If you live in the UK and own a television then you are no doubt familiar with the TV series ‘My Mad Fat Diary’, shown on E4 this is a series about a teenage girl growing surrounded by mental health problems. The series is based on a book by the same name by Rae Earl, the book is a compilation of the diaries that she wrote aged 17 after being released from a psychiatric ward.
At the moment the show is nearing the end of its second series, it took me a little while to actually bring myself to watch it- I was very apprehensive and wasn’t sure what it was going to be like, but it only took me one episode before I totally fell in love.
This is a show that is warm, funny and bluntly honest. I can’t put into words what I feel about it but it’s brought into sharp focus a lot of things for me, I think that the best thing about it is that it makes me feel normal.
It highlights the every day crap of living with a mental illness, making all of the small things that most of us have to live with into normality, it also does an amazing job of showcasing the brand of humour that seems to be unique to people who have suffered from a mental illness.
There’s a lot of work to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness, there’s no one way to ease away years of bad feeling and fear surrounding it… but seeing a programme like this that doesn’t highlight or focus on mental illness but on a person who happens to suffer from it can do a lot to help people understand.
I really love this programme, I’d love it even if I wasn’t a mental health blogger or sufferer, but I love it even more because of those things. There’s not much for me to say other than that I feel we should have more books and TV programmes like ‘My Mad Fat Diary’, it shows everything that I would want to say about mental illness- namely that it’s not some scary entity, it’s something that happens to people, real, normal people.
’til next time.