The portrayal of mentally ill people in cinema is very negative and steotypyical and limits the self esteem of the mentally ill. Consider yourself a child who has been locked away in the wards of our state institutions. You have been told all of his life that he suffers from a mental illness. Whenever you turns on the TV or watches a movie all you hears is that the mentally-ill are violent and dangerous. .
Movies like "Halloween" and "Silence of the Lambs" will reassure you that he will forever need to be vigilant of his violent tendencies and must make every effort to stop his anti-social behavior. You must never forget to take the medications that will save you from yourself. Newspapers that demand forced hospitalization and incarceration make him tremble with fear. This is a recipe for disaster and would make the perfect plot for a horror movie about how people can become what they are constantly told that they are. .
Negative images of mental health recipients are so common that peoples perception is one of fear and paranoia. "We continue to be appalled, saddened and disgu sted by our results," laments George Gerbner, Professor of Telecommunications at Temple University and author of the Cultural Indicators Project Report. Founded 25 years ago to measure television's and movies diversity and cultural impact on the viewers, the latest study done in 1997 suggests, among other things, that the image of people labeled mentally-ill as "psychotic" and "evil people" has become deeply embedded in our popular culture. The study was based on an analysis of 6,882 speaking parts appearing in hundreds movies shows over a three year period. While there are certainly acts of violence committed by people who are labeled "mentally-ill", the percentage is so minuscule compared to acts of violence committed overall in American society. According to Special Agent George D. DeShazor Jr.