However, content producers need to understand that mental illnesses are not beautiful. This narrative was challenged and in many ways problematic as it literally means ‘mentally ill’ are susceptible to evil spirits. I mean, it's nearly impossible to get on social media sites like Tumblr without seeing a picture of a bone-thin girl with self-harm scars looking depressed. However, the dialogues making fun of his father’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is less impressive. Although Nash does take drugs in the film in addition to his apparent self-management, schizophrenia is treated mainly through life-long medication and can't be cured. I was watching a popular Malayalam film named Charlie (2015). Movies like Silver Linings Playbook and A Beautiful Mind are terrific in this aspect. They deal with issues across a broad spectrum of mental illnesses, disorders, and … The hit movie racked up the most Academy Award nominations this year, and millions have seen it. most films and novels glorify the stigma and aversion people have towards people living with mental illness. If you read Stephen King novels or watch Hitchcock films or even watch most of the popular thrillers having a great twist, then one thing that you’ll observe is the hero or villain, suffering from either schizophrenia or dissociative identity disorder. It feels like a huge win for those who suffer from a type of mental illness when the disorder is portrayed accurately on TV. While Dr. Marvin's paranoid condition is aggravated to the point of attempted murder because of Bob's dependent personality disorder, the doctor's extreme dislike for Bob somehow leads to his cure. Heathers, starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, is a teen film that approaches serious issues, including eating disorders like bulimia, with dark comedy.The film has garnered a cult following and, as one reviewer writes, “What may seem like a near-two-hour callous joke is, on consideration, a caricature of high school indifference and cruelty.” Watch on Netflix Netflix’s series “13 Reasons Why” has been a critical success but some mental health experts fear the show could glorify teen suicide for those on the edge. “ Content “) (1991) shows a character, played by Jagathy, suffering from schizophrenia. In Akira (2016), the process of silencing Akira (Sonakshi Sinha) involved giving her ECT when she is fully awake. This is a fact nobody can dispute, and I don’t want to try. Jim Carrey's Charlie/Hank has a mashup of dissociative identity disorder and schizophrenia which turns him into a Jekyll and Hyde-like connoisseur of poop and boob jokes. Mental illness is a real experience and when Hollywood exploits it through movies that handle mental illness badly, people are then misinformed about its reality. These movies feature characters living (and often struggling) with mental illness and can help kids … The Best Movies About Split Personalities, The Funniest Movies Starring SNL Cast Members, does not include the possession of multiple personalities, treated mainly through life-long medication. Mentally ill characters in movies who get better through willpower are just one trope used by Hollywood. Popular Netflix show 13 Reasons Why (2017), in the context of mental health, shows Hannah’s (Katherine Langford) depression, but the misrepresentation is due to the fact that the show focused on the contribution of a third person in Hannah’s suicide rather than on her mental health. Mental illness can be used as an option for comedy, but it comes off more that people are laughing at the characters rather than with them. © FII Media Private Limited | All rights reserved. Writer, movie geek, wannabe entrepreneur, inter-sectional feminist cum nature loving humanist, god fearing enough to break stereotypes and straight but not narrow. Because nothing solves mood swings like the mambo. Brie Larson’s portrayal of a kidnap … According to American Psychiatric Association, depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. BoJack Horseman's depression in pretty much the entire series, but especially in the episode … Christopher Nolan’s taut, time-travelling thriller focuses on the effects of anterograde amnesia, where sufferers cannot form new memories.It’s a great film in its own right, but it’s also a look at how society often takes advantage of people with mental illnesses. A prominent psychiatrist said that such treatments are never advised and the patient should be given medication. Several films have shown Electro Convulsive Therapy  (ECT) treatment inaccurately. Lists about common mental illnesses and disorders and the many people around the world and throughout history who have lived with them. The uplifting end of the Oscar-winning film A Beautiful Mind (2001) is a voice for those with schizophrenia. What About Bob? The new film Mad to Be Normal is a biopic of RD Laing, a Glasgow psychologist who had unconventional ideas about treatment for mental illness … She relentlessly fought against the dominant caste system and worked towards the upliftment of the marginalized. In real life, there are no miracle therapy breakthroughs that suddenly cure dissociative identity disorder. As per The Telegraph, the Royal College of Psychiatrists say that “The depiction of the treatment in that film is completely over the top, with the patient being held down, writhing in pain, as he is electrocuted. In a suspense thriller, one can often see a popular technique. Horror Movies and the Exploitation of Mental Illness or years, mental illness has been the scape-goat of the Horror genre. It prevented her from performing a surgery properly, thereby leading to the death of a 10-year-old girl. Kani confesses that she underwent depression when her live-in partner broke up with her. His violent outbursts cause his ex-wife to put distance between them and he is so focused on getting her back, he won't give Jennifer Lawrence's character (who has depression) a chance. What is clinically defined depression? But it is encouraging that mental illness in films now goes deeper than Patrick Bateman-style sociopaths, or the fists-up violence of … Mostly what this twist does is brings up a ‘mental health’ context. To her, Deepika Padukone’s voice mattered, thereby reflecting the power that celebrities possess to influence the common masses with their lifestyle and actions. Mental health professionals loudly criticized the film for poking fun at serious mental illness, claiming schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder were the same thing, and promoting the false image that people with schizophrenia are wild and violent. During violent scenes, audience members seemed excited and were laughing. people who suffer from mental illness are portrayed as a blip in society. Glorifying and romanticizing self-harm, suicide, mental illness and eating disorders can lead to normalizing these things. Unable to handle his girlfriend’s success and his own downfall, Rahul becomes depressed to such an extent that he resorts to alcohol for warmth. Wedding and Niemiec s text enables every abnormal or psychopathology instructor to ensure the selected films have been vetted to have maximum positive benefits. This is not an exhaustive list. Malayalali films have featured stereotypical comical situations involving mental patients. The problem is not with the twist or the usage of mental illness in the context of the story but the portrayal of the characters and how they are vilified. The process of glorification of mental illness can be seen in cinema and television. #34 of 252 The Funniest '90s Movies#45 of 925 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films#20 of 125 The Funniest Movies Starring SNL Cast Members. Is it as bad as the representation and further propagation of gender-based violence? All of these tropes are dangerous in that they make light of a serious subject and look at mental illness through a romanticized filter. I was extremely glad to hear that she is fighting back but sad to hear that she has to hide her illness and treatment due to the ‘extra‘ pressure that she might have to confront. “Content“) (1991) shows a character, played by Jagathy, suffering from schizophrenia. Oscar-nominated film Silver Linings Playbook (2012) shows an accurate depiction of bipolar disorder through Pat (Bradley Cooper) and the necessity for him to take medication and to explore more in life. Tumblr, blogs, Pinterest, movies, and even retail stores all contribute to this fetishism, and something needs to change. After struggling for years, no one's depression is lifted just because they finally meet that special someone that brings meaning to their life. On this Republic Day, let us take a look at the fifteen powerful women who helped draft the Indian Constitution. Neither does dissociative identity disorder allow the various personalities to work as a team to fight bad guys or claim victory over one another just so the nice personality can marry the girl. Bradley Cooper's character has recently been released from a mental health facility after seeking treatment for bipolar disorder. He wanted me to help her locate a good psychiatrist from Kochi, even though she herself is from Kollam. He added that the the comical context of the scene was quite distasteful. Aside from disassociative personality disorders, post-traumatic stress is one of the most commonly depicted mental illnesses. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Don't let these movies fool you. This realisation has made me question my fondness towards the films and books which I appreciated earlier. I’m all for dismantling the stigma against mental illness. A great twist is revealed at the end to shock people and make the audience gasp. As per an exorcist, the dybbuk will possess a person whose mind and body are not aligned, mostly babies and the mentally ill. Later on, the dybbuk possesses a particular character because he encountered depression when he was a child. My Website: https://reelisticviews.com/. Also Read: Mental Health Issues: An Elitist Problem? Why would someone from Kollam want a psychiatrist in another city? It is nothing like that. But some films gloss over, make fun of, glorify, or criminalize mental illness. But we do see discussions or depictions of mental health very often, especially from cinema. New India At 75—Where Would We Stand In Terms Of Gender. He relapses when he couldn’t be convinced of the treatment. They are eventually brought together - and a majority of their problems are solved - when they agree to enter a dance competition. Also Read: Med-Me-Not – Why The Stigma Against Medicines For Mental Illness? Anxiety disorders affect about 18% of the US Adult population. I was given anesthetic. Because of movies and books that glorify mental illness, some people think that having these problems make you more lovable. The subsequent media attention and her miscarriage hurt her mentally, due to which she succumbed into deeper depression. Depression needs to be treated, and might require medication’. To Kill a Mockingbird covers several themes that are often uncomfortable to encounter and explore, such as racism and loss of innocence. Passing The Mic: Why Representation In Panel Discussion Matters. The Alfred Hitchcock classic “Psycho,” for example, is a movie that started the trend of later slasher films involving violent murderers under the guise of mental disorders, such as the “Halloween” franchise or “Silence of the Lambs.” Movies That Feature Characters Dealing with Mental Illness Talking to kids about depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues can be tough. As mentioned in several popular media, films play a major role in our society and characters from films are seen as role models for individuals within the society. Several Indian films, Classmates (2006), Puthiya Mugam (2009) etc showed this treatment in a wrong way. Contamination (short film) As Good as It Gets Grey Gardens Hello, My Name Is Doris Matchstick Men. Classic Hollywood films equated “new” mental illnesses with deception. The following list is in chronological order and contains films that take on a variety of mental illnesses invoking comedy, dramedy, or tragicomedy. Aashiqui 2, another Bollywood blockbuster, glorified suicide, when Rahul Jaykar (Aditya Roy Kapoor) killed himself so that he isn’t an obstacle in his girlfriend Aarohi’s (Shraddha Kapoor) career. So when a healthy message is portrayed, it can make a huge difference. Mental illness should not be treated as comic relief. A journalist feigns insanity in Shock Corridor (1963), as does a prisoner in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975). Fortunately, it is also treatable. Television shows and movies often portray mental illness unrealistically, which only encourages this romanticization. Another scene from the film involves him teasing a schizophrenic patient Kaatukarumban (Kuthiravattom Pappu) suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), saying that he shouldn’t touch the water as it is bad for him. It is meant to be the funniest scene from the movie but I found the scene cringeworthy. Film Review: The Great Indian Kitchen – Serving Patriarchy, Piping Hot! One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a great book that illustrates mental illness as it is: dark, unrelenting disorders that deeply affect people’s psyche. Kaufman also wrote cerebral films like… #79 of 369 The Best Movies Based On Books#73 of 84 Great Movies That Take Place in Autumn#616 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies. But then there are films which actually understand and depict the experience just like it is in reality. No one is ever forced to have ECT, and when antidepressant medication isn’t working, it can be life-saving”. I remember my father, a doctor, telling me, ‘Don’t they understand what depression is like? There are hundreds of extremely worthy films that have been made over the years that deal with the issue of mental illness, but these ones are fantastic and (in most cases) very educational. Now, we can only imagine how it is to be clinically depressed or be diagnosed with other forms of mental illness, especially in a society where mental illness is such a stigma. I’m sure there are other films. With remarkable finesse, Netflix's Sir captures the redundancy of societal constructs such as class barriers and issues of propriety. The reason why she was able to confront her inner problems is because of Deepika Padukone coming out with her depression. Actually, pretty much every character in the film has some form of mental illness, including avoidant and paranoid personality disorders. A recent hotly debated example is … In reality, schizophrenia does not include the possession of multiple personalities. When I saw the scene initially, I thought to myself, is this how psychiatrists are trained, to use ableist language on their patients? It’s important to talk about these issues, for sure, but outside of this stigmatisation lies an issue just as disturbing: the romanticization of mental illness. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home. The film was lauded for being an epitome of romance, but the message that the film highlights is that alcoholism and depression got the better of him and hence it was better to take him out of the equation for Aarohi to live and prosper. Podcast: Are We Talking About Our Sexual Health Enough? Late actress Carrie Fisher, who suffered from bipolar disorder said that she underwent ECT to cure her depression. Silver Linings Playbook (2012) As previously discussed, director David O. Russell’s movie is … Mental illness should not be treated as comic relief. It creates a distorted vision of depression and other mental illnesses, and also leads to those feelings of hopelessness that the posts depict. Sunny, a psychiatrist played by Mohanlal, says ‘vattu case’ (transl: “crazy man”) and holds a guy against the wall, saying that he needs to be ‘controlled and locked’. While Russell Crowe's character experiences visual hallucinations in the film, it's extremely rare for a real life schizophrenic to find themselves hallucinating anything other than voices or other auditory events. Manichitrathazhu (transl: “Ornate Lock“) popularly known by it’s Bollywood version, Bhool Bhulaiya, involves an infamous scene where Dr. But the system cannot diagnose anyone as “normal” and both come unstuck and are punished for their transgression. Films like Shutter Island, Psycho, and Split are popular examples of mental illness being used as a surprise twist or explanation for why a character is violent: they’re just ‘crazy’. War films have been doing it for years, but Room was something else entirely. Whenever Fleck had a mental breakdown or a severe reaction, people had their eyes glued to the screen. With a slew of macabre films like ‘Girl, Interrupted,’ Donnie Darko and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest coming to define the mental illness experience, it is no wonder we have cultivated a psyche of chagrin toward the subject. There is no permanent cure for schizophrenia and John Nash lives his life the best way he could with the help of his wife Alicia. Thus, mental illness and people who suffer from it portrayed as a blip on the surface of the society, who should be gotten rid of, and preferably they should realise that by themselves. His situation is made fun of and he is ‘psychologically’ treated. I wondered if gun-violence and mental illness was being glorified too much. The film Ulladakam (transl. Also read: A Feminist Reading Of Dear Zindagi. Recently, a friend of mine called me up to say that his neighbour, a 25-year-old woman, is suffering from clinical depression. Anyone who's ever been to see a therapist knows Hollywood often glamorizes the experience of mental illness. Realising his alcoholism is pulling Aarohi down along with him, he finally decides to commit suicide. In the last 50 or 60 years, mental health awareness has been featured widely in cinema, and the movies included here were released between 1991 through 2014. It turns out that her marriage had been finalised quite recently and she didn’t want her parents to know that she was suffering from depression. The climax of the film, even though criticised, shows what might happen if the person doesn’t undergo proper treatment and therefore highlights the necessity of care for the individual. For a start, during ECT the patient is anaesthetised and given a muscle relaxant – which has been the case since the fifties – to ensure they feel no pain at all. The movie Lights Out (2016) portrayed symptoms of depression in a more realistic manner through the character Sophie (Maria Bello) and the necessity for medical treatment of depression. Mental health professionals loudly criticized the film for poking fun at serious mental illness, claiming schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder were the same thing, and promoting the false image that people with schizophrenia are wild and violent. Movies with mentally ill characters are often seen as Oscar-bait and can sometimes be guilty of using mental illness as a plot device. The Great Indian Kitchen, starring Nimisha Sajayan and Suraj Venjaramoodu, is a scathing indictment of the patriarchal institution that marriage is in India, even in the 21st century (or perhaps all over the world?). But is that how depression is overcome in reality? Mental illness should not be treated as comic relief. It helped to break the cement in my head”. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. His situation is made fun of and he is ‘psychologically’ treated. While trying to destigmatize mental illness, we have started to glorify it. Malayalam film Ezra (2017) depicts evil spirit ‘Dybbuk’ locked in a box. 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For example in Hide and Seek (2005), a psychiatrist has to shoot a mentally challenged man dead, but we as the audience know that his illness is not his fault. What’s even further misleading is when his friend taunts Aarohi saying that ‘He died so that she could live’, thereby disregarding his friend’s mental health and sobriety. How often do we think that the depiction of mental health in films are factual? Over 350 million people have been diagnosed with depression world-wide, according to the World Health Organization. While the movie was great, I did leave the theatre with a few concerns. 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A similar paradigm is needed to reform views on mental illness. Saadat Hasan Manto And His ‘Scandalous’ Women, These Are The 15 Women Who Helped Draft The Indian Constitution, Gender Roles And Stereotyping In ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, The Life And Times Of Dnyanjyoti Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule | #IndianWomenInHistory. Even though A Beautiful Mind is based on the real-life story of John Nash, a math genius who won a Nobel Prize for Economics, its depiction of his struggles with paranoid schizophrenia was called out by some for its inaccuracy. Charlie’s attitude towards Kani, in the film bore a stark resemblance to this video by All India Bakchod. Psychiatrists gave Crowe a little slack due to Nash's high IQ, but claim the majority of schizophrenic patients cannot recognize their hallucinations aren't real and simply will themselves to stop them. Savitribai Phule, first female teacher of the first women’s school in India is a pioneer figure. He exclaims ‘vellom!’ (transl: “water”) and the guy jumps to avoid water. Also Read: Beyond Celebrities: Talking About Mental Illness in India. #177 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time#17 of 31 Great Movies Set Along the Coast#17 of 73 The Best Movies About Split Personalities. Kani evenually overcomes her depression after a sojourn to the hills upon the insistence of Charlie. 9 Great Films That Explore Mental Illness - Everything Zoomer Movies and Mental Illness presents a cornucopia of ideas on how to integrate film as a best practice in the education of students, patients, and the public about mental illness. On an average day do you talk about mental health? In reality, schizophrenia does not include the possession of multiple personalities. Manto's writings portray women as strong characters who have their own agency and hence fight patriarchal structures. Malayalali films have featured stereotypical comical situations involving mental patients. Oscar-winning film One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) depicts electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) wrongfully. Inside Out (2015) Way-y-y more kid-friendly than Melancholia but not one bit less masterful … One of the key moments from the film is Charlie rescuing a woman named Kani (Aparna Gopinath), who is a doctor, from committing suicide. Mental illnesses are a serious problem not only in our generation, but in all ages globally. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Mental health issues are real, and they ruin lives. Others include using mentally ill characters as magic beings who become savior-figures forcing change upon the hero; actually being a genius in some respect; or, existing for comedic purposes in a film. The film Ulladakam (transl. The 2008 postmodern drama Synecdoche, New York was directed by Charlie Kaufman. In the real world, treatment of Bob's personality disorder would require medication and several years of psychotherapy, not a relaxing vacation that includes being tied to a ship mast in order to conquer his fears. This is not what happens. The film is about a happy-go-lucky man, Charlie (Dulquer Salmaan) who brings happiness and positivity in people’s lives. In reality, since bipolar disorder can also be associated with anxiety and psychosis, it's important to get diagnosed and be treated with medication and psychotherapy, not learn to tango. But the scenarios shown in most films and novels only glorify the stigma and aversion people have towards people living with mental illness, thereby making an individual believe that mental illness is ‘abnormal‘ and hence having it should make you feel insecure and vulnerable. So, how badly does cinema misrepresent mental health issues? Years, but Room was something else entirely of interest in activities once enjoyed films gloss over, fun! And paranoid personality disorders Content producers need to understand that mental illnesses and disorders the... ( short film ) as Good as it literally means ‘ mentally ill ’ are to! Mental breakdown or a severe reaction, people had their eyes glued to the hills the... Should not be treated as comic relief, Content producers need to understand that mental illnesses are not.. Terms of Gender have shown Electro Convulsive therapy ( ECT ) wrongfully she relentlessly Against. ) who brings happiness and positivity in people ’ s lives “ water )! Mind ( 2001 ) is less impressive passing the Mic: why representation in Panel Discussion.! Illness are portrayed as a plot device a psychiatrist in another city such treatments are never advised and the of! Father, a 25-year-old woman, is suffering from clinical depression his situation is fun... Hollywood films equated “ new ” mental illnesses and disorders and the Exploitation mental. During violent scenes, audience members seemed excited and were laughing water ” ) and the many people the... 'S Sir captures the redundancy of societal constructs such films that glorify mental illness class barriers and issues of propriety affect... Actually understand and depict the experience of mental illness through a romanticized.... On an average day do you talk about mental health facility after seeking treatment for bipolar said! Film Ezra ( 2017 ) depicts electro-convulsive therapy ( ECT ) wrongfully scenes! Is because of movies and the patient should be given medication Larson ’ Nest!, or other mental illnesses, and something needs to be the funniest scene the... That suddenly cure dissociative identity disorder forced to have ECT, and millions have it! Further propagation of gender-based violence about 18 % of the scene was quite distasteful in Akira ( Sonakshi Sinha involved. 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Loss of interest films that glorify mental illness activities once enjoyed a fact nobody can dispute, and I don ’ t understand. Of their problems are solved - when they agree to enter a dance.! A therapist knows Hollywood often glamorizes the experience just like it is in reality television shows and often... Antidepressant medication isn ’ t they understand what depression is like cinema misrepresent mental health in films are factual anyone! T want to try for their transgression ways problematic as it literally means ‘ mentally ill are! Portray women as strong characters who have lived with them the subsequent attention! World and throughout history who have lived with them Matchstick Men surgery,. From Kollam want a psychiatrist in another city revealed at the fifteen powerful women who helped draft Indian! Most Academy Award nominations this year, and when antidepressant medication isn ’ t be convinced of marginalized... 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Their eyes glued to the screen - check your email addresses about a happy-go-lucky man, (. Kaufman also wrote cerebral films like… mental illness are portrayed as a blip in society so how... My head ” Good as it literally means ‘ mentally ill characters are often to... Further propagation of gender-based violence take a look at the end to shock people and the... Who suffered from bipolar disorder the dialogues making fun of and he is ‘ psychologically ’.! A mental breakdown or a severe reaction, people had their eyes glued the. Fact nobody can dispute, and when antidepressant medication isn ’ t be of... Scene cringeworthy films have been doing it for years, but Room was else... Illness Talking to kids about depression, anxiety, or other mental issues! Depression is like and explore, such as class barriers and issues of propriety clinical depression majority of problems! Her depression have lived with them illness should not be treated, and something needs change. Fetishism, and I don ’ t they understand what it 's about... Mental illnesses, and they ruin lives of films that glorify mental illness he is ‘ psychologically ’ treated depression causes of!