Films on mental health are meant to encourage debates about sensitivity towards the issue. Countless people around us are affected by the issue. At times we ourselves may be on the verge of being clinically depressed, but owing to lack of knowledge in the area, we are unable to recognize the symptoms. Then comes the social stigma that pushes us to dodge the possibility that the mind maybe some kind of ill.
All these concerns can be addressed by understanding the problem and what better than cinema to start with.
Here are 8 movies about mental health that will help you realize the criticality of the situation and clear the misunderstanding and prevailing notions.
- I am Sam
Sam is a mentally handicapped father who is fighting for the custody of his 7-year-old daughter. He hires a lawyer for the process who helps him confront a rather ignorant set of people who dismiss his value owing to his mental health. The film subtly highlights the themes of care and the challenges faced by mentally challenged people in society.
- Rain man
An unprecedented amount of research has shown that autism is not a retarded state of mind. It is in fact a more developed state where the human brain is capable of processing complex information with ease. The film starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise in lead roles taps into the unexplored corners of an autistic mind and tell how much one on one conversations can help with people who live with it.
- A Beautiful Mind
The film follows the real-life story of American mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr. The film fabricates a story of illness sets the man on a path of research while he is working to expose the conspiracy of economic theory. You get to witness a new side of mental illness induced as a result of the pressure from the government.
- Still Alice
A linguistics professor is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The film captures her journey as she battles the pain of losing herself and tries to live each moment she has left before she completely forgets her children and her life as she knows it.
- Silver Linning’s Playbook
It is not easy to lead a life with a bipolar disorder. The disorder has completely disrupted the family life of Pal Salatino. He aims to put his family back together as he undergoes treatment in a mental rehab. Joining him on his journey is Tiffany who helps him in the process. The film brings out the challenges faced by bipolar disorder patients through the most moving dialogues and parables.
Many among us are still unclear on the concept of depression. We treat it like some kind of stress which comes and goes, often dismissing the seriousness of the problem. This film will help understand the impact of depression on a person’s life and how it culminates into something destructive if not treated in a timely manner. The film addresses every aspect of depression including fears and breakdowns.
- Girl, Interrupted
An 18-year-old Susanna is admitted to a mental hospital as a part of therapy to treat her personality disorder. But is she really crazy? The film explains the nuances of the challenge and what it takes to declare the person “in need of clinical therapy”.
- Ordinary People
It is a known fact that when a person is affected by mental illness, the challenge envelopes the entire family. This film tells the story of a family who loses a child in an accident that renders another son mentally ill. The PTSD syndrome challenges the integrity of the entire family as the mother is unable to support her son.