Lessons Movies Have Taught Us About Mental Health Issues
Sometimes a film can change you, such as a generation of teenagers in the 1990s who felt deeply moved by the love story between Jack and Rose in Titanic.
In the late 1970s, it was the turn of today’s parents to discover a futuristic fairy tale story with Star Wars and fall in love with Princess Leia. But sometimes films can do more than making you laugh and cry: They can make you understand the reality of current troubles in the world. So, if you are suffering from mental health issues, or if you know someone who is, here are the top four films that display mental health issues with honesty and respect.
#1. Punch-Drunk Love
In this comedy, Adam Sandler plays Barry, a quiet man who finds himself thrown into an active world that is not his. As the film goes, the viewer is invited to get into Barry’s mind. Gradually, it becomes obvious that Barry suffers from some schizophrenic disorder that puts his budding relationship with Lena, played by the excellent Emily Watson, at a risk. Schizophrenia is a difficult disorder to deal with, especially as it had suffered from a bad press in the past when unscrupulous scriptwriters happily portrayed schizophrenic patients as violent and dangerous murderers. Thankfully, more and more communities, such as www.schizlife.com, are now determined to support patients in living a full and happy life despite their disorder.
#2. Ordinary People
Ordinary People is a 1980s film that gathers Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, and Timothy Hutton. It is a drama that shows how a family deals with the death of a child. Hutton plays the brother mourning his sibling’s death. He is ridden with survivor’s guilt, to the point where he cannot picture any future to his life. His attempted suicide is a common element in severe PTSD cases, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. His mother fails to understand his gesture and insists on moving on, while still refusing to address the topic. As for Sutherland, he plays the father, desperate to hold on to his family. This film paints a realistic image of how PTSD affects a family.
Depression can sometimes be described as a form of laziness by people who prefer to give up instead of fighting their problems off. This is unfair; often depression is tricky to deal with as you can read in a previous article on www.livegoodly.com. Bridesmaid is a comedy that shows the hard and real side of depression by depicting Annie, played by Kristen Wiid: A young woman who is freshly broken up, struggling with financial issues and desperately jealous of what others have that she feels has been denied to her.
#4. Still Alice
Julianne Moore plays Alice, a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s. Slowly the film shows the impact on Alice’s life and on the life of her family. This is a very sensitive and heartbreaking story that will ring true for many watchers. The mix of fear and determination that inhabits Alice as she tries to stay connected to those she loves until the end is a struggle that many elderly people, and sometimes even younger ones, face every year
. Being able to see how Alzheimer’s can affect a person from the inside is an important lesson for the families who are caring for elderly members, as it is key to acknowledge the fears and pain of those who during their lucid moments watch their old selves disappear.
Entertainment can be a great tool to teach us much including Mental Health Issues so we know we aren’t alone.