We're All Mad Here: Dating While Crazy

Common perceptions of mental illness and relationships suggest that mentally ill people do not belong in relationships, do not deserve love and affection, and are even dangerous to marry or get involved with. Not for nothing are undesirable prospective partners “crazy bitches,” are former partners... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: The Institution in Music Videos

The institution as a recurring theme in pop culture tells us a great deal about how people think about institutions and mental illness, and music videos in particular provide a fascinating glimpse into perceptions of institutionalization and the institution as metaphor. Assembling this post, I... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: Joanna is Mad! Isn't it Romantic?

Women whom history has deemed as “mad” play an interesting role in pop culture. Some of them are viewed as romantic figures, their stories revered and retold as tragic love. Others are viewed as passive objects, mostly used as props in men’s stories. Still others are retroactively diagnosed... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: Parenting While Crazy

One particularly interesting, troubling, and recurrent depiction of mental illness in pop culture comes up in the handling of of mentally ill or cognitively impaired parents, where the traditional parent/child roles are reversed to advance a storyline. It is notable that this often involves a... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: Case Studies in Crazy Cartoon Characters

Television stations in the US are required by FCC regulations to have a minimum of three hours a week of “educational programming” aimed at children. This actually began in the 90s, and initially television stations met the... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: Pharmaceutical Advertising and Messaging About Mental Illness

Advertising is as much a part of pop culture as deliberately created works of art. Read more »

We're All Mad Here: Crazy Ladies in <em>Batman: The Animated Series</em>

“We’re all mad here” might be the best description of almost all of the characters in Batman: The Animated Series, including the caped crusader himself. Most of the villains in Batman are super criminals with personal obsessions that drive their crime sprees well beyond the... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: <em>Sucker Punch</em> Tackles Abuse In Asylums

This post discusses abuse in asylums, including sexual assault. It discusses the history of lobotomies and describes (briefly) the procedure. It also contains spoilers for the movie Sucker Punch. I went to see Sucker Punch expecting a light piece of fluff that involved... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: Mental Illness in YA Fiction

Young adult literature features a number of depictions of mentally ill characters, from authors who both bother to do their homework and take the time to present their work well and authors who don’t seem to feel that research and sensitivity are necessary. In YA especially, depictions of... Read more »

We're All Mad Here: Case Studies in Pop Culture Therapy

“Crazy” people aren’t the only ones who are a bundle of stereotypes in popular media. We also see examples of therapists (including psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors) being presented in a very negative light. In the following examples, I highlight pop culture therapists who are... Read more »