Representations Of Mental Health On TV

As Andre Lyons on “Empire,” actor Trai Byers’ portrayal of a character with bipolar disorder is not perfect. In general, mental health representation needs a lot of work across pop culture. But to see such a studied, nuanced portrayal on a broadcast network is progress in a realm so severely lacking.

It’s important that Andre is shown managing his illness and taking his meds, something especially rare for fictional characters with chronic mental illness. There is also a misconception that people with mental illness can’t be successful, lending a myth-busting element to the fact that Andre is a graduate of a competitive university who is largely responsible for the business success of Empire Enterprises…

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