September 22, 2012
Films rarely broach the subject of mental illness, as it relates to families, due to its somber nature. This film, The Beaver (2011) provides the viewer with insight into the topic of mental illness as it identifies the various areas of life affected and the depth of the life altering changes. There has long been a stigma regarding depression. The general public often believes the person suffering from depression is doing so by choice; the person could “snap out of it” if they really wanted to. The general public is often confused about the difference between feeling sad and feeling depressed. The film views the topic of depression outside the boundaries of the typical clinical definition. In this film the character suffering from depression portrays symptoms of mania with an elevated and expansive mood throughout the film. This portrayal misinforms the viewer regarding the characteristics of depression. They are led to believe symptoms of depression are as severe as the symptoms of a person experiencing mania. This misconception could lead the general public into viewing depression more negatively. As a result of the incongruence between the film and the actual manifestations experienced by a person diagnosed with depression, the film perpetuates the negative stigma of depression. Informs Nursing Practice
Mood disorders are prevalent among patients in the healthcare field and nurses must be aware of the common symptoms associated with these disorders in order to better care for patients. Depression, as defined in Townsend (2009), is “An alteration in mood that is expressed by feelings of sadness, despair, and pessimism. There is a loss of interest in usual activities and changes in appetite and sleep patterns are common” (p. 520). Although this film does not correctly recognize the true definition of depression, it brings about the reality that mood disorders can...