Saturday, November 22, 2008

How mad are you?

The psych central blog recently posted about a new UK reality show (some articles call it a science documentary) which aired this month called, "How mad are you?" The show has 3 psychological experts who watch 10 participants complete various tasks, like perform stand-up comedy, play paintball, analyze stretched out photos of themselves, clean out a cowshed, and other tests over a series of days. Then, they are asked to identify 5 who have been diagnosed with a mental illness--anorexia, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar, depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia.

According to the Kent News paper, the show has sparked controversy in the UK with criticism that the format was "cheap and nasty," as well as not "classy." However, others, like the UK Charity Mind felt the show "
encouraged viewers to re-examine their preconceptions about mental health and any stereotypes they may hold about individuals with experience of mental distress"

I have not seen this show, so I cannot comment on my opinion. However, I think the concept behind the show is a good one and certainly could be educational, especially since it is for a lay audience. The title is a bit off-putting, but I guess there must be something to draw viewers to watch.

What do you think? Is this a good way of spreading the awareness about mental illness stereotypes? If any have watched the show, what was your opinion of it?

This article in the BBC also discusses the show and has a few clips.


Anonymous said...

The idea was a good one, but it wasn't done well. I only watched half of the first episode, I got bored pretty quickly. I think they could have made it a lot better, but I suppose they were bound by a lot of red tape.

However, I may be slightly biased towards the whole concept as I tend to sit on the fence with regards to the profession of psychiatry. I believe that the field has a lot of value, but do tend to dislike the analysis of someones personality, an analysis which seems to "Look for flaws", and then apply labels to them.

Basically, you didn't miss much!

Lola x

Gaining Back My Life said...

Provoking to hear your thoughts, Lola, as it sounded like an interesting idea to me. I hadn't thought of the concept of "Look for Flaws" and then apply labels.

But I guess that's what we all tend to do sometimes.
Regardless, I might look into it online. It's rather fascinating to me.

Tiptoe said...

Lola, thanks for giving me a review. I agree with you about the label thing. I think in one article they mentioned that they were to look for mental illnesses like anorexia, OCD, schizophrenia, etc.

I think these kind of shows are difficult to do, but I was hoping this one maybe gave people thought about how they view those with mental illnesses. Oh well.