Who is the big brother?

11 03 2012

HaAh HaGadol  is the Israeli version of Big Brother reality-television series where a group of people live together in a large house, isolated from the outside world for 3 months and in some countries for 6 months (!). These [poor, if I may say] fellows are continuously watched by television cameras and they are all connected to microphones so that the audience could hear what they are saying. In order to win the final cash prize (1,000,000 Shekels in Israel), all the contestants have to do is survive periodic evictions and be the last one standing.

For some reason/s, this show is very popular, worldwide; Millions of people watch it, vote for their favorite housemates, and are strongly connected to the life in the Big Brother’s house. What a celebration to humanity!

Over the past week, Israel is in turmoil. No, it is not the Iranian threat, it is not the huge economy gap between rich and the poor in Israel, it is not even the stormy winter that we have, it is the big brother SCANDAL! One of the people who participated in this show two years ago revealed that the actual big brother in the house is a famous psychiatrist that ask, and sometimes demands, that some of the housemates will take psychiatric medications (anti psychotic and anti-depressant) while providing mentoring assistance (e.g., you should kiss that girl, you should be more aggressive etc). Furthermore, this psychiatrists told to some housemates what is going on outside of the house and even promised that if they will follow his suggestions (and prescriptions…) they will rich the finals. WOW!

I don’t know if it is all true, but I know that this case illustrated, again, how deep and strong are the public’s negative perceptions about psychiatric medications and how one irresponsible mental health provider can destroy our strong efforts to reduce mental illness stigma (including the stigma that psychiatrists are crazy…).



One response

11 03 2012
kaie w. bird

I know this isn’t really on topic, but Tamir is awesome! = )

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