Streaming Mental Health and Illness

Essays on Representation in Netflix Original Programs


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SKU: 9781476682709 Categories: , ,

About the Book

From mindfulness in schools to meditation apps, mental health is bursting out of the psychiatrist’s chair and into our everyday conversations. As awareness of mental health increases, so does its predominance in popular culture, which makes for a particularly interesting investigation into the representation of these concerns on our most ubiquitous streaming service: Netflix.
These eight essays explore how the service’s original content jumps into those conversations, creating helpful—or harmful—messaging about the inner workings of our minds. From toxic masculinity to PTSD, adolescence to motherhood, mental health touches our lives in myriad ways. This interdisciplinary collection explores these intersections, examining how representations of mental health on our screens shape our understanding of it in our lives.

About the Author(s)

Emily Katseanes has taught at New Mexico State University, Louisiana State University, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the University of Colorado. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Emily Katseanes
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 193
Bibliographic Info: 21 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8270-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4655-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction: Red Envelopes and a Pop Culture Education: How Netflix Teaches Us About Mental Health and Illness
Emily Katseanes 1
Making Visible the Incomprehensible: Ambiguity, Metaphor and Mental Illness in The Haunting of Hill House
Djuna Hallsworth 9
“Born with a leak”: Happiness, Distress and Accountability in BoJack Horseman
Lemonia Gianniri 32
Fear of Infectious Psychopathy in Mindhunter
Erin C. Heath 56
“Escaping is not the same as making it”: PTSD Post-Sexual Assault in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Stranger Things
Emily Katseanes 72
“Everybody seems to be doing super great, and I’m kind of not”: Depression in Big Mouth
Anastasia R. Wickham 94
“It’s got to be in your head”: Using Mental Illness to Silence Chronic Conditions in Afflicted
Brynn Fitzsimmons 106
Madness as Mystic Purpose in Sense8:
Jeannie G. Bennett 126
The Memeification of Mental Illness: How You Launched a Serial Killer Thirst Trap
Jen England 142
About the Contributors 181
Index 183

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “… an important and useful critique of the representation of mental illness in popular media”—Carol-Ann Farkas, ed., Reading the Psychosomatic in Medical and Popular Culture