Depression affects more than 300 million people worldwide, and each sufferer has a unique tale to tell. It’s a disorder of the mind that can appear in a variety of forms. It might make people feel isolated, detached, depressed, or unmotivated, as if nothing matters. It can also lead them to engage in unreasonable or harmful behavior. Aside from other works of art, we require films on depression in order to better understand and empathize with those who suffer from the different manifestations of sadness.
What is the real meaning of depression?
Depression is a serious mental health illness and a mood disorder, not just a state of sadness. There are 7.3 million persons in the United States who suffer from this mental disorder, making it one of the most widespread. Depression alters a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors on a regular basis. It has an adverse effect on one’s capacity to rest, concentrate at work, and take pleasure in daily activities. When someone is depressed, they typically feel a sense of hopelessness and despair that doesn’t seem to go away at all. Depression is characterized by feelings of numbness, self-loathing, difficulties concentrating, and diminished energy. A person’s level of depression might range from a minor, transient condition to one that is severe and long-lasting. A severe kind of depression, clinical depression, is an example of this.
Movies Featuring Depression
In order to view a film that deals with depression, it can be tough to know where to begin. Hundreds of films have been made about depression, and there are many more with a significant focus on the subject.
As opposed to getting into a debate about which films are “better” in terms of their production values (excellent writing, fascinating characters, a compelling story, etc.), we wanted to discover which films best illuminated your understanding of the depressive disorder experience. If you or a loved one suffers from depression, these films may help them better understand your situation if you watch them with them.
In order to reduce the field, we polled our database of over 1,000 therapists to see which films they most frequently recommended. Each video in this collection focuses on a different aspect of depression—the causes and effects of the illness itself, as well as the individuals who are affected by its effects.
Based on our criteria, these are the best movies on depression. We divided them into two categories: those that were frequently recommended and those that were not.
When you anticipate someone to be happy, it’s not uncommon for them to feel depressed. Author Michael Stone is the subject of “Anomalisa,” which relates the narrative of his experiences in customer service and business effectiveness.
Stone is profoundly depressed in spite of his expertise in helping others have happy lives. He despises himself and believes he is alone in the universe. The film shows this by utilizing a perspective in which Stone sees the world as sounding virtually identical. Living with depression has its challenges, as this story illustrates.
2. World’s Greatest Dad
It’s not uncommon for persons who don’t understand the depth of despair to show little empathy for those who are struggling. When a depressed person commits suicide, though, they become compassionate.
Author and high school poetry instructor Lance Clayton stars in “World’s Greatest Dad.” She doesn’t want to openly admit their connection, but he’s dating her. Additionally, his son is an underachieving, porn-obsessed jerk.
Clayton makes it appear that his kid hanged himself when he succumbs to an autoerotic asphyxiation accident. For his own sake, he composes a fictitious (but poetic) suicide note. An obituary for the boy’s father states he committed suicide because his son was depressed.
Clayton is the one who is truly down in the dumps. Such an effective suicide note could only have been written by someone with depression. His dead kid receives praise and admiration from his peers who read the note and are moved by its beauty. As a result of his son’s mental condition, the community has come to view him as a gifted poet who was once considered as a “jerk.”
Depression is common among those who suffer from chronic pain, disability, or sickness. Claire, the main character in “Cake,” suffers from sadness and chronic pain after she loses her kid in a car accident. Grief and a lack of hope for her rehabilitation leave her feeling that she has nothing else to do but whine about life.
In the literary world, Sylvia Plath is best known for her work on depression. An investigation of despair and Sylvia’s marriage to fellow poet Ted Hughes are interwoven throughout “Sylvia.”
5. The Skeleton Twins
This movie portrays the story of an estranged brother and sister who reconnect after their sibling contemplates suicide. As the story progresses, we learn more about the causes of their depression and how it impacts their lives. Both of them have a difficult time finding enjoyment and meaning in their daily activities. As a means of coping, they frequently engage in destructive and irrational behavior.
Depression hurts everyone around them, not just the individual suffering from it. Others may feel the weight of it. When caring for someone with depression, some people develop feelings of animosity. Leaving the person they are caring for or attempting to cope with their dissatisfaction are both options at this time.
“Interiors” shows how a family can come apart when the father decides he can no longer care for his depressed mother, who is suffering from dementia and chronic depression. As a response, Eve, the mother, attempts suicide. For the rest of her life, she is hospitalized on a regular basis for therapy.
Joey, one of her daughters, assumes the responsibility of caring for mom in her old age. Joey’s mother gets the brunt of Joey’s worry and fury. This couple’s relationship exemplifies how despair may breed hatred among family members.
7. Garden State
Depression is mostly shaped by one’s negative views. They have the potential to detract from the enjoyment of life.
Actor Andrew Largeman feels in “Garden State” that the accident that left his mother crippled and eventually dead was his fault. He has become numb to many parts of life as a result of the weight of his own guilt.
‘Garden State’ features terminology that makes mental health medicine appear like it will ultimately numb feelings and limit the capacity for joy for the user, one of our readers informed us. That’s not always the case. There are a variety of adverse effects associated with medication, and they might vary from patient to patient. Medical treatment for mental disease, such as medication, and psychotherapy, on the other hand, are both well-researched options.
Rather than working with a mental health expert to gently wean the main character off his medicine, the movie shows him abruptly discontinuing it. Contrary to popular belief, and as depicted in the film, this is a risky procedure that can lead to unpleasant side effects such as withdrawal.
8. Little Miss Sunshine
The dark comedy “Little Miss Sunshine” shows how despair may affect the entire family. All of the Faris family members, except Olive, the protagonist and youngest daughter, suffer from some type of depression. There’s a tendency for them to turn on one other because of their mental health issues.
Olive develops an understanding of what clinical depression is and how it affects her family because of her family’s experiences and outbursts. She comes to understand that her family sees her as a ray of hope in their dark times.
Depersonalization disorder and depression are the focus of Hudson Milbank’s story in the film “Numb,” which follows Milbank after his psychiatrist diagnoses him with the conditions. It shows how the doctors Milbank works with believe drugs are the only way out of his problems, which criticizes overprescription of medication.
10. The Hours
“Mrs. Dalloway,” Virginia Woolf’s celebrated novel about a wealthy, depressed woman living in England after World War One, is the focus of “The Hours,” which follows the lives of two women who are reading it. There are many ways in which women can identify with aspects of Woolf’s novel. The film also portrays Woolf herself.
In “Melancholia,” Justine excellently portrays the “acute anguish and the paralyzing hollowness of depression,” according to The New York Times. In this film, the titular planet, which is going to collide with Earth and wipe out all life, serves as a metaphor for despair. Since Justine suffers from severe depression, which makes her feel like nothing matters, she is prone to impulsivity and self-indulgence. It’s difficult for her to contemplate the long-term consequences of her actions.
12. It’s Kind of a Funny Story
It’s not necessary for depression to stem from a dysfunctional family or toxic environment to be traumatized, abused, or bereaved. Illness, on the other hand, is also a way of looking at the world. If you have an easy life, you might still develop unreasonable negative beliefs that lead to sadness and even suicide.
Craig, a 16-year-old in “It’s Kind of a Funny Story,” has something happen to him, despite the fact that he does well academically and otherwise. Most of his unhappiness stems from his fear that he would be ruined by his own failures in the future. He believes he falls short in every conceivable manner. After realizing that he was depressed, he sought treatment at a mental health facility.
Even if a person’s life is full with success and they have everything they desire, depression can still rob them of their capacity to enjoy themselves. This happens to Helen, the protagonist of “Helen.” For several years, she hides her depression from her family until it becomes too much to ignore any more.. Her loneliness is exacerbated by the fact that everyone around her appears to be in a good mood.
14. Prozac Nation
Lizzie, the protagonist of “Prozac Nation,” begins to suffer from depression as she rises through the ranks of Harvard’s literary and journalism programs. She spirals into depression and self-destructive conduct as a result of the stress of her newfound fame. She takes medicines to deal with her despair.
Many of these films were inspired by real-life stories of despair. It is possible that you will identify with one or more of the stories or characters in this collection. It’s possible that seeing these folks struggle and succeed will provide you with the motivation you need to keep going.
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Articles on mental health and wellbeing on Talkspace are written by experts in the field, and they are based on current scientific research and best practices. There are clinical professionals who examine each article to make sure it is correct and up to date with industry standards.
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There are references to reliable third-party resources throughout the text, as well as a list of them at the end of each article.