Movies & Madness explores the ways people with mental illnesses and psychological disorders as well as those who provide treatment to those people have been presented in feature films. Film, like other forms of media, has a powerful impact on culture informing and mirroring our feelings, thoughts and actions as individuals. The course examines the issue of stigmatization and marginalization of people with mental illness as a social problem exacerbated by misleading and negative images presented in the mass media. The course also provides very basic information about psychological disorders, the mental health system, and various treatment approaches.
Objectives of the Course:
To be able to critically evaluate depictions of people with mental illnesses and psychological disorders in feature films.
To be able to critically evaluate depictions of mental health professionals and the treatment of psychologicaldisorders in feature films.
To develop a sophisticated understanding of the impact of inaccurate and negative images of mental illnesses and their treatment on individuals and the culture as a whole.
To learn basic information about psychological disorders and their treatment that is both accurate and useful.
Given that most people in American culture learn about mental illness and psychological disorders from the mass media, most of what they know is inaccurate and stereotyped. This leads to the further stigmatization and marginalization of people with mental illnesses and causes such people to be negatively impacted in a variety of ways. In addition, negative and/or misinformed attitudes about mental illness leaves people vulnerable to neglecting their own mental health needs and the needs of those around them. This course will be an attempt to address these issues.