Mind over Matter, Money over Mind

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One in seventeen people in America live with a serious mental illnesses. The film industry, for a very long time, has been obsessed with movies about the supernatural and evil, and have in the process managed to commodify people with mental illness. Paranormal Activity 1, 2, and 3, Jennifer’s Body, Orphan, Push and Minority Report, just to name a few, are all movies that in one way or another objectify people with a mental illness and the traits pertaining to it. Take the movie Push for example, it objectifies the traits of a mental disorder known as psychosis. It is a very serious mental disorder, and sickeningly common, effecting every three in one-hundred people. Psychosis effects the way that a person experiences and reacts to emotions, and can cause people to feel pain that is not there and not being inflicted on them. This same trait is present in one of the main characters in Push, who is a “watcher.” She has the ability to see things before they happen and feel others’ pain. The movie Push made $44,411,527 at the box office and $16,878,589 in DVD sales, while in the past few years over a billion dollars has been cut from mental health services. I believe that the film industry should not be objectifying and commodifying people with mental illnesses and their traits at the same place time that the government is cutting massive amounts of funding for programs that would actually help real people who are currently suffering from these disorders and their effects.

Four of the most serious and most diagnosable mental disorders, are also some of the ones that get used the most in movies. These four disorders are: depersonalization disorder, psychosis, identity disorder and OCD. One percent of the population of America suffers from depersonalization disorder. This state causes a person to experience periods of detachment from one’s self or one’s surroundings, it often leads to not recalling memories, or having thoughts of something suddenly and not...
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