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There’s a lot of movies or tv shows about mental health floating around. Some of them good and some of them not so good. Here’s a list of the good ones (at least what I think)!
1. It’s Kind Of a Funny Story (2010)
Whilst this movie is far more comical than any real life situation, it truly helps normalise the fact that people who are ill are just people in need of care and support. I think the only problem I have with this movie is that the main character got better as soon as they had a love interest because that’s definitely not always the case. Trigger warnings: suicide, self harm, domestic violence, sexual abuse.
2. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Regardless of how you feel about Jennifer Lawrence, this is a good movie. It focuses on a guy called Pat, who has bipolar, coming home to his parents from a mental hospital. Whilst some part of him is super aggressive and that’s a negative thing as not all bipolar people are aggressive, it’s a pretty accurate show of someone deals with their mental health and steps into the right directions of recovery. Trigger warnings: violence, child sexual assault, relapse.
3. Black Swan (2010)
I only watched this recently because I heard that was a bloody massive trigger warning on this movie. It targets the issues of eating disorders in the dancing world. Trigger warnings: eating disorders, suicide, self harm, rape, high pitched noises, murder.
4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
Surprise this movie is on here. I know it’s so popular but it’s so accurate in terms of childhood trauma and ptsd. It also shows how people with mental health problems can go from highs to their all time low very quickly. Trigger warnings: sexual assault, domestic violence, paedophilia, animal cruelty, suicide, needles, incest, miscarriage.
5. Girl, Interrupted (1999)
I know a lot of people don’t think this is perfect in the sense of borderline personality disorder, and I have to agree with you on that! However, it’s a good representation of the denial that mentally ill people struggle with and how difficult some day to day things are. Trigger warnings: sexism, disordered eating, self hatred, suicide, self harm, sexual assault, child abuse, blood, needles, violence.
6. Fight Club (1999)
This is based around dissociative identity disorder, which is a condition where one person may have more than one personality. Trigger warnings: sexual abuse, threatened rape, abuse, child abuse, self harm, suicide, kidnapping, blood,
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
This movie focuses on a relationship between an anxious person and a more open/free-spirited person. The movie never outright states that they are mentally ill, but a lot of people with mental health conditions feel themselves in the characters too.
8. Side Effects (2013)
I know this movie is about someone who fakes her illness in order to kill her husband and then date her therapist, but the part where she is actually “ill” is quite accurate. She’s numb, she can’t remember things because she’s repressed them, she thinks she’s fine and doesn’t need to be in hospital but truly does. To name a few. If you look past the ending, it’s quite a good representation of mental illness. Trigger warnings: manipulation, abuse, murder, suicide, depression.
9. Inside Out (2015)
This was released to remind young children or teenagers that sadness is not only normal, but necessary for their well-being. The film touches on everything from depression to social anxiety, never judging or criticising, just accepting and offering a thoughtful response that may help and support someone. Trigger warnings: depression, anxiety, low moods, mania, family loss, infertility.
10. Melancholia (2011)
This movie has such a dark tone but it doesn’t strike fear towards depression, which most movies do. The main character sinks deeper and deeper into a pit of depression and loses interest in things she would have once found pleasurable – eg her wedding. The second half of the film, she gets a lot worse and begins to speak and move painfully slow. When I watched this scene, I felt a little overwhelmed because I knew that’s how I was acting (according to people around me) and it’s heartbreaking to see. Trigger warnings: intense low moods, slow speaking.
Of course there is probably so many more, but these are the ones I could think of off of the top of my head! There’s trigger warnings on most of these movies and I’ve included them so be careful and safe.