Square eyes, altered states

televisions.jpgThe Anxiety, Addiction and Depression Treatments blog has a thoughtful piece on the increasing trend for people with serious mental health concerns being chosen as participants in reality television shows.

Recently, several mental health charities have criticised the UK Big Brother after a contestant threatened to kill themselves on air, and left the show shortly after.

Participants with mental health difficulties have also featured on mainstream US shows, and the article argues that producers are more concerned with having dramatic ‘characters’ in their show than they are about the mental health of participants.

The article is an incisive analysis of mental illness on reality TV at a time when such concerns have become widely debated.

Link to article ‘Reality Corrupted’.

3 thoughts on “Square eyes, altered states”

  1. I tend to think the effects of television on the mentally ill (and even those not mentally ill) is under rated. People are so pushed to look for “drama” on the screen, and with reality shows, to expect drama in their own lives as well. I don’t think most mentally ill patients can really handle a lot of drama, and need to learn to keep it on the screen (or the page) and not expect their lives to be that way.
    I look back on a lot of the things that happened when I was undiagnosed bipolar, and really see how much drama I was adding to my life – these days, I keep the TV off mostly and avoid highly dramatic shows.

  2. Talking about reality TV, here’s a very interesting analysis on the issue… It takes a multi-perspective approach to understand the motives of media businesses, contestants, and the tv audience…
    It’s titled “Media Analysis: Reality Game – Understanding the dynamics, and predicting the future of Reality Shows – Part 1 (understanding the dynamics)”…
    Clicking on my name will take you to the article, enjoy!

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