The mental disorders affecting much of the world ‘s population. We can even see, as the statistics are updated, how the frequency of appearance increases year by year due to different factors, among them, a greater awareness of what they are and how to seek help.

The film industry , on some occasions with more effect than on others, has made a great contribution when it comes to spreading what these disorders are and how to live with them through its characters (some of them already mythical such as, for example , Forrest Gump).

We emphasize that, on many occasions, the visibility they give of these people is not ideal or even counterproductive since they present them as dangerous, threatening or aggressive . For this reason, we have tried to present what we consider to be the most accurate representations of what the reality of these people could be.

This is the list of 5 movies that present mental disorders more realistically. Watch out! It is possible that there is some other spoiler .

1. ‘A wonderful mind’ (2001)

This film tells the story of the brilliant mathematician and Nobel Prize winner John Nash (played by Russell Crowe). This film follows Nash’s life as he develops paranoid schizophrenia .

A wonderful mind presents the protagonist as a close character with whom you come to feel identified. Unlike many other pieces of the seventh art, the person with the disorder is not presented as a monster but as what he was: a very intelligent, sweet and even clumsy person.

The best thing is how it presents the way in which the mathematician learned to live with the disease , how the treatment affected him (at that time the first antipsychotic drugs were beginning to be distributed) and how he manages to overcome the difficulties.

2. ‘Black swan’ (2010)

As is often the case when Darren Aronofky is the director, this is a movie that manages to blow you away. The work itself is a metaphor about the search for perception at any cost .

Natalie Portman gets into the shoes of Nina Sayers. This is a professional dancer who suffers from an eating disorder (suggested by certain scenes but never made explicit) with psychotic symptoms (delusions and hallucinations).

It is not a film about the disorder itself, but rather presents the suffering that this person may suffer and how it interferes with their life . In addition, it reflects the prevalence of this type of disorder (either anorexia or bulimia) in professions as demanding with the physical as dance.

3. ‘Melancholy’ (2011)

Directed by Lars von Trier, this is a “complicated” film, but one that faithfully reflects the way the world collapses for people suffering from depression and the fragility of things.

Justine (Kirsten Dunst) enjoys her wedding night and shortly after enters a depressive state close to catatonia (the taste hallucinations are very characteristic for which whenever she eats she tastes of ash in her mouth). In the film, each of the (family) characters represents negative aspects of humanity and how they probably contribute to its disorder.

4. ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ (1975)

It is an interesting film since it presents us with different disorders within it (including epilepsy). It is considered one of the masterpieces of cinema .

The protagonist of the story is Mac (Jack Nicholson) a criminal who has been locked up in the psychiatric hospital. Like many of his colleagues, he does not seem to suffer from any kind of mental problem .

The most interesting thing about the film is its representation of the serious mistreatment suffered by psychiatric patients in the seventies (not resolved many times today) and the criminalization of people against authority.

5. ‘The good side of things’ (2012)

This film has two protagonists with their own mental problems. On the one hand we have Pat (played by Bradley Cooper) who returns home after spending time in a psychiatric center (he has a diagnosis of bipolar disorder ) for assaulting his wife’s lover. On the other hand, Jennifer Lawrence plays Tiffany, a girl who after the death of her husband has presented different behavioral changes .

The two meet and reach a deal that is the central plot of the film. However, the most interesting thing is to see the great role that prejudices play towards people with mental disorders , which even appear in Pat to relate to Tiffany. 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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