So I follow NAMI on Facebook. For the most part, NAMI does an excellent job at advocating for the rights of the mentally ill, but this article just made my blood boil.
Oh, goodie. There are going to be Lifetime movies about mentally ill people. This just… ugh, makes me feel sick. As I replied to their post,
“I’m not sure how I feel about this. As someone living with bipolar disorder, it irritates me that it’s being acted out- there are plenty of actors and actresses who live with mental illness, and there are plenty of normal, everyday people who live with mental illness. Why aren’t their stories being told, instead of what are surely sanitized versions? And ‘Call Me Crazy’? Really?”
Off the top of my head, I can think of several actors and actresses who have a mental illness. Carrie Fisher, for one, struggles with bipolar disorder. She was my favorite actress as a kid, as my mom’s maiden name is Carrie Fisher, and I am an unapologetic nerd, and once I found out she had bipolar disorder I felt even more of a kinship. There are REAL people living REAL lives in the grips of mental illness, and doing great or okay or not so okay or terrible, every single day, and they can’t even hire actors and actresses who KNOW this struggle inside and out to act in it.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe one of the other four characters is an actor or actress with a mental illness, but I’d like to hope that NAMI would’ve interviewed them, instead. I think it’s great that this actress is involved in Love is Louder, and that she did her homework (which, did you notice, she had from a Thursday to a Monday to do her research before they started filming? FOUR DAYS? She became an expert on schizophrenia in FOUR DAYS?)
I just… ugh. This whole thing just makes me feel ill. Like it’s so awful to live with a mental illness that they didn’t even hire people who HAVE mental illnesses to actually portray people with mental illnesses. All to “raise awareness.” Let me tell you, I have had plenty of “raising awareness” of things these days. I’d much rather we actually ADDRESSED them, and the stigma that comes with it.