3 thoughts on “Why the Portrayal of Bipolar Disorder on “Empire” is So Important

  • August 28, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    Its wonderful to bring mental illness out of the closet to hopefully open up discussions so more can understand and empathize with those that suffer from them. I just think the entertainment world as well as the media news portrays all bipolar as potential psychotics when I find that untrue. Personally I’ve never had one and know others as well who don’t. To me it leaves the public thinking anyone with mental illness can go off at any given time considering the circumstances that may lead them there and we can’t function ‘normally’ without medications. And this has led me to go back into the closet because when people find out, if I tell them, they never treat me the same way again, like their on their cautious side around me.

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  • November 5, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    I love the comments made by Sista about the show. The general public has ZERO factual knowledge about the disorder and how it manifests itself. They don’t understand that it is not a “one size fits all” situation. Everyone is different. These shows and articles also often only scratch the surface so it doesn’t give people a full understanding of the illness. They just take a bit and a piece of information and move on. It also pissed me off that they ended up showing him playing Russian Roulette…and him ending up needing to be hospitalized, etc. I understand that it’s TV and they need their ratings. But at the same time, the general public expects people living with Bipolar Disorder to fly off the handle at any moment. We are all unstable. We are criminals. We all have been or will be hospitalized and the list goes on. There’s such a significant stigma that comes along with mental illness. While I give them kudos for showing that he is educated and successful, I feel like they could have put other things in his storyline that did not give other BP folks that stereotypical portrayal. Then don’t get me started how they added Lucious’s bipolar mom into the storyline and she looks like she’s trying to drown him. Talk about setting us back…..Jesus please take the wheel from these writers!!!

    It is stuff like this that keeps me closeted. I’ve had the diagnosis since my teens and lived in silence and have known some people for 10-20 years and never told them about my diagnosis. I have a masters degree. I own my home. I’m a mother….a damn good mother at that. My daughter is a straight A student. We spend quality time together. I’ve been with the same man for almost a decade. I have never been hospitalized.

    I guess I’m just trying to say that I really wish they would keep mental illness out of the story lines in these shows and movies unless they are going to HELP us by breaking down the barriers and showing that we are ordinary people too and we can be just as high level functioning as anyone else.

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  • November 5, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    What is portrayed in movies about bi-polar, regardless of how little they know about the illness, is not the truth. I love the show empire, but they have made it look like people who have this disorder out to be like they have schizophrenia, which is completely different from bi-polar. I have lived with bi-polar for over 20 years and have never seen “imaginary” people nor have i ever acted irrationally in public the way they showed andre to act. im outragged that bi-polar disorder has been portrayed and stero-typed in this way so everyone can think this is what bi-polar is!!!!!

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