Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss New Twilight Zone’s Psychiatric Meanings


Expert Pitch

New Brunswick, N.J. (April 2, 2019) – Anthony Tobia, a professor of psychiatry and internal medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, is available to discuss episodes of the new Twilight Zone series as fictional case studies of mental illness.

“Jordan Peele’s Twilight Zone reinvents Rod Serling’s original, merging the supernatural with manifestations of mental illness. Accordingly, it is another example from pop culture that we can use to review topics germane to psychiatry. The first episode, ‘The Comedian,’ introduces a character whose jokes possess supernatural power. Viewed through a psychiatrist’s lens, Samir demonstrates paranoia and more complex delusions such as reduplicative paramnesia (the belief that a building or other location exists in more than one place simultaneously),” Tobia said.

Tobia is including the Jordan Peele-directed Twilight Zone in a series of teaching modules that use elements of popular culture – including feature films, horror movies and TV shows like Seinfeld and the original Twilight Zone, to discuss mental illness. The objective is not stigmatize individuals with mental illness, but to stimulate discussion in order to educate students and inform the public.

Tobia can be reached at tobiaat@rwjms.rutgers.edu.

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