Who doesn’t love movies? Movies help us connect to our self, to our realities. They leave us thinking, offer new perspectives on our lives.
There are times in our lives when we feel lonely, left out, detached from the world. Movies become our companion then, taking us to their world where there are characters just like us.
We see them struggling too, we see them in their good and bad moments. We realize we are not alone this world. We too have people like us. All of us are fighting our own battles.
It’s not always possible to stay by their side or help them directly, but the moment we know we aren’t alone, we feel more confident which immediately makes us stronger.
Last year, my best friend fell into severe depression. No matter how much I tried to be there for him, it wasn’t working. He would not respond. That was when I tried looking for other ways to help him out. Consulting a friend who is a psychologist, I gave him a bunch of DVDs of movies on mental illness, in his case, depression.
He has always been a movie-buff and could never say ‘NO’ to movies. Soon, we were happily performing our favorite musical together. He would tell me how he healed, watching those movies, connecting with the characters and understanding how to move on, let go of the past.
Movies help us heal, more so for sensitive issues like a mental illness where one is not comfortable with sharing with others.
Our fears, our insecurities come to life and we understand how to deal with them. It’s not about happy endings, it’s about the struggle, the situation, the crisis.
Some leave us in tears, some in joy. But above all, we feel, we connect. We understand ways to help others, stand by them when they face similar situations like us.
My best friend suffered from depression. But there are other types of mental illnesses too, like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s among others.
Filmmakers from all over the world have worked on these mental illnesses and created some wonderful movies.
Here is the list of 5 movies on various types of mental illnesses which are not just some wonderful pieces but are capable of guiding us all.
(1) The Babadook:
Type of Mental Illness: Depression.
Theme: The Babadook, directed by Jennifer Kent and released in 2014 is about a woman whose husband dies in a terrible way. She is left alone with her son who is succumbed by the fear of a monster. Before she realizes, she could feel its presence too.
The movie doesn’t give a solution to depression. Rather, it teaches us to accept the fact that there might not possibly be any cure but there can be ways to keep it in check.
(2) Black Swan:
Type of Mental Illness: Schizophrenia.
Theme: Directed by Darren Aronofsky, psychological thriller, Black Swan was released in 2010. The plot revolves around the life of a ballerina who suffers from Schizophrenia. In the movie, she is seen hallucinating which give rise to a lot of other physiological and psychological problems including eating disorder, which happens to be a significant mental illness in today’s time.
The movie explores the challenges one might face in their life. The challenges are different but if we help each other, stand by each other and hold on, fight with all our strength, then there are ways to overcome them too.
(3) Jacob’s Ladder:
Type of Mental Illness: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Theme: Directed by Adrian Lyne, this psychological horror film was released in 1990. It deals with Jacob who is a veteran of the Vietnam war. It revolves around the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as we find Jacob experiencing hallucinations and scary flashbacks.
The horrifying visuals bring out the real life situation people with PTSD undergo. It helps us realize how tough our psychological battles can be but there is always hope.