1. The film that I chose, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, really spoke to me about the issue of social deviance being categorized as mental illness. We all know someone who is “just a bit different” and can be disruptive or inflammatory. The question then becomes: “What constitutes mental illness?” Why are today’s jails so filled with people who need mental health assistance? Is criminal behavior a by-product of mental disease? Conversely, is mental disease the result of incarceration stress?
2. One of the other main themes in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is power and control. Over the last several weeks we have talked about asylums and the abuse of mentally ill patients. When does exercising control for the good of the patient and facility transition into abuse? Mental patients have been abused for centuries. Do you think we will ever reach a global humanitarian mindset that is more sympathetic and protective of the mentally ill? Even if the mentally ill person is combative or dangerous?
Submitted by Bonnie Akkerman I pledge…
1. One of the major topics in Spinning Out (2019) is the fear of losing your friends and place in society if your condition is found out. Do you think that this fear is justified in our society or is it just a way to build up drama in a TV show?
2. Spinning Out shows a figure skater as she deals with the up and downs of living and competing with a mental health disorder. The show depicts the difficulties of being an athlete who feels like she cannot truly compete because of her condition. What are your thoughts on how mental health is discussed and treated in the professional athlete world?
Submitted by Audrey Schroeder. I pledge…
1) One major theme of AHS: Asylum was the fact that Dr. Arden’s research was kept secret from nearly everyone in the asylum. They knew he was a research doctor but did not know the extent to which his research on these patients went. Do you think that can be a realistic event in other asylums during or before the 1960s?
2) Why is it so common for shows and movies to dramatize events for the viewers? Why do you think the audience wants a more intense story than what really happened?
3) The show also talks a bit about Briarcliff in the modern day (2012 when this show was released) and makes a big deal about the now abandoned asylum being haunted. While AHS is known for making things scary – why do you think asylums today are associated with being haunted and having terrible histories even if they were effective in their treatments?
4) How were the criminally insane really treated/how are they treated today? Submitted by Mallory Karnei (I pledge…)
1. For my film The Snake Pit, the the methods and ideas of Freud are seen as in some ways the solution for all problems mentally if given enough time. Knowing what we know in the modern knowledge of Mental Health can we really view this Freudian idea mixed with in some cases effective drug treatments as seen in the film as something vastly different from what we do today?
2. The Snake Pit places the “good guy” psychiatrist Dr. Kik as almost the very model of the ideal psychiatrist. With him being close to and getting to know all of his patients and trying to get them to only leave the asylum when they are cured of their mental illness. Is the idea that Dr. Kik represents the ideal thought of what a psychiatrist is in 1940s America? Or was he as when compared to his colleagues meant to be the impossible standard that was needed but not met?
Submitted by Parker Siebenschuh I Pledge….
1.) The film that I chose was Black Swan, featuring Natalie Portman. I chose the movie because it provides an example of how society's harsh expectations can lead one into insanity. My question for the film is this; how do you think society drives women mentally over the edge>
2.) The character, Nina, consistently aims for perfection throughout the movie; do you think this is an example of a pre-existing mental concern amplified by society, or something that is implemented into her mind over time?
Submitted by Erica Banks. I pledge…