On Mr. Robot and its portrayal of mental disorders

I like to spend time with my husband watching television at night- and often I pull out my laptop and only half pay attention, dealing with emails or surfing social media.

When he put on the series Mr. Robot, I couldn’t stop watching.  The main character, Elliot, suffers from social anxiety disorder (and probably other disorders as well) and the portrayal of what it’s like to deal with mental illness is absolutely spot-on. I can’t give any details or I risk spoiling the story for people that haven’t seen the show, but I was amazed at how well the show was able to nail down the sensations people like me go through at times.

My own particular blend of problems is not entirely without merit. For example, I go through hypomanic periods of greater activity, happiness,  creativity and self-confidence, and these periods bring with them a lot of good ideas. One of them turned into my cancer-fighting gut bacterial project (find information here) and others have led me to ideas for how to reduce greenhouse gases produced by farm manure digesters, or how to make antimicrobial molecules which target ony specific pathogens better able to be taken up by cells, and so make those molecules more likely to be useful medicines. I also have had a lot of different recurring dreams, and while some of them are unsettling many are harmless, even entertaining. For example, I keep thinking I might have met the cast of Family Guy at a coffee shop in North Hollywood.  I’ve also got a memory of meeting Julius Sharpe (a writer) at the same cafe at a different time, where he complimented me on my polka-dot sunglasses.

I have turned some of my odd notions into the plot for my novel Infinity (which I will get to when I finish my current work, Anagama).  For those unfamiliar with my work, Infinity is a story of a bipolar scientist who is the target of  bizarre attacks which  she never quite believes happened, and how her descendants must use time travel and quantum entanglement devices to try to rescue her.  Anagama is set in a dystopian future where Zurvan Corporation is able to designate kidnapped people as property if their genomes are sufficiently different from “normal human”; two designated non-humans and their allies join forces in an attempt to bring down Zurvan and find freedom.

I’ve been struggling with food poisoning symptoms today, but as I type this it is only 3 pm in the afternoon and the house is quiet. I should be able to pull off another couple of chapters this evening, and/or transcribe what I’ve written in my notebook to my digital files. I’m not too far off track in terms of my writing schedule for Anagama.

If you haven’t seen Mr. Robot, I strongly suggest you do- I found it absolutely fascinating, and the most realistic, and sympathetic, portrayal of mental illness I’ve seen on the small screen in a long time.