Films that tackle the understanding of Mental Illness

By Evis Zogaj.

Ted Lasso (Television program)

If you have not been living under a rock, Ted Lasso has likely been referenced a lot lately. The program follows the wacky and optimistic Kansas football coach in England, where he teaches a distinct kind of football. The program has won many fans for its optimism, heart, and, well, Roy Kent. But many viewers have also been moved by how the show handles mental illness, particularly in the second season. Ted Lasso may paint the truest picture of mental illness even though there are many intriguing characters.

Ted’s panic attacks began at the end of the program’s first season. However, we see him coping with more issues in the second season. Anyone who has had a panic attack will have understood what was going on in these situations right immediately. Common symptoms of panic attacks include shortness of breath, lightheadedness, a fast heartbeat, and a feeling of overwhelm. Ted’s heart beats so loudly during an attack that it is difficult to hear what is happening around him. The room is whirling, and Ted is having trouble breathing. Although it is difficult to simulate a panic attack through television alone, Lasso gets close to doing so.

The show’s method of therapy is also highly successful and occasionally seems quite sincere. Ted’s initial resistance to therapy is regretfully not that unique for someone from the Midwest. Being from Kansas, we continued to believe that people in California and New York were the main users of therapists when I was growing up. He persisted in sitting down with Dr. Fieldstone, which was a positive sign because therapy is a continuous process. And the fact that he still has panic attacks even after starting therapy makes it clear that he is not “fixed” merely because he is seeing a therapist.

Season 3 is coming out in Spring 2023.

Mental illness is often portrayed in certain films with vital aspects of how people think, how they feel and how they act in different situations. That is why it is important for movies to show obvious, nonjudgmental indicators of mental illness. It is wonderful to discover affirmation of who you are and where you come from in films, especially in a society where movies and television programs have a substantial impact on culture.

Mentally ill people are commonly misinterpreted in horror films and other media, where they are portrayed as aggressive, hallucinatory bad guys. People today seek for enjoyable movies that do not disparage those who have mental illnesses and that are at least partially accurate in how the experience of mental illness is shown. Here are a few movies that, for any viewers out there, show the key indicators of mental illness in a straightforward and realistic manner.

Silver-Lining Playbook

The David O. Russell-directed movie Silver Linings Playbook is about relationships, navigating life, disarray, despair, and loneliness. He included topics thought taboo while still producing a compelling and realistic narrative. This movie had been able to capture personal exchanges between individuals that made you care about them. The stars are Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.

Silver Lining Playbook shares a lot of views that interprets mental illness such as bipolar disorder and grievance. In the movie, Pat (Cooper) is a man with bipolar disorder who leaves a mental hospital and goes back to live with his parents. After Pat brutally injures the man, she was having an affair with, Pat’s

wife leaves him. He tries to win her back with the aid of Tiffany (Lawrence), a widow who is still grieving over the death of her husband.

The movie was an amusing and adorable depiction of a person coping with mental illness and the people who love him, even though Pat may not be the most typical or accurate image of someone living with bipolar disorder. Two characters, one battling with a mental condition and the other with grief, became something fantastic and incredibly amusing in this intriguing and compelling movie.

A Beautiful Mind

Ron Howard directed the 2001 historical drama A Beautiful Mind, based on the life of renowned mathematician John Nash. The movie charts John’s gradual descent into paranoid schizophrenia.

For many reasons, A Beautiful Mind is a realistic portrayal of mental illness. The persona of John Nash is believable. Unlike many people with paranoid schizophrenia, he is not portrayed as a monster. His mental condition, which he cannot control, forces him to watch his relationships fall apart and the people he loves suffer. He is an awkward, kind, and brilliant man.

The film does not exclusively center on how difficult it is for families of mentally ill individuals. The movie is empathetic to John and offers a genuine internal understanding of his emotions and suffering. The film helps to focus on the impacts that the victim’s family must deal with as well as the victim’s fight to conquer the abstract and terrifying world brought on by illnesses. The journey of the film also tackles the support and effort the main character’s family, and friends can give for someone suffering with mental illness but does not mask the severity and complexity in dealing with the disease.

The ending of a beautiful Mind is quite uplifting. There is a known treatment for schizophrenia such as medication, so John makes the best of his life while coping with his hallucinations.

Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky’s psychological suspense film Black Swan from 2010 features several topics related to mental illness. Some claim that the movie’s overarching subject is a metaphor for attaining perfection and the sad cost that must be borne to accomplish so. Nina Sayers, a professional dancer who experiences frequent hallucinations and eating conditions, is portrayed by Natalie Portman. Although there is debate over the veracity of such hallucinations, Nina does in fact have an eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and is shown throwing up in the movie. If not symptoms of an anxiety condition through her excessive and obsessive habits.

Black Swan includes numerous topics outside mental illness, but it was deliberate—even though it only made up a little portion of the movie—to draw attention to the ongoing issue of eating disorders in the dance community. Throughout history, eating disorders have been a significant issue that has peaked in recent decades. One of the most prevalent eating disorders, anorexia nervosa, is regarded as the most lethal mental condition in existence today.

A personality disorder could also be argued here. All these qualities are quite unusual to occur in the same individual, especially in someone who is dancing as a ballet dancer at such an important level.

Good Will Hunting

A wonderful example of a character with mental illness may be seen in Good Will Hunting. In the movie, Matt Damon plays Will Hunting, a gifted and self-taught young man with a difficult childhood who visits Sean Maguire for treatment (Robin Williams).

The characters are incredibly complex and realistic. A community college’s office in the basement hosts therapy sessions. There are many talks with thick Boston accents that are loaded with enough swear words to make you blush and are driven by fear, despair, and alcohol. From the beginning, the therapist, client, and supporting characters won’t get everything resolved satisfactorily. They serve as a reminder that we are all simply flawed individuals attempting to communicate in a confusing environment.

Although Robin Williams’ portrayal of therapist Sean Maguire is undoubtedly competent of carrying out therapy techniques, he plainly places a more premium on relationships than on technique. He is just himself, and in that genuineness, he is therapeutic rather than attempting to “be a therapist.”

That implies that he becomes angry when his customer provokes him. He sheds tears with his client when he does. Additionally, when his client pushes him, he must reflect on his own shortcomings in order to uphold the mutual vulnerability that is part of therapy. His client has made significant and actual improvement by the time therapy is over, but he is still not out of the woods.

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