Monday, February 25, 2013

Jennifer Lawrence & Mental Illness

In an interview with Omaha morning radio show Todd and Tyler[1], after The Bill Engvall Show[2] had ended, Engvall had high praise for Jennifer Lawrence, saying he wasn't surprised by her Oscar nomination for Winter's Bone and that he expected more to come.

That good but short lived sitcom is still the only work of Lawrence's I've seen.  I had no interest in Winter's Bone and still don't.  I wanted to see The Hunger Games, but I just never got around to it.  I'm sure I'll see it eventually. 

I've wanted to see Silver Linings Playbook, for which Lawrence won an Oscar last night, since the previews for it started but again haven't gotten around to it.  After reading her recent interview[3], I'm more encouraged to get my ass to the theater to support the film and its message.

She talks about her views on mental health and suggests the film's director shares those views.  
On how her Oscar will champion the effort to help the mentally ill: "I don't think we're going to stop until we get rid of the stigma for mental illness. I know David won't. And I hope that this helps. It's so bizarre how in this world, if you have asthma, you take asthma medicine; if you have diabetes, you take diabetes medicine; but as soon as you have to take medication for your mind, there's such a stigma behind it."
And she's right in comparing mental illness to asthma.  For too long, we've attached a stigma to legitimate health issues that deserve to be viewed as any other.  We do not shame people for having cancer, even if they might have caused it themselves by drinking and smoking heavily[4]

We shouldn't shame people for being bipolar or schizophrenic.  Good for Jennifer Lawrence for using her talent and subsequent spotlight to say so.

And for anyone who insists on continuing the stigma, I'll share this gesture with you.

3.  Was Jennifer Lawrence's Oscar Fall 'On Purpose'?
4.  Christopher Hitchens and His Battle with Esophageal Cancer

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