Movies about mental illness have a significant impact on people to make them understand how mental illness and disorder are a growing problem in society. Hollywood has been greatly highlighting the concern for mental health through various movies.
According to research, 3 out of 5 people around the world suffers from mental illness, and the stigma around it led people to hide it for a long time which results in affecting their mental health more. No matter if a person is young or old, in one way or another they have been affected by certain mental illnesses that they might find hard to live with.
Mental illness is of several types, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, paranoia, ADHD, Autism, dyslexia, PTSD, and others.
Hollywood and Mental Illness
Since the beginning of time, Hollywood films have been a powerful source to influence people, change the point of view of people regarding several issues, and understand cultural beliefs.
Fights, action sequences, drama, and war might make a movie the best or extremely entertaining and give a thrilling experience to the viewers. But a simple movie with a great plot that is completely relatable to the audience, with little or no action sequence and an ultimate inward look to the turmoil and reality, makes it stand out and the best. These are movies about mental illness, disorder, and sickness that vastly sways the lives and relationships of people suffering from it.
In today’s time, mental health is still a stigma in few parts of the world. Although celebrities and actors are coming out of their shells, discussing their experiences publicly with certain mental illnesses and encouraging people to break the notion of hiding their intricacies related to mental health.
Hollywood is striving to portray movies about mental illness and collaborate the movies and other projects with mental health campaigns to provide a source to help people struggling with mental health issues.
Movies have the ultimate power of changing how people view the world. The significant increment of making movies about mental illness has been quite common and popular in Hollywood in today’s time to make people aware of how people must understand and help those who are enduring any mental problems.
The entertainment industry has been successful in breaking the stigma of mental health in society which is an ultimate revolution. A movie could be romantic-comedy or action-thriller; certain scenes or parts revolve around mental health discussion. In today’s world of cinema, a movie does not necessarily have to be a mental health movie to break the ice of having mental health conversation, and that is the beauty of it.
Movies can often portray or stigmatize mental health issues that might make one feel dazed and confused about their mental problems. It is because people directing or are in the business of movie-making have no experience with mental issues, which is why the portrayal gets distorted.
However, many great movies about mental illness have perfectly portrayed what it is like to suffer from a particular mental problem, how it affects a person, their lives, their relationships, and their position in society.
Movies About Mental Illness
Here is the list of the top 8 incredible movies about mental illness appreciated by critics and loved by audience worldwide, making them a must-watch for one and all.
They are as follow:
1. Rain Man
Starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffmann as brothers, this classic movie is about a man living with autism. The movie brilliantly portrays how an autistic person behaves, talks, and what are their daily habits. Hoffman’s character has an interesting outlook on life, and he possesses great mathematical skills.
The brothers spend quality time together where Tom’s character tries to understand his brother’s disabilities and learn about his incredible talent of remembering everything. Rain Man is hands down, a delightful movie portraying brotherly bond and creating awareness about autism around the world.
2. It’s Kind of A Funny Story
This movie is based on the book of the same title, and it was released in the year 2010 starring Emma Roberts, Keir Gilchrist, Viola Davis, and others. The story of It’s Kind of a Funny Story revolves around a 16 y/o boy who is admitted to a psychiatric hospital because he attempted suicide.
It is a light-hearted comedy movie about mental illness, especially depression, and how it affects young people. Through this movie, it has been represented that a hospital is not always a gloomy place and break all the negative notion of people. It’s Kind of a Funny Story is a must-watch to understand depression with not-so-serious drama and excellent comic timing.
3. Girl Interrupted
Starring Winona Ryder as Susan, who suffers from a borderline personality disorder, has been admitted to a women’s mental institution where she meets other women with several mental problems. Her journey to discover herself begins. Girl Interrupted is set in the era of the 60s exploring mental illness. It is a must-watch in today’s modern time because of the excellent representation of various mental disorders. Movies about mental illness like Girl Interrupted stand true of their time and is the reason why it is a classic.
4. Fight Club
David Fincher’s Fight Club is based on the same title by Chuck Palahnuik is an extremely aggressive and not-your-regular movie about mental illness. It is about a young man who is exhausted from his daily activities and befriends a guy called Taylor, played by Bradd Pitt, and opens a fight club where men fight their pain, traumas, and toxic personalities.
This movie is eye-opening about toxic masculinity and suppressed pain which makes it a classic. It is an interesting take on the mental problem with a Fincher’s style plot that makes the audience hooked to their seats from beginning to end.
5. Silver Linings Playbook
Starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook is based on a book of the same title. The plot of this movie revolves closely around Cooper’s character Pat who suffers from bipolar disorder, and Lawrence’s character Tiffany who is a widow with manic depression after her husband’s death. The movie stigmatizes the term ‘crazy’ and portrayed what it is like to live with mental illness in today’s world.
6. Good Will Hunting
It is an absolutely wonderful film depicting how one should seek a therapist when they are suffering from certain mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, or others. Robin Williams in this movie has played the role of a therapist who helps a young janitor with a gift of solving difficult mathematical problems, Will to fight depression. With an exceptional gift of solving hard puzzles, Will has suffered from an abusive past that has vastly impacted his mind; Robin Williams helps him find his way in life.
Good Will Hunting is a must-watch for amazing dialogues, screenplay, Robin’s and Matt’s characters, and the message that it gives out to the audience that it is okay to seek help and go to therapy if one feels exhausted and depressive at any point of their life and to be back on bright track of life.
7. Inside Out
One of the most beautiful movies about mental illness by Disney’s Pixar is Inside Out, which has brilliantly portrayed every aspect of mental illness. The quirky and cute animation embodies emotions such as happiness, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust inside the body of a young girl named Riley. The emotions inside her help her get through her move to San Francisco with her family and make her adjust to the new life of hers that is to begin.
Inside Out is a beautiful movie that is a must-watch for everyone no matter, young or old, to understand their emotions. It has presented mental health problem that seems interesting, easy, and important for people especially young kids understand at an early stage so to prevent the struggling and suffering at their adolescent period.
8. A Beautiful Mind
One of the classic movies about mental illness is A Beautiful Mind, based on the real-life story of John Nash, a brilliant mathematician with schizophrenia played by Russel Crowe, and it is also based on the book by Sylvia Nasar. It is an incredible movie representing the struggle and challenges like paranoid schizophrenia that John Nash has faced in his life and has altered his promising career.
A beautiful mind has incredibly portrayed what hallucinations feel like, and the audience gets to know what John Nash has been suffering. It is a must-watch classic for everyone across the world to understand mental illness on a deeper level.
Mental Illness is a severe problem that people across the world often neglect and doesn’t seek help or go to therapy to help them with depression, stress, and anxiety. Movies about mental illness create awareness and make people understand different aspects of it. It has been a huge help for people across the world, and in today’s time, people have started to speak up about their mental illness breaking the notion and stigma around it.
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