Event Title

"This is what crazy looks like" Instagram and mental health narratives

Location

Bobo Room, Hodgin Hall, Third Floor

Start Date

8-11-2017 10:45 AM

End Date

8-11-2017 11:45 AM

Description

The media plays an important and powerful role in culture and society. It aids in the formulation and development of an individual’s perspective on social, cultural, political, personal, economic issues. Numerous studies have shown that the media has produced and perpetuated distorted images of mental illness and the mentally ill as peculiar and different but also as dangerous through inaccuracies, exaggerations, or misinformation. Negative social attitudes toward those suffering from psychiatric disorders that originate from misperceptions and stigmas are an important social and mental health problem. Negative attitudes towards individuals with mental disorders inhibit social integration, positive self image and cause individuals to refrain from seeking treatment when they experience symptoms. One way to promote positive mental health outcomes is the presence of alternative narratives in the media. Research has illustrated the positive aspects for individuals who belong to stigmatized and marginalized groups, to create their own narrative. Social media can facilitate the presentation and dissemination of these narratives. A thematic analysis was conducted of public Instagram accounts of seventeen individuals who disclosed a serious mental illness. Through this analysis three types of narratives are identified: hope, journey, and anguish. Implications of the findings are discussed as they apply to stigma; stereotype, health promotion, and social support are discussed.

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Nov 8th, 10:45 AM Nov 8th, 11:45 AM

"This is what crazy looks like" Instagram and mental health narratives

Bobo Room, Hodgin Hall, Third Floor

The media plays an important and powerful role in culture and society. It aids in the formulation and development of an individual’s perspective on social, cultural, political, personal, economic issues. Numerous studies have shown that the media has produced and perpetuated distorted images of mental illness and the mentally ill as peculiar and different but also as dangerous through inaccuracies, exaggerations, or misinformation. Negative social attitudes toward those suffering from psychiatric disorders that originate from misperceptions and stigmas are an important social and mental health problem. Negative attitudes towards individuals with mental disorders inhibit social integration, positive self image and cause individuals to refrain from seeking treatment when they experience symptoms. One way to promote positive mental health outcomes is the presence of alternative narratives in the media. Research has illustrated the positive aspects for individuals who belong to stigmatized and marginalized groups, to create their own narrative. Social media can facilitate the presentation and dissemination of these narratives. A thematic analysis was conducted of public Instagram accounts of seventeen individuals who disclosed a serious mental illness. Through this analysis three types of narratives are identified: hope, journey, and anguish. Implications of the findings are discussed as they apply to stigma; stereotype, health promotion, and social support are discussed.