Writing Characters With Mental Illness.

How important is it to understand a mental illness before you write about it? Is there an inherent responsibility placed upon the author? As a writer who has dealt with mental illness for the past ten years, I naturally insert my illness into my stories. However, I never considered the ramifications it would have on my readers in terms of how they might treat fellow sufferers.

My writing has always been me getting into my head and pushing away the cobwebs of my illness. After reading the following article, my eyes were opened to the responsibility we as authors have to society at large or at least that one reader we’re lucky enough to attract. I hope you read the below article and take it to heart and hopefully it will add depth to your next character creation.

Writing Mental Illness

About G.Edward Smith

A stranger in a strange land...
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2 Responses to Writing Characters With Mental Illness.

  1. I suffer from anxiety and I love talking about mental illness in my writings – whether fiction or nonfiction – because I know that it’s something that needs to be discussed, and it’s a topic that could hopefully help a lot of people. However, I still get a bit anxious writing about it because at the end of the day, it’s still a sensitive subject. How you view or experience mental illness may not be the way that others view it. You can write a character with the same symptoms as you do, so you may think you’re accurately depicting it, then someone else might read it and not experience those symptoms and be completely put off by your “lack of education” on the subject. It’s very risky mixing illness with art, but at the end of the day, someone’s always going to find something to be mad about. As long as you’re not creating a negative image towards people with mental illness, I say just go for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. M.L. Davis says:

    Great and very important article. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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