Media portrayals of mental institutions and mental health drive me to frustration and distraction. Recently my husband and I were watching season 1 of the Magicians. There are several references to mental health, psychiatric medications, and mental health hospitalization. There are a lot of stereotypes when it comes to these scenarios.
This particular show had over medication, straight jackets, ECT, and dismissive staff members. As a social worker who works in a hospital, with mental health patients, who refers people to psychiatric facilities. Also as a family member to several people who have ended up in mental health institutions, mental health hospitalization does not look like this anymore.
Yes some diagnosis benefit from ECT, but it is not just used on anyone, and other methods are tried first.
We do not use straight jackets anymore.
Family members can visit patients especially for family therapy sessions.
Staff are typically open and understanding of mental health.
In addition to Magicians, I have seen this stereotype play out in Gothicka, United States of Tara, and several other shows/movies. It does not help those who really need help. Instead of asking for help those with mental illness hide their symptoms due to stigma.
Please help break the stigma, mental health hospitalization is not a joke or plot point.