10 Movies That Inaccurately Portray Mental Health

 / 

,
Bad Portrayals Of Mental Illness In Movies: Films

Movies are powerful tools that shape our thoughts and influence our ideas. But there are some bad portrayals of mental illness in movies that don’t quite match reality.

By consistently depicting harmful stereotypes and misconceptions about mental health, these movies have made a slight mockery of an incredibly serious condition.

Of course, there are some movies that did try their hardest to show authenticity and accuracy in their depiction of mental health conditions – but many fail to even come close.

While they may have had good intentions with how they presented these characters, all they’ve really done is reinforce stigmas and set back any sort of progress being made to understand and support those with MH challenges.

So, we’re going to dive into 10 bad representation of mental illness in films that depict MH conditions inaccurately. Maybe then you’ll see just how frustrating this “storytelling” method really is in cinema…

Related: 12 Ideal Movies For People With ADHD To Enjoy

10 Inaccurate Portrayals Of Mental Illness In Movies

1. Split (2016)

10 Inaccurate Portrayals Of Mental Illness In Movies
10 Movies That Inaccurately Portray Mental Health

You can’t deny James McAvoy’s performance in this film was amazing. But the movie itself is just so far from accurately portraying dissociative identity disorder (DID).

Split is one of the bad portrayals of mental illness in movies as it shows individuals with DID as violent and dangerous; which is really not true for most people living with the condition.

2. The Shining (1980)

mental illness in movies
10 Movies That Inaccurately Portray Mental Health

If you’re looking at this movie as purely a horror flick, then Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Jack Torrance is chillingly iconic.

But the film parallels mental illness with supernatural horrors which only adds to the stigma that anyone dealing with their mental health must be dangerous or unpredictable.

3. Psycho (1960)

mental illness in movies
10 Movies That Inaccurately Portray Mental Health

Alfred Hitchcock sure made a masterpiece, but like many other horror movies, this one leans heavily on using mental illness as a plot device.

With Norman Bates’ character, it’s no different. The mentally ill being seen as violent and deranged has always been an issue.

4. Me, Myself & Irene (2000)

mental illness in movies
10 Movies That Inaccurately Portray Mental Health

This comedy-intended movie completely misses the point when it comes to showing what dissociative identity disorder truly is — instead trivializing it even further to make people laugh and hence is considered a bad representation of mental illness in films.

Related: 15 Diverse Movies Dealing With Mental Illness In A Compelling Way

5. The Soloist (2009)

mental illness in movies
10 Movies That Inaccurately Portray Mental Health

By telling a true story about homelessness and schizophrenia it does raise awareness about both situations. However, this movie is one of the inaccurate portrayal of mental illness in movies as it oversimplifies what schizophrenia actually entails — missing its mark completely.

6. Joker (2019)

mental illness in movies
10 Movies That Inaccurately Portray Mental Health

Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of Batman’s villain was incredible in terms of exploring his backstory filled with mental illness and marginalization from society.

But the film has also been criticized for the glamorization of violence and the stigmatizing way it shows mental health conditions.

7. Donnie Darko (2001)

mental illness in movies
10 Movies That Inaccurately Portray Mental Health

This cult classic touches on some existential and time travel themes, but when it comes to psychosis, the movie falls short.

It only confuses everyone even more by blurring reality and fantasy instead of offering any sort of clarity.

8. Shutter Island (2010)

mental illness in movies
10 Movies That Inaccurately Portray Mental Health

Using mental illness as a plot twist is just another example of how individuals with psychiatric conditions are depicted as dangerous and unpredictable. Suspense over accurate representation isn’t necessary here.

9. Prozac Nation (2001)

mental illness in movies
10 Movies That Inaccurately Portray Mental Health

Based on Elizabeth Wurtzel’s memoir about depression, this film misses every mark possible. It suggests that popping a pill would make everything better; leaving out plenty of other important aspects of managing depression properly.

10. It’s Kind Of A Funny Story (2010)

mental illness in movies
10 Movies That Inaccurately Portray Mental Health

“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” follows Craig, a teenager who checks himself into a psychiatric hospital after having thoughts of suicide.

While he’s there, he makes friends and learns things about himself. However, some critics say it romanticizes mental health problems and might trivialize depression and being in the hospital.

Related: 10 Rap Songs That Address Mental Health Struggles

While these movies might be great at entertaining audiences, we need to approach them with caution and criticism.

Inaccurate portrayal of mental illness in movies not only contributes to stigma but also hinders our efforts to create empathy and understanding around these issues.

As viewers, we need to demand better representation from Hollywood — authentic depictions that reflect people’s real experiences living with diverse forms of mental illnesses.

mental illness in movies
10 Movies That Inaccurately Portray Mental Health

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

Panic Disorder Awareness: How To Recognize The Signs And When To Seek Help?

Panic Disorder Awareness: What To Do When Fear Overwhelms?

Panic disorder awareness is crucial for destigmatizing mental health issues and encouraging those who suffer to seek professional help.

Fear and anxiety are natural responses to certain situations and stressful events. But sometimes, these feelings can become overwhelming and occur without a clear cause or apparent danger. This may then be called a panic attack. When panic attacks become a regular occurrence, it could lead to what’s known as panic disorder.

So, let’s dive into what panic disorder is, how to recognize its signs and symptoms, and explore available panic disorder treatment options. By spreading panic disorder awareness, we can better support those affected and promote mental well-being.



Up Next

5 Mental Health Lessons From Inside Out 2: Helping Kids Understand Difficult Emotions

Powerful Lessons from Inside Out

Disney’s Pixar has captivated audiences once again with mental health lessons from Inside Out 2, a film that not only entertains but also provides insights into our emotional lives. 

While Riley experiences puberty, new emotions in Inside Out 2 join our old friends Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear. Anxiety, Envy, Embarrassment, and Ennui create different difficulties for Riley and the viewers.

Why ‘New’ Emotions Emerge in the Teen Years?

According to research one of the more difficult emotional changes in adolescence is feeling your feelings very intensely. 

During puberty, changes in your body may lead to irritability, mood swings, and self



Up Next

10 Best Self Love Songs: Your Ultimate Playlist for Boosting Happiness

Best Self Love Songs to Boost Happiness

Feeling down? Need a boost of positivity? There’s nothing like listening to the best self love songs to lift your spirits and remind you of your worth. If you’re a music lover looking to affirm your love for yourself, this playlist of self-love songs is just what you need.

They say self-love is hard to achieve. But as a music lover, I’ve found comfort and inspiration in the melodies. These two traits have guided me toward personal growth and mental peace which are the basics of self-love.

Therefore, I want to share some unique self-love songs for people who are still struggling to love themselves. These songs will definitely refresh your mood and give you a boost of positivity.

10 Best Self Love Songs: Celebrate t



Up Next

15 Ways To Keep Your Child From Developing An Eating Disorder

Eating Disorders: Ways To Protect Your Child From This

Many of us, including our kids, struggle with unhealthy diets and lack of exercise. This worrying trend leads to children developing an eating disorder, leading experts to believe that our current generation may be less healthy than their parents. Let’s find out more about children and eating disorders.

In this culture, unfortunately, many of us eat diets that aren’t very healthy, and we don’t get enough exercise. That’s true for our kids, too. In fact, experts suggest that this is the first generation that’s less healthy than their parents.

Even worse, when you mix our cultural obsession with thinness with emotional immaturity and how disconnected we often are from our own bodies, it’s a perfect storm for eating disorders.

Guess how many kids growing up in the US today develop some kin



Up Next

Healing From Within: 10 Tips To Forgive Yourself For Past Mistakes

How To Forgive Yourself: Methods To Release Past Guilt

Are you struggling to move past your old slip-ups? This article is going to explore some strategies that will help you forgive yourself and start healing from within. It’s time to cut yourself some slack, practice self forgiveness and embrace a brighter future.

Did you know that feelings of guilt can be strongly related to depression? Whether you feel guilt over past mistakes due to depression or your guilt is making you feel depressed, you deserve to set yourself free.

Without forgiveness, it’s impossible to move on from a mistake. Keep reading to learn how you can forgive yourself and do better in the future without berating



Up Next

7 Steps To Heal Toxic Shame: Reclaiming Your Self-Worth

Steps To Heal Toxic Shame: Reclaiming Your Self-Worth

Toxic shame steals our souls. It robs us of our joy, spontaneity, and our light. In today’s Best Day Blog, I will show you how to calm the chaos within and convert that darkness into light! In this article, I will share seven steps to heal toxic shame with you.

The Difference Between Shame and Guilt

Before we get started, I want to go over the difference between guilt and shame because many people confuse the two.

Guilt is primarily external when we feel that a choice or behavior isn’t working or isn’t reflective of our best self. Shame is internal and is making a mistake and believing that we are,



Up Next

The Fantasy Addict: 3 Signs To Watch For and How To Recover

The Fantasy Addict: Signs To Watch For and How To Recover

Are you or someone you know a fantasy addict? Escaping into imaginary worlds can be fun, but sometimes it can go too far. This article is going to talk about the signs of a fantasy addict, how to recover from fantasy addiction and get back to reality.

Day Dream Believer

Having an active imagination doesn’t make a fantasy addict. Fantasizing and day dreaming is not in itself a bad thing. Letting our mind wander and explore something we might enjoy is normal and healthy.

Depending on our intent, we can fantasize over preferred futures and scenarios and it can help us work out what we want in life. It can energize and inspire us as we explore options.

However, it can also