Grey's Anatomy Tackles Important Issues in Society

Thank You, 'Grey's Anatomy,' For Paying Attention To Real-World Struggles

You give people a voice.


This Thursday, September 27th, is the series premiere of the 15th season of "Grey's Anatomy" on ABC. "Grey's Anatomy" has always been on top of issues currently occurring in society. Not only do they tackle such issues, but they give different points of view through different characters that allow you to see multiple sides of an issue. The following are 12 struggles that many people face, with little to no support from the world's society.

*Trigger warning for depression, addiction, domestic abuse and PTSD*

1. Mental Illness

A patient struggling with Schizophrenia

Season 13, Episode 14: Schizophrenia

A girl runs into the hospital and the doctors don't know why she is acting so sporadic, but then she collapses and they realize she needs a new pacemaker. After tracking her pacemaker ID to identify who the girl was, the doctors contact her parents. Plot twist, the parents thought that their daughter was abducted and killed after she had disappeared from her apartment and never returned. She was reintroduced to her parents, and the doctors explained that schizophrenia can be managed with medication.

Season 10, Episode 8: OCD

Dr. Miranda Bailey had unintentionally infected three patients because of an unknown infection she had. It turned out that the gloves she wore leaked, so she wasn't at fault for her patients' deaths. Even though she was not the sole cause of the deaths, Miranda developed a severe case of OCD. She locked herself inside a lab studying her disease, and when she was ready for surgery, she was not able to operate efficiently due to her need to organize her tools, rewash her hands, and other rituals. Dr. Webber eventually convinced Miranda to take medication in order to fight her OCD and become again the great surgeon she is.

Depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder are also importantly depicted throughout various episodes of "Grey's Anatomy."

If you are suffering from a mental health disorder, you are not alone. You are not weak for asking for help. The Mental Disorder Hotline is 1-800-662-4357, and the Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

2. Alcoholism

Richard Webber at the bar trying not to drink

Season 6, Episode 10

Dr. Richard Webber, the former Chief of Surgery, had a problem with alcohol for many years. After it began to affect his work and personal life, he joined an alcoholic support group and began his bumpy journey to sobriety. In this episode, Richard began drinking again after the death of one of his medical interns, and he was forced to step down as Chief. After regaining his sobriety, he was able to become Chief again, and he managed his disease by working at the hospital.

If you are suffering from an alcohol addiction, don't be afraid to ask for help. There are many ways to help manage this disease. The Substance Use Disorder Hotline is 1-800-662-4357. It is free, confidential, and available 24/7.

3. Racial Discrimination

The police treat an innocent boy that they shot like a criminal

Season 14, Episode 11

In this episode, a 12-year-old boy is shot by police while attempting to enter his own house. The boy's family lived in a privileged neighborhood, and he forgot his key to get into the house. When he went to get in through the window, the police thought him to be a dangerous criminal and shot him multiple times. The boy was brought to the hospital where his family showed up, and eventually he succumbed to his gunshot wounds. This situation brings up the issue of police brutality, with an emphasis on racial bias by the police, an issue that has been very prominent for years. Dr. Miranda Bailey struggles to have a talk with her son about what he should do if he encounters the police, because by being black he is at a greater risk. She tells him to put his hands up, say his name and explain his actions. Part of her talk includes, "Your only goal is to get home safely [...] If your white friends are mouthing off you cannot [...]," and so on. The fact that some parents have to have this talk with their young children about how to protect themselves in the presence of police, shows that our society needs to do much, much better. The people who are supposed to protect us, are taking innocent lives for no reason other than the color of their skin.

4. Feminism 

We should start to compliment women more on who they are, rather than always what they look like

Feminism: "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes."

Season 2, Episode 9

At the beginning of the first season, the medical interns are scared of one of the residents, known as "The Nazi." They expect a white male doctor. Turns out, The Nazi was a black female doctor, Dr. Miranda Bailey. In this iconic episode, a male doctor visiting the hospital is looking for The Nazi, and when he runs into Miranda, he says to her: "There's only one resident I want in my OR, a guy called The Nazi [...] Stellar rep, balls the size of Texas [...] For now you can work on smaller cases, page me if you get confused." Later on in the episode, the ignorant male doctor overheard Miranda being called The Nazi, and he looked at her flabbergasted. All she said was, "Happy Thanksgiving." Iconic.

Women can have power and women work hard for power. The sad thing is that often women have to be a b*tch in order for people to actually take them seriously and in order to get shit done. The successful creator, head writer and producer of Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes, does an amazing job of empowering the women in her shows, as well as explaining the obstacles that women face in the workplace.

This article highlights some great feminist moments throughout Grey's Anatomy.

5. LGBTQ+ Acceptance

The emotional scene where a young girl's father lovingly defends her sexuality to his wife

Season 12, Episode 1

Two young girls arrived at the hospital after being grazed by a train. When Dr. Callie Torres asked one of the girls, Jessica, if she knew the other girl, Jessica told her that the two were in love. The girls weren't suicidal when they almost died from the train's impact, but they thought it was the only way for them to be together forever. Jessica's parents wanted to send her to a conversion camp because they didn't want her to love girls. Callie called child protective services, and Jessica's mom threatened to sue the hospital. At that point, Jessica's dad stepped in and with a change of heart, defended his daughter in a beautiful way.

This is one of many episodes in "Grey's Anatomy" that does an amazing job at depicting how LGBTQ+ members are treated by their family members and society. Grey's shows how as humans we all crave love, but it is unfairly more difficult for some people than others.

6. Mass Shootings

Dr. Cristina Yang and Dr. Jackson Avery are in the middle of operating on Dr. Derek Shepherd, one of the shooter's victims, when he enters the operating room to stop them from saving Derek

Season 6, Episode 23

A few episodes after a man's wife is taken off of life support by Dr. Derek Shepherd, he reenters the hospital and begins a shooting rampage on his way to Derek's office. He kills Dr. Reed Adamson, Dr. Charles Percy, and other people at the hospital. He non-fatally shoots Dr. Alex Karev, Dr. Owen Hunt, and Dr. Derek Shepherd. 11 out of the 18 people shot were killed. After a conversation with Dr. Richard Webber, the gunman eventually shoots himself. Many of the doctors suffer from PTSD and the following episodes explain how the shooting affected their lives and their careers.


Owen Hunt was a trauma surgeon in the military

Season 5, Episode 9

Both veteran PTSD and traumatic life event PTSD are shown throughout "Grey's Anatomy." Dr. Owen Hunt had PTSD from being in the military. One night he began to strangle his wife, Dr. Cristina Yang, in her sleep because the ceiling fan reminded him of helicopter propellers from the war. Luckily a friend was in the apartment and was able to get Owen to wake up. He worked through his PTSD by talking with a therapist and found a fan room in the hospital that actually relaxed him instead of triggering him. Cristina also suffered from PTSD after coming face to face with a mass shooter in the hospital. She was performing surgery on her best friend's husband as he threatened to kill her if she didn't stop operating.

The Veteran Crisis Hotline is 1-800-273-8255.

8. Abortion

Cristina and Owen's marriage struggles when she finds out she's pregnant, but wants to have an abortion

Season 7, Episode 22

In this episode, Cristina finds out that she is pregnant. When she tells her husband, Owen, he is ecstatic. Cristina is the opposite and knows immediately that she does not want a baby. Owen begs her to have their child, and she begs him to let her exercise her right to choose. Eventually, he goes to the abortion appointment with her and supports her. Later in the series, Owen screams at a party "You killed our baby!" to Cristina, and their marriage is strained from that point on. Even though Cristina knew that she did not want a baby, choosing to have an abortion was still difficult for her, as it is for many women who choose this option. This is one of the most controversial arguments in society, and this situation may help pro-lifers see that abortion isn't a split-second decision. It can be emotionally destructive.

In another episode, Dr. April Kepner thinks that she may be pregnant with a child from her boyfriend. He immediately wants to get married and raise their child together. Although April ended up not pregnant at the time, this situation shows that each woman reacts to her pregnancy differently, and has options for how to go forward with being pregnant.

There are also episodes where the mother may die if she gives birth, where the child will be born dead or die soon after birth and miscarriages. Again, each woman is affected by the news differently and chooses to act differently depending on a variety of factors.

9. Questioning of Religion 

April Kepner has a crisis of faith after four of her cases result in death in one day

Season 14, Episode 10

A few seasons ago, April had left her fiancé, Matthew, at the altar and ran off with her ex-boyfriend, Dr. Jackson Avery, who she ended up marrying. In this episode, Matthew and his pregnant wife, Karen, went to the hospital because she was in labor, and April ended up being her doctor. When Matthew and April talked, Matthew said that even though their broken wedding was painful, he believed that God made that happen so that April could marry Jackson and have a baby, and he could marry Karen and have a baby. April didn't tell him that her baby died and she and Jackson divorced.

Karen's blood pressure suddenly spikes, and she internally bleeds to death. Karen's death, grouped with three other deaths that day that April was unable to save, caused her to lose her faith with God and enter a dark state of mind.

Later on, April was involved in a car accident and Jackson, who formerly didn't believed in God, prayed to him asking for April to live. After April survived surgery, Jackson began to grow his faith and be more open to religion.

10. Domestic Abuse 

After years of hiding from her abusive husband, he and his fiancé run into her at the hospital, and she is terrified

Season 14, Episode 10

The biggest example of domestic abuse comes from the character Jo Wilson. Jo, a resident at the hospital, falls in love with doctor Alex Karev. When Alex asks Jo to marry him, she has to say no and Alex is heartbroken. What he doesn't know is that Jo is still legally married, and she can't get divorced because her husband, Paul, doesn't know where she is. Jo ran away from Paul because he was emotionally and mentally abusive. After being sick of hiding from him and not being able to marry Alex, Jo files for divorce and hopes for the best. Eventually, Paul shows up to the hospital with his new fiancé and terrifies Jo. He agrees to sign the divorce papers so that he can get remarried as well, but Jo is scared that Paul's new fiancé is in the same horrible situation that she was in. She attempts to intervene, and later that night Paul is hit by a drunk driver. While in the hospital bed, Jo and Paul's fiancé tell him that they are taking him to court. In anger he tries to attack them and hits his head on the bed, resulting in a fatal head injury. Jo and the fiancé are relieved and can finally feel safe.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.

11. Heart Attacks in Women

Miranda's husband comforts her after her surgery

Season 14, Episode 11

The first symptoms of a heart attack in women don't always appear the same as they do in men. Many women go to the ER with heart attack symptoms but are dismissed as stress. Dr. Miranda Bailey goes to a hospital's ER and tells them that she is having a heart attack. The male cardio doctor asks her questions about her mental health and current lifestyle. He refuses to take her seriously when she insists that she is having a heart attack. Miranda insists on staying at the hospital, and requests a second opinion from another doctor. A psychotherapist is sent, and he claims that Dr. Bailey is simply feeling overwhelmed by stress and her OCD. Eventually, Miranda does have a heart attack and must go into emergency surgery.

12. Drug Addiction

Amelia Shepherd is a successful brain surgeon who struggled with drug addiction

Season 11, Episode 7

Dr. Amelia Shepherd, Derek Shepherd's sister, is the head of neurosurgery at the hospital. Amelia had become addicted to drugs after seeing her father killed in front of her, but had straightened out to go to medical school. As a surgeon, she suffered with drug abuse again after her boyfriend died from an overdose, and she went into rehab. This example of Amelia's addiction shows that people can appear to be high functioning, but still be suffering on the inside. It also shows that recovery is possible, even after multiple relapses.

The Substance Use Disorder Hotline is 1-800-662-4357, and is available for free, 24/7.

Thank you, "Grey's Anatomy," for putting these issues on a major platform, and giving those who can't speak out about their struggles a voice.

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36 Rules Of Life From 'NCIS's' Leroy Jethro Gibbs

Sometimes we all need a smack on the back of the head.

I have been watching "NCIS" since the show began back in 2003, and season 15 will be airing this September. It is one of the longest running series and for a good reason, even though a lot of your favorite characters die off in the show they somehow still keep it alive. Anyone who has watched an episode or more knows about the infamous Gibbs's rules. Here's the list that we can gather from the many episodes:

Rule 1: "Never let suspects stay together." - revealed in the Season 1 premiere episode, Yankee White (episode).

Rule 2: "Never screw over your partner." - revealed in the Season 4 episode, Blowback (episode). McGee also stated this rule to Ned Dorneget in Need to Know (episode). McGee also mentioned to Abigail Borin in Ships in the Night (episode) that rule number one has been taken twice, showing that he knows that there are two number one rules.

Rule 3: "Always wear gloves at a crime scene." - revealed in "Yankee White."

Rule 4: "Don't believe what you're told. Double check." - again revealed in "Yankee White."

Rule 5: "Never be unreachable." - revealed in the Season 3 episode, Deception (episode) although Gibbs has been known to be intentionally unreachable. The rule was shown in Rule Fifty-One (episode) in the background when Gibbs opens the box.

Rule 6: "The best way to keep a secret? Keep it to yourself. Second best? Tell one other person - if you must. There is no third best." - revealed in the Season 4 episode, Blowback (episode)

Rule 7: "You don't waste good." - revealed in the Season 8 episode, Baltimore (episode).

Rule 8: "Never say you're sorry. It's a sign of weakness." - This rule has been mentioned throughout the series, but it wasn't given a specific number until Flesh and Blood (episode). The rule is also a direct reference to John Wayne's catch phrase in "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" (John Ford, Director). Wayne said: "Never apologize, mister, it's a sign of weakness." to subordinates in a military situation. DiNozzo notes the connection in Hiatus Part 1 (episode). Mark Harmon's career has paralleled John Wayne's. They both were quarterback of their southern California college football team, both went into acting. (Harmon's father, Tom Harmon, was a Heisman Trophy-winner and actor & announcer as well.) Note: This is continuously told to Tony, Ziva and Tim through a smack to the back of their heads.

Rule 9: "Always be specific when you lie." - revealed in the Season 1 finale episode, Reveille (episode).

Rule 10: "Never take anything for granted." - revealed in the Season 3 episode, Probie (episode) although Gibbs also quotes it as being "Never assume" during the Season 9 episode, Rekindled (episode).

Rule 11: "Never go anywhere without a knife." - revealed in the Season 1 episode, One Shot, One Kill (episode)although it's sometimes quoted as "Never leave home without a knife" or "Always carry a knife."

Rule 12: "Never get personally involved in a case." - revealed in the Season 7 episode, Obsession (episode) and again referenced by the new SECNAV Clayton Jarvis in the Season 9 premiere episode, Nature of the Beast (episode) as the number one rule in Washington politics.

Rule 13: "When the job is done, walk away." - revealed in the Season 6 episode, Semper Fidelis (episode).

Rule 14: "Never date a co-worker." - revealed in the Season 1 episode, Enigma (episode).

Rule 15: "Never, ever involve lawyers." - revealed in "Collateral Damage." Rule 51 is written on the back of the card containing Rule 13 in "Rule Fifty-One."

Rule 16: "Bend the line, don't break it." - revealed in Anonymous was a Woman (episode).

Rule 17: "Always work as a team." - revealed in Leap of Faith (episode).

Rule 18: "If someone thinks they have the upper hand, break it." - revealed in the Season 8 finale episode, Pyramid (episode).

Rule 19: "Never, ever interrupt Gibbs during an interrogation." - revealed in the Season 14 episode, Privileged Information (episode).

Rule 20: "It's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission." - revealed in Silver War (episode).

Rule 21: "Always look under." - revealed in The Artful Dodger (episode)

Rule 22: "Never ever bother Gibbs in interrogation." - revealed in Smoked (episode).

Rule 23: "Never mess with a Marine's coffee... if you want to live."- revealed during "Forced Entry."

Rule 24: "There are two ways to follow someone. First way, they never notice you. Second way, they only notice you." - Jack Knife (episode) and "Rule Fifty-One."

Rule 25: "When you need help, ask." - revealed during Blood Brothers (episode).

Rule 26: "Always watch the watchers." - revealed in "Baltimore."

Rule 27: "If you feel like you are being played, you probably are." - revealed in Nature of the Beast (episode).

Rule 28: "Your case, your lead." - revealed in Bounce (episode) placing Tony as temporarily in charge of the team, and also in Phoenix (episode) with Ducky as leader.

Rule 29: "There is no such thing as coincidence." - revealed in Obsession (episode) although DiNozzo states that Rule 39A is "There is no such thing as a small world" during Canary (episode).

Rule 30: "If it seems like someone is out to get you, they are." - revealed in Borderland (episode).

Rule 31: "Never accept an apology from someone who just sucker punched you." - revealed in Psych Out (episode).

Rule 32: "First things first, hide the women and children." - This rule number was mentioned in Patriot Down (episode) but was not stated until Rule Fifty-One (episode).

Rule 33: "Clean up the mess that you make." - revealed in "Rule Fifty-One" although it's also stated as "Never leave behind loose ends" in Hiatus Part 2 (episode).

Rule 34: "Sometimes you're wrong." - Created by Gibbs in Rule Fifty-One" by writing it on the back of the card containing Rule 13. It is unknown if his coworkers are aware of this rule.

Rule 35: "Always give people space when they get off an elevator." - revealed in Double Back (episode)

Rule 36: "Never trust a woman who doesn't trust her man." - revealed in Devil's Triangle (episode).

While some seem to deal with Gibbs only there are some very great life lessons present. If you haven's started watching "NCIS" I suggest you start soon, it is all on Netflix.

"A slap to the face is an insult - a slap to the back of the head is a wake-up call." Leroy Jethro Gibbs
Cover Image Credit: CBS TV / Twitter

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'Jane The Virgin' Season Five Made Me Hate Jane

Season five has ruined Jane Gloriana Villanueva.


SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for "Jane the Virgin"

Now, for all the super fans left, let me preface this article by saying that I love "Jane the Virgin." The show itself has brought a large piece of Latinx culture to an American audience in a way that is both educational and thrilling. Somehow, the writers of this modern Telenovela managed to find the balance between "soap opera" drama and modern TV drama.

However, while the show itself remains captivating, its main character has lost her luster. In other seasons, Jane proved to be an honest, selfless young woman. One of the prime examples of this is when she tells Michael she is pregnant instead of just accepting his proposal and dealing with the consequences later.

In seasons one through four, Jane was, as expected, caught up in the drama, but she always tried to put others before herself. She was fiercely protective of her mother and abuela as well as her son, Mateo. She was eager to help a struggling Petra, though Petra was nothing but rude to her.

Season five Jane is a different story.

This Jane perpetuates the idea that it is OK to play with someone's feelings, that she is right in dangling a relationship over both Raphael and Michael's heads. She claims that she doesn't know what she feels, that she has feelings for both Raphael and Michael. That she can't just run from her feelings for Michael.

She preaches that "love" is only an emotion. That it is ONLY felt. That because she "feels" something still there with Michael, she must still love him.

Sorry to break it to you Jane, but love isn't just a feeling. Love is a choice. It's a struggle. It's a fight you'll never stop fighting. It's a race you'll never get tired of running or when you do, you'll take a long drink of water and keep going.

Quite frankly, the way in which Jane treats her relationship with both men is emotional abuse. It is not only affecting the adults, but also the children as Mateo begins acting out and Ana and Ellie are convinced Raphael is taking drugs. While toying with the hearts of two men she cares about, she is also placing a wedge between herself and her son.

It seems stupid to be so opinionated about a silly TV show like "Jane the Virgin," but I know what it's like to be the second choice, then the first choice, then second again. Always wondering if you'll be good enough the next time, what you could have done better, how you could be different. Jane's actions in the final season only perpetuate the idea that it's OK to play with someone's emotions and that love is only a feeling. If you don't feel it, you don't have it.

Disclaimer: I am totally Team Raphael (if that wasn't obvious enough in this article), but here's why: Jane and Michael's relationship was based on "feeling." It "felt" magical. Raphael and Jane were not "love at first sight' but grew to love and accept one another. To me, this is the beautiful story. This is the real story of love.

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