Depictions of Mental Health Topics in Malayalam Cinema

  • Badr Ratnakaran Holy Cross Hospital and Mental Health Center, Koovappally, Kottayam.
  • Sethulakshmi Sreevalsam Anil Affiliation where work was done: Holy Cross Hospital and Mental Health Centre, Koovappally, Kottayam, Pin-686518, Current Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
  • Subin Thomas Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • Sherin Daniel Ampanattu Department of Internal Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, George, united States of America

Abstract

This article reviews and analyses the depictions of suicide, grief, stigma, mentally ill persons, and psychiatric treatments in Malayalam movies. While the portrayals of suicide, grief and stigma have been sensitively handled, some depictions of mentally ill and the methods used to treat them have been stereotypic, negative, prejudiced and inaccurate. Accurate portrayals can help patients and caregivers in understanding the processes involved in psychiatric treatment, and thus help reduce stigma and resistance to treatment. Malayalam cinema can serve as a rich resource to teach undergraduate and postgraduate medical students and paramedical professionals of the state about mental illness and related issues, and needs to be harnessed adequately for this purpose.

Author Biographies

Badr Ratnakaran, Holy Cross Hospital and Mental Health Center, Koovappally, Kottayam.
Consultant Psychiatrist
Sethulakshmi Sreevalsam Anil, Affiliation where work was done: Holy Cross Hospital and Mental Health Centre, Koovappally, Kottayam, Pin-686518, Current Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Position where work was done: Medical Officer, Holy Cross Hospital and Mental Health Centre, Koovappally, Kottayam, Pin-686518,

Current Position: Junior resident, Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Subin Thomas, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Associate Specialist in General Adult Psychiatry
Sherin Daniel Ampanattu, Department of Internal Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, George, united States of America
PGY-3 resident, Department of Internal Medicine

References

Ratnakaran B, Anil SS, Thomas S, Ampanattu SD. Psychiatric disorders in Malayalam cinema. Kerala Journal of Psychiatry 2015; 28(2). Available at http://kjponline.com/index.php/kjp/article/view/52/pdf

Phillips DP. The influence of suggestion on suicide: substantive and theroretical implications of the Werther effect. Am Sociol Rev. 1974; 39:340–354.

Durkheim E. Le suicide: étude de sociologie. F. Alcan; 1897.

Kubler-Ross E. On Death and Dying. New York: MacMillan; 1969.

Schneider I. The theory and practice of movie psychiatry. Am J Psychiatry. 1987; 144:996–1002.

Pirkis J, Blood RW, Francis C, McCallum K. On-Screen Portrayals of Mental Illness: Extent, Nature, and Impacts. J Health Commun. 2006; 11:523–41.8.

McDonald A, Walter G. The portrayal of ECT in American movies. J ECT. 2001; 17:264–74.

Andrade C, Shah N, Venkatesh BK. The depiction of electroconvulsive therapy in Hindi cinema. J ECT. 2010; 26:16–22.

Hyler SE, Gabbard GO, Schneider I. Homicidal maniacs and narcissistic parasites: stigmatization of mentally ill persons in the movies. Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1991; 42:1044–8.

Sartorius N. Stigma: what can psychiatrists do about it? The Lancet. 1998; 352:1058–9.

Balasubrahmanya KR. Njangalude Veettile Athidhikal (2014). Kerala J Psychiatry. 2015; 28:115–7.

Balasubrahmanya KR. Nee-Na. Kerala Journal of Psychiatry 2015; 28(2). Available at http://kjponline.com/index.php/kjp/article/view/55/pdf

Pandve H, Banerjee A. Do popular media such as movies aggravate the stigma of mental disorders? Indian J Psychiatry. 2007; 49:144.

Byrne P. Screening madness. [cited 2015 Nov 13]. Available from: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/sites/default/files/film-report-screening-madness-time-to-change.pdf

Kalra G. Talking about stigma towards mental health professionals with psychiatry trainees: a movie club approach. Asian J Psychiatry. 2012; 5:266–8.

Lim RF, Diamond RJ, Chang JB, Primm AB, Lu FG. Using non-feature films to teach diversity, cultural competence, and the DSM-IV-TR outline for cultural formulation. Acad Psychiatry. 2008; 32:291–8.

Yazici E, Ulus F, Selvitop R, Yazici AB, Aydin N. Use of Movies for Group Therapy of Psychiatric Inpatients: Theory and Practice. Int J Group Psychother. 2014; 64:254–70.

Sharp C, Smith JV, Cole A. Cinematherapy: Metaphorically promoting therapeutic change. Couns Psychol Q. 2002; 15:269–76.

Hyler SE. DSM-III at the cinema: madness in the movies. Compr Psychiatry. 1988; 29:195–206.

Published
2015-12-08
How to Cite
Ratnakaran, B., Anil, S., Thomas, S., & Ampanattu, S. (2015). Depictions of Mental Health Topics in Malayalam Cinema. Kerala Journal of Psychiatry, 28(2), 204 -. https://doi.org/10.30834/KJP.28.2.2015.53
Section
Psychiatry in Kerala

Most read articles by the same author(s)