the real and the false of hollywood hero troubles

Our heroes are sick

Christophe Debien

HumenSciences, 190 p., 20 €

Notice to moviegoers! If you’ve spent confinement reviewing the complete Alfred Hitchcock or devouring 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, Christophe Debien shares your passion. But for this psychiatrist from the University Hospital of Lille, series and films above all prove to be a formidable tool for talking about the problems of our brains and the disorders of our moods. Through emblematic characters – and others clearly more specialized – the book traces the share of truth and fiction in the representation of these diseases.

Mental Health Snapshots

Contrary to what Hollywood displays too often, people with schizophrenia rarely see people who don’t exist but instead hear noises and voices, which rarely go beyond the short injunction. The “electroconvulsive therapy” of the medical world has nothing to do with the torture sessions on a device too often holding the electric chair, even if it can lead to feared side effects. And finally, is it useful to point out that people suffering from depression do not recover miraculously when a young and pretty psychiatrist makes them rediscover the joy of living …

From the Batman-Joker duo (who share the same post-traumatic stress disorder) to the delicate difference between the sociopath Tony Montana (Al Pacino in Scarface) and the psychopath Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins in Thesilenceofthelambs) through the painful question of suicide, Christophe Debien paints the clinical portrait of fictional characters. And over the pages, you can’t help but wonder about your own relationship to madness.


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