Week 14 First Impression Prompts

Hand writing on a notebook

Here are the three prompts for this week. Regardless of which prompt you choose, use the tag “Mental Health.”

Option 1

Schizophrenia is often depicted dramatically in the media, and has been the subject of many major films like A Beautiful Mind, The Soloist, and Donnie Darko. Less frequently, however, do people get the chance to think about the daily life of someone who experiences hallucinations and delusions. Watch this video which simulates the experience of a person with schizophrenia, share your reactions, and compare this to how you typically see schizophrenia in the media.

Option 2

People often associate schizophrenia with the homeless population or mental hospitals, but rarely do we think about people who are professionally very successful. One person who is thriving despite her schizophrenia is Elyn Saks, who received her law degree from Yale and is a professor at the University of Southern California. In her TED Talk, she describes how she struggled with her disorder and was eventually able to manage her condition and take control of her life. Share your reactions to the video, discuss how her story compares to the “typical narrative” of schizophrenia, and discuss why you think she turned out differently than other people with this disorder.

Option 3

Television shows like My Strange Addiction, Intervention, True Life, and others have turned some mental illnesses into entertainment. In particular, the shows Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive showcase people with hoarding disorder trying to get their lives, homes, and relationships back in order. What do you think about this type of show? Is it ethical to do? Does it exploit people with mental illnesses? Answer these questions, then watch this clip from Hoarding: Buried Alive and share your reactions and if any of your perspectives changed. Then read the comments and again share your reactions and perspectives.

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Caitlinator
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