Freudian Script: How Common Are Mental Health Problems?

Freudian Script: How Common Are Mental Health Problems?

If you've visited this blog before, you'll know I like to bang on about the accurate and sensitive portrayal of common mental health problems. You may have noticed that I don't find many good portrayals - in fact, I sometimes find it hard to find any examples at all. Mental health has a visibility problem. Is that because it's not all that common to have a mental illness? Or is it because we like to hide from things that scare us and that we find hard to understand? Of course, some mental health problems are overrepresented. If you watch enough crime drama, you might be forgiven for thinking that one-quarter of the population of New York City is a psychopath - and the other three-quarters victims. To clear things up, here are a list of mental health statistics, comparing common mental health problems that you might see in fiction to reality in the UK. I've included nods to other health problems, to give...
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Freudian Script: Emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD)

Freudian Script: Emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD)

Emotionally unstable personality disorder: balance, understanding and acceptance This week's Freudian Script concentrates on a mental health problem that is not often in the public eye. As opposed to correcting stereotypes about this condition, I will instead look at what emotionally unstable personality is, common stigma problems, portrayals in fiction, and how writers can consider the condition in their work. WARNING: This post contains discussion of self-harm, suicide and abuse. DISCLAIMER: Freudian Script discusses mental health problems for writers of fiction, to encourage accurate and sensitive portrayals. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental health problems, please seek help from a doctor. What is emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD)? Perhaps a better starting question is: what is a personality disorder?. A personality disorder is when an adult has a set of personality traits that cause problems for them in their lives. These have likely developed from difficult early life experiences and were at one time useful to help survive those situations. However, as the...
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Myths about Depression and Suicide

Myths about Depression and Suicide

Given the recent tragic death of Robin Williams and the resulting surge in media attention, I thought I would bust a few myths about depression and suicide. EDIT 13/08/14: Amended to capture some of the ugliness that the UK media vomited out this morning 1) "What did he have to be depressed about? He had everything!" / "Oh, that particular problem is why he had depression and killed himself, is it? That explains everything!" Money does not buy good health. Close, loving relationships do not cure depression. The adoration of millions is not a NICE-approved treatment for any mental health problem, including addiction and mood disorders.  Wealthy, loved and famous people still get ill. They have heart attacks, break their limbs and die of cancer. Why is it so shocking that they should also have mental health problems? Conversely, debt does not cause depression. Addiction does not lead to violence. These things can contribute to someone's illness, but depression is a disease. It is not...
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