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 On Mental Illness and the Vlogs

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Packfong
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PostSubject: On Mental Illness and the Vlogs   Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:49 pm

One interesting aspect of the Slenderman 'verse is that it's very psychological and that the Slenderman seems to spread illness, both physical and mental, wherever he goes.

However, a lot of it seems very Hollywood in the actual portrayal (coughing up blood is curiously not a big deal). I find the portrayal of mental instability in these series especially lacking, even in series that seem otherwise competent (except for the illnesses in TheHundredYardStare, which felt more real to me; not just in acting but in atmosphere and story). Just some examples: eye-bugging, manic laughing, ranting, which overall seems over-done and rather simplified, rather than the more subtle manifestations. I feel like I'm watching the Joker hamming it up. This is just an overall impression I get when sampling or watching series.

To use an example of a mentally unwell character I liked in published fiction, Rorschach didn't run around with knives (generally), nor did he laugh hysterically at nothing. He had a more subdued, realistic expression of his psychological state; he smelled, didn't take care of himself, dishes were piled in the sink, he was incapable of keeping friends or relating to others. He felt like a more balanced interpretation. His illness wasn't dramatic nor was it something random.

I know mental illness comes out in many ways, but I'd like to see more sensitive portrayals and signs that being mentally ill isn't just manifested in black-out moments or knife-crazy moments, and in fact is very often less ostentatious and violent.

Disclaimer: Not an expert, but someone with some experience.

(Currently watching the first of MLAndersen so I hope that goes well. Also, if anyone can recommend a series that delves into PTSD, I'd like to hear about it.)
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BravoBismuth
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PostSubject: Re: On Mental Illness and the Vlogs   Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:02 am

To be fair, unless the series in question explicitly states that a character has mental illness 'X', then the crazy can be hand waved off as some kind of "Slendermadness". It doesn't have to fall into any of the boxes we have for existing psychological disorders because it isn't any of those disorders. It's something new caused by Slendy exposure.

A lazy answer? Sure, but it works well enough.

Of course, that's not to say that vloggers and bloggers shouldn't try for accuracy when they are trying to portray specific illnesses. It just gives them a bit more freedom to work with.
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Packfong
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PostSubject: Re: On Mental Illness and the Vlogs   Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:12 am

BravoBismuth wrote:
To be fair, unless the series in question explicitly states that a character has mental illness 'X', then the crazy can be hand waved off as some kind of "Slendermadness". It doesn't have to fall into any of the boxes we have for existing psychological disorders because it isn't any of those disorders. It's something new caused by Slendy exposure.

A lazy answer? Sure, but it works well enough.

Of course, that's not to say that vloggers and bloggers shouldn't try for accuracy when they are trying to portray specific illnesses. It just gives them a bit more freedom to work with.

I would say no to the Slender Madness on the grounds that it still tends to impress on people what "insanity" looks like, especially if the Slender Madness isn't canon or ever actually stated but, well, handwaving. Mental illness has enough weird or outright misleading portrayals in media as is. It seems a bit unfair and convenient to expect the viewer who may have no real experience in the matter to not only distrust the vlogger instinctively (based on what?) but also invent a reason for something they might not see as an oversimplification or error to begin with.

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DarkShadows
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PostSubject: Re: On Mental Illness and the Vlogs   Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:27 am

I would like to say that I'd like to see a protagonist that is already mentally or emotionally ill in some way, maybe someone who already lives with Schizophrenia, or even something like PTSD or a Generalized Anxiety Disorder (which I myself have). I am admittedly inexperienced with Slenderblogs so I wouldn't know if this type of thing's been done in the blogosphere (Answer? It probably has), but if there's any series out there that works with that I'd be interested to see them.

I think that, not only would it be fascinating to see how this person who already has either an altered perception of reality or some sort of mental issue that causes them duress would react to Slendy just showing up out of the blue like he does. Would it make their mental illness worse? Would it help them better differentiate real dangers and things from perceived dangers and things? Would it cause them to go, "Whelp, no more drugs or therapy for me!" and start dealing with it their own way? Would they be easier for Slendy to attack mentally or more difficult? If they were Proxified, would it be easier to do that or more difficult? How would it color their perception of events, and how would that perception influence the rest of their character? Could the mental illness somehow have been triggered or caused by Slendy in the first place, and they just don't remember it because of blackouts/erased memories? If it were something like depression, would is cause them to sink in further, or find a reason to keep going (the reason being, "Fuck this, I am NOT citing "Killed By A Faceless Creep" as my cause of death!" or "I'm about to die and I want to anyway, might as well go down swinging.")?

... I... really think I need to do a Slenderseries with a protagonist who is already mentally ill or vulnerable in some way. Hell, close to a quarter of Americans have some form of mental illness or mental issue they deal with, so it only makes sense that some of Slendy's victims would be in that almost-a-quarter.
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BravoBismuth
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PostSubject: Re: On Mental Illness and the Vlogs   Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:14 am

^ MLAndersen and Down My Cellar Door both feature characters with pre-existing mental illnesses. I suppose a case could be made for Caught Not Sleeping too, but I'm not sure how much that one counts.

Packfong wrote:
It seems a bit unfair and convenient to expect the viewer who may have no real experience in the matter to not only distrust the vlogger instinctively (based on what?) but also invent a reason for something they might not see as an oversimplification or error to begin with.

I'm a little confused as to where this came from. Who is saying that the vloggers are not to be trusted?
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sethlapod555
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PostSubject: Re: On Mental Illness and the Vlogs   Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:48 am

Hmm, you make a fairly good point. A lot of the mental illness tropes of the Slenderverse have been worn down a bit. But I see you're investivating MLAndersen0, and I have to say:

Spoiler:
 

As far as mental illness goes, 004Steps did a pretty great job at portraying mental instabilities.



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Packfong
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PostSubject: Re: On Mental Illness and the Vlogs   Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:01 pm

BravoBismuth wrote:
^ MLAndersen and Down My Cellar Door both feature characters with pre-existing mental illnesses. I suppose a case could be made for Caught Not Sleeping too, but I'm not sure how much that one counts.

Packfong wrote:
It seems a bit unfair and convenient to expect the viewer who may have no real experience in the matter to not only distrust the vlogger instinctively (based on what?) but also invent a reason for something they might not see as an oversimplification or error to begin with.

I'm a little confused as to where this came from. Who is saying that the vloggers are not to be trusted?

Again, that sounds a little convenient. Either way, it still results in the same thing: viewers not understanding a real-life issue better when it's portrayed to them.

I'm not asking for outright education (people can choose to make their video educational if they please, or not), just not falling back on "The mentally unwell act like the Joker."

Quote :

But I see you're investivating MLAndersen0, and I have to say:

I watched most of his videos, maybe up until the last five-to-seven, but finally gave up. His speechifying was especially tedious after a while. I really admired how his Slenderman would physically touch people and step into their world, but the series felt a bit bogged down. I gave it my best shot, though.

I thought Patrick was interesting in theory, though. And what very little I know about Disassociative personality disorder seemed pretty good. He really did feel like two different people and the other one felt like someone a scared person would want to retreat into (although this personality was, of course, very violent, scary, and knife-weilding as well).

I may give the other recommendation a shot as well.
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DarkShadows
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PostSubject: Re: On Mental Illness and the Vlogs   Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:38 pm

BravoBismuth wrote:
MLAndersen and Down My Cellar Door both feature characters with
pre-existing mental illnesses. I suppose a case could be made for
Caught Not Sleeping too, but I'm not sure how much that one counts.

CNS is on my "To-Watch" list right now. I'll have to check your recs out as well. Might check out 004Steps too just to see how I like it.

Packfong wrote:
I'm not asking for outright education (people can choose to make their
video educational if they please, or not), just not falling back on "The
mentally unwell act like the Joker."

Yes, exactly. There's a time and place for that, and Joker levels of crazy isn't realistic for someone who's scared of something constantly. Paranoid, yes, split personality, maybe. Psychotic? That's... really not very realistic, but I can suspend my disbelief for the story's sake. Sociopathy or outright off-the-wall behavior? Nope, sorry. Sociopathy doesn't just happen. Neither for that matter does psychosis.
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Grandrogue
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PostSubject: Re: On Mental Illness and the Vlogs   Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:54 am

I don't think they get a mental illness, as much as extreme stress, paranoia, trust issues, lack of sleep, and probably a lot of headaches.
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PostSubject: Re: On Mental Illness and the Vlogs   Today at 8:38 am

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