Making Mental Illness An A-List Topic: Stars Are Coming Forward And TV shows And films Are Dealing With The Once-Shameful issue

By Libby Hill
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Katrina Gay, the director of communications for “NAMI”, “the National Alliance on Mental Health” says she believes that the growing transparency regarding mental illness among public figures has three key facets: the rise of social media, authenticity and healing.

Los Angeles Times

From stars talking about their own struggles with mental health to TV shows and films dealing frankly with disorders such as depression, it seems that pop culture is actively engaging in the messy realities of psychological problems.

In the past, mental disorders were often depicted by Hollywood as an affliction dealt with in horrific ways in Gothic mental hospitals. But more recently, films such as the Oscar-winning “Silver Linings Playbook” and TV series such as the acclaimed FXX comedy “You’re the Worst” treat these as everyday real-life situations that are best handled with heart and humor.

Stephen Falk, creator and show runner of FXX’s “You’re the Worst,” a comedy about the relationships of four maladjusted Los Angeles thirtysomethings, found that doing a story line on depression taught him some surprising things.

“I couldn’t believe how widespread it is,” Falk said, “and how often suicidal thoughts come into play.”

But the conversation is spreading beyond fictional realms, with celebrities increasingly opening up about their own mental health issues.

Bruce Springsteen revealed a lifelong struggle with depression in his recent autobiography “Born to Run.”

Describing the struggles that would revisit him throughout his life, Springsteen wrote of “a sea of fear and depression so vast I hadn’t begun to contemplate it, much less consider what I should do about it.”

Actress-singer Demi Lovato shared her battle with bipolar disorder, and “Nashville” star Hayden Panettiere discussed her experiences with post-partum depression.

Most recently, hip-hop artist Kid Cudi, who has been open about grappling with depression and anxiety in the past, posted a message on his Facebook feed Oct. 4 informing fans that he had checked himself into rehab for treatment of depression and suicidal thoughts.

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