When Movie Stars and the Famous Talk About Mental Health issues, the Public Greatly Benefits
Mental Illness is a disorder that can cause psychological and behavioral disturbances with varying severities. The Mayo Clinic has set forth some guidelines and descriptions of common types of these disorders. Here are a few of them.
“Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by significant feelings of anxiety and fear. Anxiety is a worry about future events, while fear is a reaction to current events.
These feelings may cause physical symptoms, such as increased heart rate and shakiness. There are several anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, specific phobia, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, panic disorder, and selective mutism. The disorder differs from what results in the symptoms. An individual may have more than one anxiety disorder.
Autism spectrum, also known as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a range of mental disorders of the neurodevelopmental type. It includes autism and Asperger syndrome. Individuals on the autistic spectrum often experience difficulties with social communication and interaction and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities. Symptoms are typically recognized between one and two years of age. Long-term problems may include difficulties in performing daily tasks, creating and keeping relationships, and maintaining a job.
Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a mental disorder characterized by periods of depression and periods of abnormally elevated mood that last from days to weeks each. If the elevated mood is severe or associated with psychosis, it is called mania; if it is less severe, it is called hypomania. During mania, an individual behaves or feels abnormally energetic, happy, or irritable, and they often make impulsive decisions with little regard for the consequences. There is usually also a reduced need for sleep during manic phases. During periods of depression, the individual may experience crying and have a negative outlook on life and poor eye contact with others. The risk of suicide is high; over a period of 20 years, 6% of those with bipolar disorder died by suicide, while 30–40% engaged in self-harm. Other mental health issues, such as anxiety disorders and substance use disorders, are commonly associated with bipolar disorder.
Major depressive disorder (MDD), also known as depression, is a mental disorder characterized by at least two weeks of pervasive low mood. Low self-esteem, loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities, low energy, and pain without a clear cause are common symptoms. Those affected may also occasionally have delusions or hallucinations. Some people have periods of depression separated by years, while others nearly always have symptoms present. Major depression is more severe and lasts longer than sadness, which is a normal part of life.
Panic attacks are sudden periods of intense fear that may include palpitations, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, numbness, or a feeling of impending doom. The maximum degree of symptoms occurs within minutes. Typically they last for about 30 minutes, but the duration can vary from seconds to hours. There may be a fear of losing control or chest pain. Panic attacks themselves are not dangerous physically.
Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD or APD) is a personality disorder characterized by a long-term pattern of disregard for, or violation of, the rights of others. A low moral sense or conscience is often apparent, as well as a history of crime, legal problems, or impulsive and aggressive behavior.”
Source: Mayo Clinic.
Movie Stars and public discourse
Of particular note is French movie star Marion Cotillard; The French movie star Cotillard, in an interview with the guardian, helped bring mental health issues to the public’s attention—an act of excellent public service.
Cotillard had starred in a movie that featured a woman with mental health issues. In preparation for the role, she researched various aspects of the illness and offered some personal perspectives.
When famous people talk about mental health matters, other people who may be experiencing such challenges benefit from such public discussions.
Check out this article where thirty-five entertainment stars opened up about their experience with various forms of mental challenges. This is a good thing.