‘Mr. Robot’ Exemplifies Desperate Need for Mental Health Awareness

Mr. Robot’s second season just recently began, putting the main character–Elliot, a hacker with serious mental health issues–back in the spotlight. Mr. Robot is a clear example of the need for mental health awareness in our society. Yes, it’s just a television show, but the way Elliot, his sister, and his friends react to his mental health struggles is something that happens often in the real world. Mental health awareness is dreadfully important and shows like Mr. Robot are bringing attention to the intense struggles of living with an untreated mental illness.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Elliot’s views on mental illness

Elliot is constantly thinking, “I’m insane.” He has difficulty discerning between what’s reality and what’s not. He grapples with crushing loneliness, social anxiety, memory loss, and paranoia–he even sees and interacts with an illusion of his dead father. Yet, instead of conveying this to his psychiatrist, he keeps it in, says he’s fine, and self-medicates. Though Elliot is a fictional character, his struggles are familiar to those who battle mental illness.

Many believe it’s embarrassing to have a mental illness, that they’ll be a burden if they reach out for help, that they can take care of themselves–this is all wrong. Around 1 in 5 youth (13 to 18 years old) and nearly 1 in 5 adults will deal with a diagnosable mental disorder at some point. Mental illness isn’t uncommon, but it’s looked at as something rare and life-ruining.

Elliot believes he can’t reach out and no one can help him, but it’s clearly shown he has friends and family that care deeply for his wellbeing. The stigma against mental illnesses is keeping those suffering from seeking out the treatment they need.

Mental health awareness can help individuals like Elliot

The lack of mental health awareness is acting as a barrier between individuals suffering from mental illness and treatment. The treatment is there for them, but society isn’t. The mental illness stigma tells them if they admit to the world that they have a mental illness, they’re banned from excelling in life.

With further mental health awareness, those struggling with mental illnesses will feel more comfortable coming forward. The negative connotations attached to mental health issues derive from a lack of understanding, but with education and mental health awareness, this could dramatically change.

Support and encouragement go a long way–it can make the difference between someone with depression reaching out for treatment or trying to quietly “live with it.”

Elevations RTC can help

Elevations RTC is a leading residential treatment center for teens, ages 13 to 18, grappling with anxiety, depression, substance use, and other emotional or behavioral issues. We strive to help each student succeed and move towards a bright future.

For more information about how Elevations RTC helps struggling teens, please call today!

Photo Credit: flickr user/NRKbeta

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