7 Films That Can Help You Understand Mental Illness

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7 Films That Can Help You Understand Mental Illness

Movies are wonderful. Meant to not only be enjoyed, they are the perfect medium for stories of any kind. From lighthearted tales to serious narratives, a well-crafted motion picture can give a lasting impact to its viewer. Powerful messages combined with excellent imagery affect how you think and feel. Whether you can relate or you want to learn more, here’s a list of films that best depict mental health conditions:

A Beautiful Mind

Directed by Ron Howard, this movie portrays the life of Nobel prize winning mathematician John Nash who has Schizophrenia. John is fascinated with geometrical patterns and loves forming different theories from a wide range of ideas. Russel Crowe did an excellent job as an actor in showing the mathematician’s behavior–his social awkwardness and delusions about the cold war, meetings with secret agents, and secret laboratories.

Girl, Interrupted

The film recounts Susanna Kaysen’s experiences in a psychiatric hospital as a woman in the ’60s. Winona Ryder played her role well that you can truly witness what it’s like to have Borderline Personality Disorder. Other characters also properly expressed Anorexia, Bulimia, Pathological Lying, and Sociopathy (played by Angelina Jolie).

The Skeleton Twins

Presented as a dark comedy, this film centers around twins Milo and Maggie who deal with depression. Despite including suicidal attempt, it manages to keep everything light enough for you to enjoy while learning the lessons it intends to give.

Good Will Hunting

A story about a young genius (Matt Damon) who masks his issues with anger and a psychologist (Robin Williams) determined to help him, this movie will help you understand Post-Traumatic Disorder and Inferiority Complex.

Inside Out

With its story and animations suitable for both children and adults, Inside Out perfectly shows how important our emotions are. Moreover, you learn your own emotions’ significance in your mental health and you learn the right way to handle them.

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Charlie, the protagonist, shows symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. He says the wrong thing and then worries about the consequences. He’s tormented by troubling memories such as his best friend’s suicide and a history of childhood abuse, which is revealed later on. The movie teaches you that seeking therapy and accepting your past are vital. Doing so not just ushers you toward recovery, but also encourages you to live your life with hope and zest.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Acclaimed and starring award-winning actors Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey, this film successfully mixes mental health with science fiction. It portrays Bipolar disorder, Depression, and Generalized Anxiety, all the while maintaining mystery and wonder in the plot to entertain you and keep you on your toes.

Watching a movie is an experience. You get to see it through the eyes of a character who lets you in on everything that happens within and around him. You feel like you’re not alone when the actor puts himself in your shoes, while you become inspired when he shows a positive, strong image despite his problems. Although far off from reality sometimes, films are a great and convenient way to learn and to heal.

Can you relate? Share your thoughts below. We’d love to hear them!

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Written by Hannah


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