Movie attractions about mental illnesses
Recently I wrote about the premiere of a new movie, Mania Days, which stars Katie Holmes and is based on the life of the author who has Bipolar disorder. One of our Facebook friends asked where it could be seen.
Well, the answer, in short, is “not yet”. It is an independent film and caught my eye because it premiered in Austin TX, near where I live. Unfortunately, no matter how good it is, it won’t be released on the “big screen” until the writer/director/producer has an offer from a large movie production company – for a lot of money.
He may get one of those offers at upcoming independent film festivals, and the prospects look good as the film has received positive reviews. It is likely that no matter how good the film is, we won’t see it in theaters for several months, if not longer. (It will probably be available on DVD though)
Sorry if it was a big tease. In any case, it got me thinking that there are some well-known and available movies that you can see. Maybe you have seen them, but you probably haven’t seen all or even most of them.
The good news is that since mental disorders tend to produce notable or even outrageous and shocking behaviors, they do make good subjects for movies. This list is only a few of the movies that I have seen – and in many of them, there is no clear “diagnosis” for the characters but the symptoms are there.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Anxiety Disorders –
• Ordinary People
Can result in avoiding being in public, speech disorders and fears of other social situations.
• The Kings Speech
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
• The Aviator
• As good as it gets
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
• Prince of Tides
• Forrest Gump
• Born on the Fourth of July
• First Blood
• Sudden Impact
• Reign Over Me
• The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
There is really only one good example that I know of – and it is a classic. That said, it is not an exact example as Autism is a “spectrum disorder” that ranges from high-functioning to non-functioning.
• Rain Man
• The Boy Who Could Fly
There are actually a lot of movies that can be seen showing bipolar disorder though. Rarely do they discuss the actual diagnosis but here are a few good ones.
• Mad Love
• Blind Date
• Michael Clayton
• Of Two Minds
In most cases, clinical depression doesn’t look good on a screen. Unless the character has some other event going on, watching someone not do anything doesn’t attract movie attention. In these cases, there were other things going on in the movie that made them interesting.
• The Fire Within
• Leaving Las Vegas
And the winner for “Most Psychiatric Disorders Featured in One Movie” goes to:
Both movies show a number of intertwining psychiatric disorders including anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, and eating disorder, are great films and two you really shouldn’t miss.
Most of these movies should be available on DVD.