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Extra Credit Assignment: Depression Psychology Essay (Essay Sample)


Junior Writing: Extra Credit Assignment
The following is an excerpt from the U.S. News and World Report:
“Unless you majored in psychology or attended medical school, chances are the bulk of your knowledge about mental illness comes from the newspapers you read, the television shows you watch and the movies you see. Studies indicate that mass media is one of the public’s primary sources of information about disorders such as bipolar, schizophrenia and depression. The catch? Research also suggests most media portrayals of mental illness are stereotypical, negative or flat-out wrong – meaning many people gain an unfavorable or inaccurate view of those with psychological disorders simply by skimming a few sentences or picking up a remote control. “The worst stereotypes come out in such depictions: mentally ill individuals as incompetent, dangerous, slovenly, undeserving,” says Stephen Hinshaw, a professor of psychology at the University of California–Berkeley. “The portrayals serve to distance 'them' from the rest of 'us.'”
1. In 1-2 good paragraphs respond to the quote above. What do you think about these statements? How has your opinion changed over the course of this class?
2. Find a current example of how mental health has been misrepresented in the media (e.g., a newspaper article, TV show, film character, etc.). Write 2 pages (double-spaced) describing how a particular disorder or mental health in general has been inaccurately portrayed. Use your knowledge of the DSM-5 and the diagnosis of mental disorders to support your stance. Things to consider including: Why is this a misrepresentation? How would common folks (e.g., not psychology majors) interpret what has been presented? How could the article/character/scene been portrayed in a way that would have been consistent with how science conceptualizes mental health?
Be sure to indicate the media source (article, TV show, film, etc.) somewhere in your response.
Length: 2 pages
Possible Points: 10 extra credit points


Extra Credit Assignment: Depression
Student’s Name
Thoughts on the statements
These statements are highly true since many people in the society have many reservations and negative views concerning mental illness. It is profoundly clear that most people have such perceptions due to the manner that the mass media highlights individuals mentally as incompetent, dangerous and highly undeserving. Such views have been imbued in most people since they do not understand deeply concerning issues such as depression, schizophrenia and people normally fear or distance themselves from such issues since they do not comprehend these mental illnesses.
Additionally, the mass media’s unfavorable representation does not help this issue adequately. This is because most of these psychological disorders can be managed effectively once the proper information is known. This class has changed my whole viewpoint concerning mental illness. I have become more empathetic and interested in how such illnesses affect the afflicted individual, their families and how the society can handle these illnesses properly.

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