Madness and contemporary interpretations of mental illness
A sociological explanation defines that mental illness presents symptoms to a person to act against the norms of society, and that they then become unsuitable for society. In the 1970’s there was a change in the way psychiatry was viewed Liang was at his height of his popularity, expounding the view that psychosis had meaning. Critiques like those of Szasz and Goffman; further questioned the very concept of mental illness further questioned the very concept of mental illness and fuelled what came to be known as the anti-psychiatry movement.
Sociologist Thomas Scheft believed in many types of deviants in society, he was interested in which people broke the residual rule in society and some of these people who break this rule are the mentally ill, crazy and these labels are applied to people who would break these rules. Madness would most probably be defined in different ways and by different people, but the main basis is always the same: that madness is a form of deviance away from the norms of society. Though in society today, are we abler to judge who is mad, is it them or us.
Now, in the 21st century, if someone were to blame their illness on a witch or curse they would be deemed as being ‘mad’. As with a historical look at madness the most probable noted author for writing about the subject of madness is Shakespeare, with his play Hamlet. Polonius tries to explain to the king that he sees the kings son as mad, but cant actually call him mad, when asks what is wrong, he just admits sir, I think your son is mad, plain mad. And also with King Lear Shakespeare locates the origins of feigned and real madness and Lear seems to define it.
Madness is seen as a manipulative label, though madness is this country England could be determined differently than what is in say ancient Greece. Our contemporary images of mental illness come from really second views; unless we actually experience mental illness for ourselves we have to take someone else’s word for the condition mental illness and its representations in society. Our own images and beliefs of mental illness are derived from other people’s own images of what mental illness is, and we always seem to link it towards the movies and it definitions of mentality.
The stigma of mental illness is linked from fear, a fear that society has growing inside of it all the time, from our probable attempts to control this fear. Certain themes appear such as mockery, horror, and false explanation as we see in the contemporary images of mental illness. Byrne and Clare explain that in the movies, it is either love or a sudden cathartic surge of some other emotion that provides the quick and simplistic cure, rather than the cinematic images. Madness is usually depicted as something that happens to someone else, and normally behind the closed doors of an asylum.
The images of mental illness in society, coming under the headings of Psychology have never been as popular as it is today. There is no doubt that the imagery of metal illness will leave a lasting mark on the individual and how we view them in society. The media creates in terms of contemporary images of mental illness images that we will never forget in film, television and even book. They show to us that in modern day mental illness has a tragic and frail side to us and that is all we ever see in the media.
The representations of mental persons have been ever radiant though in the media force of the big screen. The comedy image of a mentally ill person, seen as distracted and invariatably amusing, a product of narcissism has showed this. Though they also show the common representation of a mental person as an ill and pathetic person that is struggling to come to terms with the society that they live in. , the society that is persecuting them and has become too cruel for them too live in.
In 1990’s well the decade of the 90’s representations of mental illness was in plentiful supply film and in particular the humour genre of the movie, we see films like Crazy People(1990) the main star (Dudley Moore) is brought to an Asylum because of his strange behaviour is causing his friends concern. He sees images and behaviours of comic lunacy, the team playing volleyball with no ball, he falls in love and the ending gives the love conquerors all side. He played a stereotypical inpatient, distracted and dishevelled in society.
There are other films like, The Dream Team(1989), Loose Cannons(1990) and What about Bob(1991). When looking at the images presented to us of the satire of mental illness, when does the humour become part of the stigmatization, there needs to be a drawn line between the objections and the stigmatizing portrayals, the stigma has existed for centuries and these films are only imposing on this stigmatization. Most probably the best viewings of mentally ill persons is through the usage of films like the psychological killer movies, these movies seen to be satirizing themselves in the horror genre of the movie industry.
This decade began with acclaim for the movie Silence of the Lambs(1990), a psychological thriller, which turns of the fact that the crazed genius, Dr. Lector knows the killer (buffalo Bill) personally. Films like, Basket Case 2, Childs Play 2, Friday 13th:8, Manic Cop 2 were all released in the early 90’s making it a good year for these movies and a good film showing the representations of a person suffering from schizophrenia was the film Shaven(1993) and the British film Butterfly Kiss(1994) portrays a woman suffering from schizophrenia and a hybrid of British social Realism.
With these films it has portrayed them as mentally ill but it has failed to show the fragile side to mental health. There are fewer examples of the portrayal of mental illness in society it is seen as a product of narcissism. Goldberg draws on one idea for our view and looks at the images of mental health he views that if someone is to treat them mentally ill in the future, they should be part social worker, part nurse, part psychiatrist.