Research log – Ted talks

Research log

Representations of mental illness in media: are they represented well, is the representation accurate? How damaging are they?

Violent, dangerous and unpredictable. An exploration into damaging representations of mental illness.

Girl, Interrupted

Donnie Darko



Shutter Island

The Machinist

12 Monkeys

wonderland (series premiering at 2000 , cancelled because of dwindling ratings and heavy criticism from mental health groups (though it was brought back in January 2009)

Alice in Wonderland

Jessica jones – PTSD


  1. – Book –

2014- Hogrefe publishing

This book is useful to my research, because it talks about the stigma behind mental health and how films can boost that stigma and what films use the stigma and enhance it.

2. – website –  – By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. – 04 Dec 2016

This website is useful because it explains in depth some of the few mental disorders that can be seen in films and also some in depth common misconceptions to mental health films provide

3. – Film – 

Wristcutters  – Wristcutters is a film that doesn’t make mental illness seem dangerous and scary and it is a love story about people who commit suicide  I might use this as an example of how films use mental health and suicide in a light hearted way. –  Initial releaseNovember 2, 2007 – Goran Dukić

4.  – Book – 

Oxford. I will use this text to learn about a few films and how they portray mental illness, this text has  few examples and explains how they portray mental health in depth, i can use these for examples in my speech.

5. – Website –

In this text I will use certain quotes such as – “Studies show that not only are individuals with mental illness less likely to commit violent crimes, they’re actually more likely to be victimized. Still, Wahl points out, many news outlets conflate mental illness with violence. A common news account of mental illness, for instance, involves a sensationalized and violent crime in which an innocent person is killed by a mental health patient. The article is laced with graphic descriptions, emotional diction and a glaring headline. It also depicts the mentally ill person as devoid of social identity and dangerous, capricious, aggressive and irrational.” there are plenty more quotes like this, they are great

6.     – Book –  

 This book has many great quotes such as “As a visual medium, film provides a number of mental health representations that cover the whole spectrum from sensitive and subtle through to the insensitive and grossly exaggerated. It is the latter type that depiction, though that creates the greater impact which is more memorable for viewers” I will use this quote as it describes the impact of using the darker side of mental  health


This isn’t a particularly useful source for me to use, i will probably not use this in my talk, even though it has some useful parts but not as much as the other  ones, this book isn’t as useful therefor  i won’t use it.

8. – Film –

Girl Interrupted

This film is a great representation of many different mental health disorders I will use this to express how it represents mental health on an extreme scale. It shows Eating Disorders, Suicide, Depression, Mania and many more. I will use this in a comparison with films such as its kind of a funny story and the series Touch.

9. – Film –

Donnie Darko

 This film is along the same lines as Girl Interrupted, it shows mental health in a negative light, it is a dark representation on mental health. It explores psychosis, schizophrenia, Daylight Hallucinations and the dangers they uncover, I will use this as a prime example of   a incorrect way of thinking mental health is in real life.

10. – Film –

Its Kind Of A Funny Story

This film is a great example of a pleasent representation of mental health, every charecter in the hospital has some sort of disorder. This film is great because we meet  a lot of different people who have different disorders and function as regular people, we see that even with a Mental health disorder you are normal and just like everybody else, I will use this as a comparison example in my talk.

11. – film –

One flew over the cuckoos nest

(I have yet to watch this, but I will use it as its said to be one of the few old movies that show mental illness very strongly )

12. – Series –


This series isnt 100% about mental illness for it is mainly about autism but it is played as a sort of super power, showing mental illness in a superpower light, so i’m going to be discussing this and also use the way that people around him react to how he is and how they act around him, i will use this to describe the stigmas around mental illness.

13. – Series –

Wonderland (2000 version)

In this scene you can clearly see  the charecters in this programme shows clear signs of  mental health issues and severe mental struggles.I will use this scene as a comparison to real life, and to the other films i have watched and other series’s I am going to be using this scene in particular.


14. Website

15 .

These websites tells me a list of different films that are more light hearted and on mental illness I will use these in my talk because the lists of films are very useful for my research I need to know what films are about what, how popular they are etc.





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