Movies have always created an impact on our minds and mood. Every movie has a different story to tell, especially the ones which are based on mental illness.
People tend to relate themselves to a story or a character in a movie that often depicts their mindset or any mental tension that they are fighting with. It is not mandated that this occurs in the storyline of every film but movies on mental illness leave an impression. They can act as a process of healing.
Mental health movies provide us with a stage to learn about mental illness and discard age-old stigma associated with psychological disorders. Thereby promoting mental health amongst the population.
Here is a list of mental health movies. Let’s have a look.
Movies on Mental Illnesses
1. Still Alice (2015)
This is an award-winning film that throws light on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The story highlights a successful linguistic professor, Alice Howland, played by Julianne Moore, who gets detected with Alzheimer’s disease after his 50th birthday.
Watching this movie would let you know about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease appropriately.
2. Infinitely Polar Bear (2014)
This film features Mark Ruffalo who plays Cam Stuart undergoing symptoms of bipolar disorder.
The story outlines Cam, his wife, and his two young children, who feel embarrassed when Cam returns from the hospital and is unemployed.
This film displays how the children cope with a family member with bipolar disorder in an unconventional situation.
3. I am Sam (2001)
The story unfolds the father-daughter relationship played by Sean Penn in the lead role as Sam Dawson, a man with an intellectual disability, struggles to bring up his daughter after his wife leaves him.
Rita Harrison, played by Michelle Pfeiffer, Sam’s lawyer turned friend, is approached by Sam to help him raise his daughter after she returns from the foster home.
The movie perfectly shows how an adult with intellectual disability fights with life and encounters parenting difficulties until Rita comes to Sam’s rescue.
4. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
This is a real-life story based on American mathematician John Nash. The plot revolved around Nash’s battle with schizophrenia.
The symptoms of schizophrenia- hallucinations, and delusions were perfectly portrayed from Nash’s real-life experiences to reel manifestations.
This film gave an idea on ‘split-mindedness’ to some extent.
5. Rain Man (1988)
This classic earned several accolades and was a super hit movie. It was based on the real-life story of an American autistic savant named Laurence Kim Peek.
The story portrays two brothers played by Dustin Hoffman as Raymond Ray and Tom Cruise as Charlie Babbitt.
The movie exquisitely manifests the journey of the brothers with autistic savant.
Movies about Mental Illnesses on Netflix
Here are some movies on mental illness that are streaming on Netflix with good ratings.
6. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Themed on bipolar disorder, where Pat played by Bradley Cooper tries to reunite with his wife after he returns from the hospital post his treatment. In his pursuit, he enters into a deal of participating in a dance competition with a widowed neighbor Tiffany played by Jennifer Lawrence.
It shows how both these people become empathetic towards each other. Tiffany, who might have a borderline personality disorder develops a bond with Pat and helps each other to fight against their odds.
7. To The Bone (2017)
This 2017 Netflix film deals with the suffering of a woman with anorexia nervosa. Ellen, played by Lily Collins brilliantly displays the pain that people with anorexia go through when she is sent to the rehabilitation center.
8. Horse Girl (2020)
A young girl Sarah is an introvert who earns by working at a craft store and often pays a visit to her mother’s grave who died a year ago. Her mother’s death left a deep scar on Sarah’s emotional and mental well-being.
This film reveals to the viewers what it is to live with paranoid visions and sleepwalking episodes when Sarah starts to believe that she is the clone of her grandmother.
9. Brain on Fire (2017)
The storyline is based on a successful young journalist who finds her life devastated when her mind is preoccupied with waking thoughts. This Netflix movie showcases the difficulties of living her life with mental illness and her journey towards ultimate recovery.
Chloe Grace Moretz made complete justice to the character of this young girl, Susannah Cahalan.
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
This movie shows a young man named Charlie, played by Logan Lerman who had undergone childhood depression. Due to the turn of fate, he is forced to face his demons from past traumas when a close friend of his commits suicide.
The story goes on with Charlie suffering from flashbacks and his battle against the same to overcome his mental illness.
Netflix does have a good collection of psychological movies.
Nowadays, movies are being released on digital platforms through Netflix, where you can choose any movie of your choice and watch it.
Mental illness movies provide a different perspective to view the people who undergo mental illnesses. It helps to break the stereotypical view that resists others to empathize with them rather than shoving them and leaving them desolated to deal with their difficulties alone.
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