August 15, 2012 |
DENNY CRANE calls it "mad cow," but viewers of "Boston Legal" know William Shatner's character is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Another character on the show, Jerry Espenson (played by Christian Clemenson), has strange tics, can't keep his hands off his thighs, but, despite having obsessive-compulsive disorder, makes his living as a lawyer. Mental illness, long taboo or distorted by the media, is making its way into the fictional lives of television characters. Once, mentally ill people were commonly portrayed as homicidal maniacs, evil seductresses and assorted buffoons.
March 10, 1992 |
The camera focuses on Chris Clarke, sitting on his bed in Patton State Hospital near San Bernardino, talking about killing his fiancee. "Something snapped," he says almost inaudibly. "I began thinking things that were not real. I began having paranoid thoughts and believing people were trying to get me." The interviewer doesn't say a word. Clarke begins to cry softly. "It was as if somebody else came into my body," Clarke says. "I can't use that excuse.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 22, 1991 |
Nadia Puente thought she was going to help a teacher unload some books when she entered a gray car while walking home from school the afternoon of March 20, 1989. Early the next morning, the body of the 9-year-old Santa Ana girl was found stuffed in a silver trash can at Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Authorities allege that Nadia was kidnaped, sexually assaulted and killed by Richard Lucio DeHoyos, 34, a former assistant manager of a Taco Bell restaurant in Westminster.
May 17, 2013 |
Go to a busy street in your community and count the next 25 adolescents who walk, bike, skateboard, stroll or saunter past. Odds are that two of those 25 kids (8.3% to be exact) would own up to having experienced 14 or more days in the last month that he or she considered "mentally unhealthy," according to a comprehensive report on the mental health of American youth issued Thursday. Between 2005 and 2010, roughly 2 million American adolescents between 12 and 17 acknowledged that for more than half of the previous month, they routinely had felt sad, angry, disconnected, stressed out, unloved or possibly willing to hurt themselves -- or others.
January 3, 2013
Re "Lifeline for worried parents," Column, Dec. 30 The cause of the recent mass shootings perpetrated by mentally ill gunmen is not the guns themselves but our government, which has antiquated laws that make it extremely difficult for family members who try to help their loved ones with serious mental illness to get well. Fifty percent of those with serious mental illness have no reasoning ability, nor are they in touch with reality. The National Institute on Mental Health says this is the reason people are not capable of seeking or staying in treatment.
December 22, 2012
The reaction to the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., last week was immediate and voluminous. Of the more than 600 letters sent to firstname.lastname@example.org on the topic, about 120 of them mentioned mental illness as a cause for the violence. A handful of writers warned against jumping to conclusions and stigmatizing those whostruggle with mental disabilities; one writer even turned questions about psychology into ones for gun advocates. Here is a selection of those letters. In a letter published Tuesday, Michelle Uzeta, legal director of the Disability Rights Legal Center in Los Angeles, wrote: "The tendency in our society is to label what happened, pack it in a box and tuck it away somewhere.