Thursday, January 28, 2016

Persevering Through Mental Illness

Television is an incredible way to depict the struggles of those with mental illnesses and can help people to understand those who struggle with mental illnesses. One great example of this is The Big Bang Theory. One of the main characters is a theoretical physicist named Sheldon Cooper who has Asperger Syndrome. His struggles are illuminated in the show during many episodes. Even when he first wakes up the viewers will notice his unusual routine. He has a rigid time for using the bathroom despite the fact that he only shares the room with one other person, Leonard Hofstadter. Leonard follows his rules and understandingly puts up with some of Sheldon's unusual behavior. Sheldon is extremely stubborn and cannot give up an argument. This can be extremely frustrating at times but Leonard, a long time friend of Sheldon, finds ways to get past these arguments he has with Sheldon.

Sheldon also struggles greatly in many other social aspects. He has many difficulties reading people's body language and cannot tell when someone is being sarcastic or humorous. This can lead to many problems for Sheldon including him being very offended with something which wasn't meant to be hurtful. Not being able to read body language is also problematic for Sheldon. It can lead to misunderstanding and confusion with his girlfriend Amy. Some may find it surprising that Sheldon has a girlfriend but what is incredible is how they find ways to understand each other even when the situation can make it very difficult. Sheldon also avoids as much contact with others as he can. This can certainly be challenging and very awkward when a social situation calls for something like a hug and Sheldon seems reluctant to give one. The show truly helps explain the difficulties of having a mental illness but also shows the ways Sheldon and other characters find to cope with his mental illness and still do great things scientifically.