An upcoming episode of Nickelodeon’s “iCarly” Stigmatizes Mental Illness.
Ohhhhh “mental illness” – that’s not really a real problem just something parents label their kids with when they don’t know how to be “good” parents right? Or what “crazy” people are, right? Well not exactly… My 12 year old daughter has BiPolar (in addition to Type I Diabetes and Celiac disease). And well she’s not crazy. And she is no less worthy of help, compassion, understanding, support, nurturing, consistency, love, laughter, or a hopeful future than anyone else’s child.
Please read the article by Susan Resko of the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation and take a moment to contact Viacom in support of children and adolescents with Mental Illness. Copy and paste this link and help me help my daughter remove the social stigma…
Here is what I had to say: iCarly – DISASTER. OK I barely tolerate this show with its overuse of inappropriate sarcasm and intolerance (beyond a level any adolescent is truly cognitively capable of comprehending – read up on child and adolescent behavior and neurological development). The upcoming episode in which that horrific, overly aggressive, Sam girl admits herself into a psychiatric facility is simply too much. My official opinion is that Sam’s character clearly suffers from Conduct Disorder and thus perhaps would benefit from a stay in a residential treatment facility.
The worst of it is my own child has Bipolar. At 8 years old she attempted suicide and has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since then (which is now going on three years). She feels stigmatized and on the outside of the world in which her “normal” peers live. To have mental illness and its medically warranted treatments be so inappropriately portrayed on a show such as iCarly that so many adolescents watch is reprehensible. My daughter is not “nuts” or “crazy.”
Her bipolar disorder is a medical disease the same as is her Type I Diabetes Mellitus. She suffers equally with both DISEASES. Would Sam and Carly find it so horrifying to be hospitalized for a diabetic ketoacidosis? My daughter almost died from that once as well.
I have faced losing my daughter to both her MEDICAL illness. How dare you all make light, no make fun of mental illness. Might your writer’s not have better skills? Or perhaps there’s an Autistic child they might want to ridicule in the next season. Or maybe you could build in a joke about Carly losing her hair and looking like a Cancer patient. Wouldn’t THAT be funny? No.
I promise you this – my children will NEVER watch iCarly and perhaps we will boycott Nick completely. But what do you care?
Maybe when my daughter returns to school some kid will remember this episode of iCarly and find it funny to ridicule my daughter for being “nuts” or “crazy.” And maybe it will be just that one final injury my daughter might not be able to withstand… and maybe something terrible will happen. But most likely Viacom and Nick and its writers and advertisers won’t care. What’s one less viewer???