Search “mental health” for me on your browser. Go on. I’ll wait.
On bing.com, you get 224,000,000 results. On google.com, you get 1,410,000,000 results.
That’s a lot of results. And like anything on the internet, how do you know which of those 1,634,000,000 results are reliable?
So basically, the brain is a complicated organ. The ways that the brain works… well, neuroscience wasn’t my best grade ever. Looking at the behavioral side of what the brain can do, a person who hasn’t researched can be easily misled.
For example, I used to believe:
- Schizophrenia is when you become different people (think Gollum/Smeagol)
- Only people who are obsessed with being thin can get eating disorders
- Bipolar disorder means extremely dramatic mood shifts
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder refers to people who have to count every single thing they do and always need everything to be completely clean and neat
- ADHD only refers to someone’s ability to pay attention
- Having anxiety means you’re scared of everything
These are all myths.
It can be difficult to find accurate information online regarding mental disorders, difficult to distinguish between quirks and disorders, and difficult to portray these things well in fiction.
In this mental health series, I’m attempting to shed some light on these common mental disorders:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and phobias
- Eating disorders
- Dissociative identity disorder (DID)
- ADHD and ADD
- Borderline personality disorder
- Antisocial personality disorder
With all of this, I hope to give the reader accurate and well researched information, as well as personal anecdotes on how some of these disorders have presented in myself and others. I will then discuss ways to accurately portray mental health in fiction writing, along with some examples from my own writing.
I hope you enjoy this new series, and that it is entertaining and informative!