While many movies and stories throughout history have perpetuated the stereotypes about mental disorders, some rare gems show the actuality. In a society where open discussion of mental health is a matter of taboo, movies that portray the difficulty associated with mental disorders are a wonderful way to deconstruct the stigma. Here are 6 such movies that keep things real:
Benny & Joon (1993)
It is often thought that people with mental illnesses are incapable of having healthy human relationships. Benny & Joon is a refreshing take on people with serious mental disorders as it shows a person with schizophrenia being in a romantic relationship. The movie follows the lives of siblings Benny and Joon, who stay together after the death of their parents. Joon soon meets Sam, and the two fall in love.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
This 1993 drama film is about Gilbert, the protagonist who cares for his severely depressed mother and disabled brother. After the mother experience the trauma of losing her husband to suicide, she goes into depression and develops an eating disorder that makes her morbidly obese. The movie does a stellar job of portraying the conditions which lead to depression and unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Still Alice (2015)
Still, Alice is a drama film from 2015 that follows Alice, a linguistic professor who suffers from an early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. As her memories begin to fade, Alice struggles to keep her life in order. The movie chronicles how a healthy woman who has everything she can ask for begins to decline as her condition progresses. The film is also about the unexpected reactions of her family and the heartbreak that accompanies them as they watch her deteriorate.
Charlie Bartlett (2008)
Charlie Bartlett has a storyline that many youngsters can relate to. The protagonist, Charlie, grows up without a father as a bratty kid. He also struggles with ADHD, which makes matters worse. When he moves to a public school, he comes across many kids who have deep-seated problems regarding family, sexuality, body image, and more. As they confide in him, he goes about helping the kids in unconventional ways, the experience of which eventually leads to his true calling.
Lars And The Real Girl (2007)
This comedy-drama movie portrays an awkward young man who develops a romantic relationship with a doll. The film offers a pleasant insight into the coping mechanisms of people who are recovering from a nervous breakdown. Lars, who fears abandonment, avoids intimacy and investment in real people to pursue an imaginary relationship with a doll. With the help of his psychologist and the rest of the town, who begin to accept his inanimate girlfriend, Lars eventually starts building relationships with real people.
Girl, Interrupted (2001)
Girl, Interrupted- is a drama film set in the late sixties where two young women- Lisa and Susanna, are admitted to a mental hospital. Susana and Lisa have very different qualities. The former has suicidal tendencies, and the latter is rebellious and manipulative and is considered a sociopath. While Susana starts to suspect if she really has mental problems, Lisa ignores her condition, tearing her life apart.