Co-Host Jacob wrote a powerful and moving statement about our most recent episode about heroes, villains, and mental illness, that we wanted to share with you all.
On this edition of the Superhero Ethics podcast, Matthew and I discuss the portrayal of mental illness in popular media, including how it differs between our heroes and our villains and also what we like and dislike about more-recent popular cinematic portrayals, and how it can sometimes contribute unhealthily to the stigma people with these issues have to confront in our society.
Talking about mental illness is always hard for me. Anxiety and depression specifically are problems I have fought with for almost my entire life, it seems. I was depressed to the point of having thoughts of suicide in high school, and received therapy and medication as a result. All the while I was ashamed that I appeared to need this when so many of my peers did not. I saw it as a sign of weakness, and I am confident others did as well.
And then I thought I would somehow be “cured” after a time. But that did not really happen either, not is that a realistic picture of how this works. I stopped taking my medicine because I was convinced I should not need it and it was not making me better. It is some small miracle I came out of that situation alive, given my choices.
It is not weakness to acknowledge your problems. It takes courage and strength to do so. And it takes even more than that to seek help from others when you need it, and to accept that help when it is given. I urge anyone struggling similarly to not feel shame in your problems.
You can listen to the episode by clicking above or by right clicking and hitting save as. Thank you all for your support.