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Portrayal of diabetes in the media

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by secrettheatre, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. secrettheatre

    secrettheatre · Active Member

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    And by 'media' I mean films, TV, drama, etc. I have yet to see a character with diabetes in a film or TV show whose condition is portrayed with any accuracy, or appreciation of the nature of the condition. The most egregious example I can recall is in the film 'Con Air' from a few years back, which starred Nicholas Cage and Johns Cusack and Malkovich. One of the minor characters has Type 1 (at least I presume - since I'm sure such subtleties as the different types of diabetes were lost on the film's makers), and is shown as going into something like shock because he hadn't been given his insulin injection. Upon receiving the injection he recovers immediately. As the Wikipedia article on the film states 'The movie contributes to the dangerous misconception that the appropriate treatment for a diabetic "in crisis" is insulin.'

    Anyone have any similar examples? Personally I don't think this is a trivial issue. I have relatives and friends who have believed (until I informed them otherwise!) that the way to treat a hypo is to give a shot of insulin, and it seems likely that this idea (like so many other things) is picked up from television, fims, etc.

    Chris
     
  2. leyland22

    leyland22 · Member

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    This is not an example of diabetes and the media...but.....

    About six months ago I had to have a physical test as part of joining up for something. It was fairly rigorous and involved a lot of running, press-ups and so on. Beforehand it was standard procedure to see the HEAD nurse from Occupational Health.

    She asked me how much insulin I was on and I replied that I was on four shots a day. She then said, "Oh, that is rather a lot, should you really be participating in this? What are your numbers like, what were you this morning?". I told her I was around six or seven.

    Anyway, she went on to say, "Well, have you got your insulin in case you have a hypo?"

    I just stared in disbelief....
     
  3. acron^

    acron^ · Well-Known Member

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  4. hanadr

    hanadr · Expert

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    I've seen diabetes mentioned in many Tv and movies over the years. the "rescuers" are always looking for insulin. Never sugar.
    the only one where they got it right was once on Tv, when a diabetic child was kidnapped. Then they would need some insulin. No-one was looking for a blood glucose meter though.
     
  5. goji

    goji · Well-Known Member

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    I agree - the portrayal of diabetics in the media is generally abysmal and almost always involves them reaching for insulin to cure hypos (!) I think it leads to a lot of misunderstanding among the general public about what to do in an emergency. :evil:

    On a positive note though there was a recent storyline in the brilliant US drama Damages (BBC Sunday nights) where one of the characters Daniel has Type 1 and was having a hypo. He was given a big glass of orange juice to cure it. He drank enough to send his sugars rocking the other way but still at least he didn't reach for the insuln :D

    goji :)
     
  6. lilibet

    lilibet · Well-Known Member

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    There was an episode of Silent Witness on repeat recently where someone was found on a bus dead, presumed to have been drunk and hit his head

    After all the investigations/PM etc they decided he was type 1 diabetic and that when he 'drunkenly' approached the person for help on the bus he was actually in hypo

    They pointed to the fact he had lots of chocolate in his pocket and if he had been given this, he would have survived. Whilst not as hellishly inaccurate as giving somone insulin for a hypo, i was shouting at the TV much to OH annoyance

     
  7. tubolard

    tubolard · Well-Known Member

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    Channel 4 are showing Brothers & Sisters in the mornings, one of the characters is a child with diabetes, nothing much in the way of hypos has happened that I've seen - but watch this space :!: :lol:
     
  8. RMT1976

    RMT1976 · Newbie

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    The sad fact is that diabetes is linked to insulin in the minds of everyone who hears the words. As most people have the ridiculous fear of syringes they automatically assume that the only treatment is an injection. The media, film, TV, press are as ignorant as everyone else and their portrayal of diabetics as somehow fragile, unable to look after themselves or constantly in one form of crisis is just for dramatic effect. The fact these portrayals are neither true, accurate or well thought out has nothing to do with it. It's just entertainment.
     
  9. ElyDave

    ElyDave Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The Godfather Part 3 - Michael Corleone has a hypo in the vatican and asks for a glass of orange juice, followed afterwards by a "candy" bar.

    Seems reasonable to me.
     
  10. picklebean

    picklebean Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    There's a storyline on Eastenders at the moment, just starting out I think. A character has got kidney problems due to diabetes and needs a kidney transplant.

    I don't know how accurate the story is as I haven't really been watching it - I just caught a snippet of it the other day. But it's interesting that they're using that angle instead of the simple "has diabetes - has blood sugar emergency" which is usually the extent to which diabetes is portrayed in these things.
     
  11. Jelaca

    Jelaca Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone seen Hansel and Gretel the new movie? It's called Witch Hunters or something, and I think they have made Hansel diabetic because of eating too much sugar and sweets when he was younger... Then near the end he is losing strength so someone gives him his injection that he has to have and he saved the day haha.

    Sat in the cinema I was a bit embarrassed by how awful this particular bit of the film was :p
     
  12. SAH154

    SAH154 · Well-Known Member

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    Whenever someone in a TV show is diabetic and it's the 1st time it's been mentioned then you know a crisis is about to happen :roll:
     
  13. Thundercat

    Thundercat Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone seen Hansel and Gretel the new movie? It's called Witch Hunters or something, and I think they have made Hansel diabetic because of eating too much sugar and sweets when he was younger... Then near the end he is losing strength so someone gives him his injection that he has to have and he saved the day haha.

    Sat in the cinema I was a bit embarrassed by how awful this particular bit of the film was :p[/quote]

    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App

    Yes, it was pretty bad! A great reimagining of diabetes the way he could rollick along until the second he was due his injection and the suddenly he was on the verge of calamity. Wonderful imagination!! :lol:The syringe was gruesome - it looked like he was stabbing himself! I must confess to enjoying the rest of the movie:smile: Just leave your brain at the door amd enjoy the ride
     
  14. Marfmama

    Marfmama · Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure coronation st did a storyline where a girl was diabetic and she committed suicide by over dosing on insulin... She was a teenager and I think in love with Kevin Webster? Can't remember that well it was a while ago!
    But yes agree about people thinking they need to administer insulin for hypos, iv heard it far too often.


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  15. Marfmama

    Marfmama · Well-Known Member

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    Also the film memento where he has no short term memory and is looking for his wife's killer - been a while since iv seen it but I'm sure the twist is something like his wife is diabetic and he kept giving her insulin and forgetting he had already done it...?


    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
  16. Dodo

    Dodo Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    In this film his wife was testing him to find out whether he really did have short term memory loss. Unfortunately for her, he did!



    Sent from the Diabetes Forum App
     
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