Commentary GH

The General Hospital Mental Illness Double Standard

Why are the women of GH so much weaker than the men?

general hospital dante, sasha, sonny, and laura dealing with mental illness.The handling of mental illness on GH seems to differ by gender.

Sasha is all set to be the next resident at Shadybrook on General Hospital. Not that we’re saying the poor woman doesn’t need help. She’s been to hell and back, and the people who are supposed to help her have betrayed her. That would send anyone over the edge.

General Hospital: A Double Standard

We want Sasha to get therapy and recover. And we wish actress Sofia Mattsson the best on her maternity leave. But we can’t help seeing a bit of a problem in GH’s attitude towards the mentally ill when it comes to women versus men.

GH Women: A Long List

Sasha lost her baby, her husband, and then her doctor and guardian teamed up to drug her. This is serious. The same way that Laura’s (Genie Francis) mental breakdown was serious. The same way that Liz’s (Rebecca Herbst) mental breakdown was serious. And Ava’s (Maura West). They all went away, got therapy, did the work, and returned to Port Charles stronger, healthier, and with better tools for dealing with further problems. Yay, mental health services. That’s not the problem.

General Hospital Men: The Other Side

Here’s the problem: Sonny (Maurice Benard) is bipolar. Dante (Dominic Zaparonga) had severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Drew (Cameron Mathison) and Jason (Steve Burton) were both held prisoner for years, and Drew had the added shock of learning he wasn’t the man he’d been brainwashed into thinking he was. That’s pretty heady stuff.

And yet, when was the last time we saw Sonny in therapy? Dante had exactly one session with Kevin (Jon Lindstrom) before he was classified all good. Drew and Jason never so much as got a checkup.

GH: Drawn Together

What does this say about GH’s attitude towards big, strong men and weak, fragile, vulnerable women? Nothing good, that’s for sure. Women just can’t keep it together. They need to be put away and dealt with before they can be trusted to return to polite society.

Men? Men can just suck it up. They don’t need anybody poking around in their noggins. If they have a problem, they’ll handle it with a steely expression and maybe a drink. Anything else would be…unmanly.

General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.

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