Lack of Awareness Towards Teenage Mental Health via TV Shows

By Salma El Gogary

Mental awareness has always been a touchy subject especially in Egypt, fortunately, we have come a long way and we can now touch upon this subject without it being considered as a taboo. TV shows hold a big influence on the next youth generation and it lacks the inclusion of “mental health issues” especially among teens.

Teens in Egypt tend to face a lot of problems growing up and to be more precise, in schools. This could lead up to a bundle of deep-rooted mental issues, and a quick example portrayed in Netflix’s original series “13 Reason Why” is bullying, and how this phenomenon could vary from verbal to mental and also to sometimes physical abuse. This show has its fair share of controversies, from people bashing it for normalizing and fanaticizing suicide, to people criticizing how poorly the scenario was written. On the one hand, this series showcased some real life problems, and how bullying could be inflicted so subtly.

Here are a few shows that authentically portray the real problems teens face during school which could very much lead to mental health issues

 Jessica Jones (Netflix)

From rape and violence to control and possessiveness, this show really brings out how our past issues can affect our future plans when they’re left unresolved.

Skins (British TV series)

Its controversial story-lines have explored issues like dysfunctional families, mental illness (such as depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder), substance abuse, Autism spectrum disorder and death.

Euphoria (American TV series)

The new HBO series dives into depression, addiction and bullying between “friends”. This is a very reoccurring dilemma and the most destructive kind of bullying as it is always brushed off as being fun and jokes.

On the other hand only a couple of Egyptian TV shows discuss this topic and it’s always directed towards adults, for an example:

Taht El-saytara (2015) an action drama show following the lives drug addicts and their friends and a character helps them overcome their addiction. Which I actually believed that it was not very relatable to the younger generation.

Khas Gedan (2016) starring Yosra

This series presents the social aspects of life through an honest psychiatrist and her character proposes that she suffers from depression.

WE SAID THIS: So what do you guys think, should we try to spread more awareness towards these issues through more TV shows?