Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Can Writers Make Our World a Better Place? What's Your Perception?
Eric McCormack is currently playing a paranoid schizophrenic in a new crime drama called, Perception. It aired for the first time on Monday, July 9th. I'm hoping that it will make a difference for the many people who suffer with any kind of mental illness. One of my concerns with Dr. Daniel Pierce is that he's not on his medication. Typically not a good thing for anyone with Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia: What You Need To Know According to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), "Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects 2.4 million American adults over the age of 18.) You can learn more here about Schizophrenia
Family members do the best they can in most situations where someone is mentally ill, but they can't always control their loved ones and suffer right along with them. Perception can have a positive impact if they handle situations appropriately. The show could make progress against the stigma of mental illness and provide education. I hope they don't blow this. I think some viewers think that it may already be too late because of the medication issue, but perhaps that's coming later. I think the story of John Nash and the book and movie, A Beautiful Mind portrayed this illness in an incredible way.
I do think Monk had an impact on making television audiences more aware of what it's like to live with obsessive compulsive disorder. Adrian Monk, played by actor Tony Shalhoub won a few Emmy's and a Golden Globe for his efforts. This type of show makes talking about mental health issues a little easier for the general public and that's important.The more we discuss these illnesses the more hope there is of finding a cure and getting those to treatment that perhaps have been afraid to go. I even found this article on WebMD when Monk aired its 100th episode.
I write historical romance with a heavy mystery/suspense component for several reasons:
1) I love it! It keeps me sane in a world gone bonkers.
2) I want to bring to life the history of mental illness and perhaps how we can continue to learn and grow and understand better how to find a cure for this obstinate and debilitating disease of the mind.
3) I hope the novels I write make a difference to help destroy the stigma of mental illness and encourage others to do likewise. How many people living today can say they've never suffered from at least some mild depression? Sir Winston Churchhill called depression his black dog.
"I don't like standing near the edge of a platform when an express train is passing through. I like to stand right back and if possible get a pillar between me and the train. I don't like to stand by the side of a ship and look down into the water. A second's action would end everything. A few drops of desperation." - Winston Churchill (1874-1965)
If you think the treatment of mental health has changed tremendously in the last couple hundred years, it has, and it hasn't. Yes, we have more medications that work for some and don't work for others. Yes, we have hospitals but not everyone has insurance and not everyone gets the best care in these facilities. Some are excellent and some not so good. Schizophrenia Survey
So what's your perception on the new show, Perception? Why do you write what you write? Have you ever wished you could change the world? Maybe that's just delusional thinking.