Mental Illness in Popular Culture

Mental Illness in Popular Culture

by Sharon Packer MD (Editor)
Mental Illness in Popular Culture

Mental Illness in Popular Culture

by Sharon Packer MD (Editor)


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Mental health professionals and advocates typically point a finger at pop culture for sensationalizing and stigmatizing mental illness, perpetuating stereotypes, and capitalizing on the increased anxiety that invariably follows mass shootings at schools, military bases, or workplaces; on public transportation; or at large public gatherings. While drugs or street gangs were once most often blamed for public violence, the upswing of psychotic perpetrators casts a harsher light on mental illness and commands media's attention. What aspects of popular culture could play a role in mental health across the nation? How accurate and influential are the various media representations of mental illness? Or are there unsung positive portrayals of mental illness?

This standout work on the intersections of pop culture and mental illness brings informed perspectives and necessary context to the myriad topics within these important, timely, and controversial issues. Divided into five sections, the book covers movies; television; popular literature, encompassing novels, poetry, and memoirs; the visual arts, such as fine art, video games, comics, and graphic novels; and popular music, addressing lyrics and musicians' lives. Some of the essays reference multiple media, such as a filmic adaptation of a memoir or a video game adaptation of a story or characters that were originally in comics. With roughly 20 percent of U.S. citizens taking psychotropic prescriptions or carrying a psychiatric diagnosis, this timely topic is relevant to far more individuals than many people would admit.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440843891
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/24/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 364
File size: 841 KB

About the Author

Sharon Packer, MD, is a practicing psychiatrist and psychopharmacologist and an assistant professor of psychiatry.

Table of Contents

Introduction Sharon Packer, MD ix

Part 1 Cinema: The Big Screen 1

Chapter 1 Psychoanalytic Renditions and Film Noir Traditions Rosa JH Berland 3

Chapter 2 The Meme of Escaped (Male) Mental Patients in American Horror Films Jeffrey Bullins 13

Chapter 3 Filming Hallucinations for A Beautiful Mind, Black Swan, Spider, and Take Shelter Jocelyn Dupont 23

Chapter 4 Dissociative Identity Disorder in Horror Cinema (You D.I.D.n't See That Coming) Michael Marhus 35

Chapter 5 Spirit Possession, Mental Illness, and the Movies, or What's Gotten into You? Sean Moreland 45

Chapter 6 Hitchcock: Master of Suspense and Mental Illness Mark O'Hara 55

Chapter 7 McMurphy the Trickster, Foucault, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Mark O'Hara 65

Chapter 8 "Nature Played Me a Dirty Trick": Illness vs. Tolerance in Gay-Themed Film Eric J. Sterling 77

Part 2 Television: The Small Screen 87

Chapter 9 Women's Agency as Madness: "The Yellow Wallpaper" to Penny Dreadful Laura E. Colmenero-Chilberg 89

Chapter 10 Orange Is the New Color for Mental Illness Mary L. Colavita Kate Lieb Alexis Briggie Sonal Harneja Howard L. Forman 99

Chapter 11 Suffering Soldiers and PTSD: From Saigon to Walton's Mountain Haley Gienow-McConnell 109

Chapter 12 Mirth and Mental Illness: Television Comedy and the Human Condition Kristi Rowan Humphreys 119

Chapter 13 Mentally Ill Mobsters: From Cagney's White Heat to Scarface to Bugsy and Crazy Joe Vincent LoBrutto 129

Chapter 14 How Traditional Holiday TV Movies Depict Mental Illness Martin J. Manning 137

Chapter 15 Cotard's Syndrome in True Defective, Alien Invaders, Zombies, and Pod People W. Scott Poole 147

Chapter 16 House, Monk, Dexter, and Hannibal: "Super-Powered" Mentally Ill TV Characters Lisa Spieker 159

Part 3 Novels, Poetry, Memoirs, and Short Stories 169

Chapter 17 Sanity and Perception in Philip K. Dick's Clans of the Alphane Moon Aaron Barlow 171

Chapter 18 Medea, Mothers, and Madness: Classical Culture in Popular Culture Daniel R. Fredrick 183

Chapter 19 Narratives in The Snake Pit, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, and Girl, interrupted Jessica N. Lee 193

Chapter 20 Edgar Allan Poe's Unreliable Narrators, or "Madmen Know Nothing" Caleb Puckett 205

Chapter 21 Lovecraft and "An Open Slice of Howling Fear" Eric Sandberg 213

Part 4 Comics, Art, Graphic Novels, and Video Games 223

Chapter 22 Mind Games: Representations of Madness in Video Games Shawn Fdrei 225

Chapter 23 Graphic Narratives: Bechdel's Fun Home and Forney's Marbles Nicole Eugene 233

Chapter 24 The X-Men as Metaphors: When Gayness Was Illness Mariel Freeman Lifschutz 243

Chapter 25 Arkham Asylum's Criminally Insane Inmates and Psychotic Psychiatrists Sharon Packer 253

Chapter 26 Halfworld's Loonies in Rocket Raccoon Comics-Serious or Satire? Sharon Packer 265

Chapter 27 Van Gogh and the Changing Perceptions of Mental Illness and Art E. Deidre Pribram 277

Chapter 28 From the Beats to Jean-Michel Basquiat: Cultural Madness and Mad Art Morgan Shipley 287

Chapter 29 "Autists" and Merchandising "Autistic Art" Leni Van Goidsenhoven 299

Chapter 30 Slipping into Silent Hill: Transnational Trauma Brenda S. Gardenour Walter 309

Part 5 Music, Musicians, and Musical Theater 319

Chapter 31 Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, and Generation X's Suicide Symbol Robert L. Bryant Daniel Schwartz Howard L. Forman 321

Chapter 32 Metallica, Heavy Metal, and "Suicide Music" Adam W. Darlage Paul "Hoagy" Burton 331

About the Editor and Contributors 341

Index 347

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