honestly they shouldn’t be because it’s not our business) it’s quite obvious she isn’t in a normal or healthy mental state.

It has gotten to the point where her disease is looked at as a joke, and every relapse she has is just her being Amanda Bynes. As a psychology major, I would like to clarify that a person isn’t their disease, nor should they be defined by it. They are themselves as individuals and just so happen to have a disease while trying to get through everyday life.  Just as all of us are. Now imagine how hard it must be to get through every day struggling with a disease as severe as hers.

For some reason, everything Amanda Bynes says or does as a direct result of her mental disorder is something to laugh at or find entertaining. With her latest twitter rant, she said several things about her father molesting and sexually assaulting her as a child. These claims were said to be false by her mother (although, we can never really know the truth can we?) and later by Amanda who said she wrote those things because the microchip in her brain made her.

Now, it doesn’t take a professional to understand that someone who could publically falsely accuse her father of sexual assault, and then blame it on a microchip in her brain isn’t mentally stable. Those tweets are actual visual proof of her disease and what it does to her mind and her detachment from reality. Yet, everyone on the internet found it hilarious and have been making jokes about the twitter rant ever since.

Just be aware that every time you favorite or retweet any of those tweets, you’re condoning making fun of someone with a mental disorder.

When Robin Williams committed suicide, while I was overwhelmed with sadness because of his death, I was also amazed with the amount of enlightenment and awareness of mental disorders that was growing as a result of his loss.

So my question is, why is one mental disorder mourned and taken seriously, while the other is made fun of? The disorders and severities may differ, but both have a profound effect on how the human functions.

Obviously, as the media has informed us all, Amanda Bynes is having great difficulty functioning. And instead of anyone reaching out or actually caring, everyone is instead making her the punch line of jokes.

News today is stalking a sick woman and making headlines of every abnormal thing she does that is a direct results of her illness, and use the occurrences for entertainment purposes.

There are hundreds of more important things happening across the globe, but instead Amanda Bynes outshines them all because people seem to care more about what “crazy” thing she’ll do next.

Worst of all, I’ve even seen jokes about her entering treatment facilities. Not for nothing, but are you kidding me? How dare someone poke fun at a sick woman going to receive treatment for her disease. That is exactly what she should be doing.

Would you make fun of a regular person with a mental disorder at all? Better yet, would you make fun of someone with cancer? Because both are diseases you have no control over getting, and both are hard to cope with. You wouldn’t make fun of them because it’s common sense that to do so would make you an awful human being. So why is it okay to exploit and laugh at Amanda Bynes?

Living life as an average person without any mental disorders is hard enough. Now imagine being the number one talked about person on all media sources because of how a disease makes you behave.

The fact of the matter is, what’s going on with Amanda Bynes is truly sad. Mostly because the world is getting full exposure to a severe mental illness, and instead of enlightening themselves, people choose to be ignorant and rude.

If one day in the future, things get bad enough that Amanda Bynes loses the battle she fights everyday with her mental illness and takes her own life, I hope you all feel very satisfied with yourselves for making fun of a sick woman.