A Soprano on Lexapro Helps Educate the Public About Mental Illness
Some years ago, I was making videos for an organization with a huge campaign about end-of-life care (palliation, hospice, Living Wills, etc.) They made a large contribution to the field by getting a Los Angeles film professional to serve as liaison with the television and motion picture industry. This man made certain that producers knew to come to him to get correct information about end-of-life care.
When AJ Soprano revealed his battle with depression on television, I wasn’t there to watch, but I applaud the notion that we’re no longer afraid to show mental illness on TV, and that – occasionally – whether through advisory groups or other media, we can get it “right.”
If Soprano takes his Lexapro, and Joe and Jane Doe take their Prozac or other anti-depressants, we may have a chance to both educate the public and help palliate depression.
On a related note, those who were watching HOUSE on Fox Network last night would have noticed that they seemed to have been working in tandem with The Sopranos on HBO, because the entire investigation into the cause of a patient’s mysterious bleeding ended up with a shocking discovery:
The patient was not dying because of a protein deficiency, nor because of cancer and/or infection. She had swallowed some poison and it had caused her entire body to rebel upon herself in an insidious manner that took a long time to kill her. House confronted her with her suicide attempt and got her to accept going into psychotherapy and taking medications. He also had an operation performed that reversed her long descent into death.
What’s striking about this episode is that it presented depression as something reversible, didn’t make fun or scoff at it, and showed suicide as an “out” that people who were deeply depressed might choose if they didn’t get help.
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Published On: May 09, 2007