Our friends at the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation alerted us to an upcoming episode of the popular Nickelodeon sitcom iCarly unfortunately titled “iLost My Mind.” In it one of the stars kisses a boy she likes and then checks herself into a “mental hospital” out of OMG embarrassment. Hijinks ensue when her friends decide to spring her free.
Promos for the special episode feature padded cells and dizzy pinwheels, and fans can play the iCarly Escape Game online.
The show seems lighthearted and probably means no harm, but we’re disappointed to see such a negative and frankly dated depiction of psychiatric illness being introduced to new audiences. Even the silly jokes can hurt. The show appears to pack a double whammy, suggesting that psychiatric illness is a sham and that psychiatric hospitalization, which is of critical and life-saving importance in some cases, has not progressed far past Nurse Ratched.
May we suggest young viewers be steered towards stars like the former Disney actress Demi Lovato instead? She went public with her bipolar disorder several months ago, and has been a good role model for kids ever since. That’s the kind of celebrity we can iLove.