There's a new show coming to television on May 26th called, Mental. When I heard this I thought maybe someone finally figured out a way to depict the reality of the mental health system and bring some much needed publicity to a subject that people don't like to talk about until it effects them or their loved ones. And then most be people won't talk much because of the stigma associated with mental illness.
Typically, and too often the news focuses on the horror stories and not the day to day courageous struggles and triumphs of people coping with the challenges of invisible demons that can make life miserable. (I encourage you to visit http://www.ocfoundation.org/ and meet some real heros and heroines. Check out the Organized Chaos website where you can learn a lot from teens and young adults).
Monk is probably the best show I can think of that tackles the challenges of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Yet the people dealing with OCD don't always do as well as Adrian Monk. The torturous thoughts that plague some people aren't laughable, but laughter can help us feel better. More shows like Monk might make it easier to discuss other mental disorders as easily as headaches and back pain. That's one way we can help fight stigma.
The New Yorker's, Nancy Franklin, reviews 'Mental' at this link: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/television/2009/05/25/090525crte_television_franklin
If she's right, then a great opportunity was missed to make a difference. If you get a chance, watch it, and see what you think. Maybe there's still hope.
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