beccaelizabeth (beccaelizabeth) wrote,

Structures and institutions

Sometimes I just get really wound up about the lack of appropriate mental health services in urban fantasy.

... I know, but, I just watched Spike get so thoroughly screwed over in season 7, and it's just, like...

He did his best, right? He let people know he wasn't coping. He really tried. It's just some of said people were his hallucinations. Which turned out to be a manifestation of ultimate evil. So that didn't really work out.

But then Buffy realises after several weeks that leaving him sitting around in a basement being very very mentally ill is not in fact terribly helpful, so she gets him out of there, and into a nice flat with a friend.

Only that's it? That's all they do for him?

And that's fair, in as much as they're just, like, random people that know him, it's not their actual job.

But there's nobody whose job it in fact is.

They couldn't drop him off at a hospital until he stops slicing himself up, burning himself, and talking to invisible people. And they didn't even treat him like when Oz was unwell on a monthly cycle, restrain him as a danger to himself and others. They just kind of left him free range.

Which worked out really, really poorly all round.

And Spike had been trying so hard.

So I get just very wound up, even entirely independent of the real world parallels where mental health services, especially for homeless people with a lack of documentation, can be a bit difficult to access. I just, I really feel that even vampires should be able to get help if they need it.

But instead there's just Buffy deciding when to use her stake. That's it. That's the only way their universe copes with having non humans with divergent thought processes and difficult dietary requirements.

I've written before about how there really ought to be prisons for vampires too, but no, because nobody is putting the resources in, this public health hazard keeps going and going, and the poor sods that get turned just get staked straight out of the grave.

But then even when someone's really trying there's no structures of support.

Urban fantasy is about whole ... species usually, whole races, groups of people that can't access the normal structures of society to their own benefit. Nobody polices vampires except vampires, nobody does mental healthcare, they can't even participate in the regular economy. So there's whole parallel versions that usually involve a lot more killing. It's pretty creepy. Especially if you start looking around for RL comparisons.

I do like how Buffy really worked to avoid treating mental illness with a good being killed.
This season.
And in season 5 the dude that did that was clearly the bad guy.

I'm not so keen on how there's Dru and now Spike making an apparent connection between mental illness and tendency to do violence. TV does that a lot.

But I get stuck getting upset about how nobody helped Spike until it got really, really bad. I'm not saying Buffy should have, because his victims really sincerely don't owe him care, but there should be someone who can help.

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Tags: btvs, buffy, buffyverse, meta, urban fantasy
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