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Forums / Staying well / Movies and literature on mental illness that resonated with you

Topic: Movies and literature on mental illness that resonated with you

  1. Emmen
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    8 October 2020

    Hello all,

    I thought we could do a thread about movies, books, poems, songs etc. about mental illnesses that you feel you could relate to, which kept you going even when times are dark, or which make you feel less alone in your struggles. I hope that by sharing these, we can build up a collection of movies and literature that members of our community can relate to as well. I'll start:

    The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (book) - topic: depression

    Resumé by Dorothy Parker (poem) - topic: reasons not to commit suicide

    Cheers,
    M

    3 people found this helpful
  2. quirkywords
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    8 October 2020 in reply to Emmen

    Book A brilliant madness by patty duke. All about bipolar.

    thanks Emmen

  3. Guest_1055
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    8 October 2020
    A very old movie called It's a wonderful Life
    1 person found this helpful
  4. Ggrand
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    8 October 2020 in reply to Guest_1055

    Hello Emmen..and everyone...🤗..

    Footprints....It’s about a rescue German Shepard, who was rescued by family..Who later becomes the first therapy dog for children while in hospital..,,plenty of tissues are needed..

  5. Emmen
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    9 October 2020 in reply to Ggrand

    Thank you for your suggestions, Quirky, Shelll and Grandy! These are some wonderful suggestions!

    - M

  6. Guest_1643
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    9 October 2020

    I have not read this but might read at some point : An Angel At My Table: The Complete Autobiography – Janet Frame
    I love Sylvia Plath's poem Tulips which references her time in a psych ward.

    I also like Raymond Gaita's Romulus my Father which describes his mother's strugglers with mental health

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Not_Batman
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    9 October 2020 in reply to Emmen

    If you are familiar at all with the goons, then you will know spike milligan. He suffered from depression for a great deal of his life. The book is not a normal jovial read like spikes other books, its more of a serious read.

    The book ‘Depression and how to survive it’ was given to me to give me some insight into depression. And i thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1250553.Depression_And_How_To_Survive_It

    Not_Batman

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Guest_1643
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    9 October 2020

    thanks for the recommendation re spike milligan.

    A fiction book I read called Leaving the Atocha Station (Ben Lerner) - was really beautiful writing about mental illness.

    1 person found this helpful
  9. quirkywords
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    10 October 2020 in reply to Guest_1643
    I have read Janet frames autobiography. A talented writer who suffered at a time when people with mental illness were treated badly.
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  10. Guest_1643
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    10 October 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    Hi Quirky, I've heard it was really good - will try get it to have a read. She does sound remarkable.
  11. Guest_1643
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    10 October 2020
    sadly it has taken so long for the mental health system to update and acknowledge people respectfully. To use strength-based models. Sounds like Janet Frame was ahead of her time.
    1 person found this helpful
  12. orangejuicewithpulp
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    12 October 2020

    The one movie that manages to temporarily cure my depression every time I watch it is Lars and the Real Girl. It's a sweet movie with a bubbly soundtrack where Ryan Gosling plays a recluse who falls in love with a sex doll. It sounds like a cynical comedy on the front but it's really a lovely film about opening up and letting other people in.

    Similar movies, though not specifically centred around characters with defined mental illnesses per se, are Amelie, Chungking Express, Sideways, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Three Colours: Blue.

    There are also some other good movies that focus on socially anxious characters that I enjoy: Punch Drunk Love, Ingrid Goes West and Eighth Grade.

    :)

    1 person found this helpful
  13. Jasjit
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    12 October 2020

    Hi everyone!

    A beautiful mind (2001) is a movie that explores how our own mind is the best friend or the worst enemy.

    1 person found this helpful
  14. quirkywords
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    12 October 2020 in reply to Jasjit

    silverlinings playbook

    There is a show starring claire danes as a secret agent I think who has bipolar. I have never watched it heard about- think it is called Homelands. Has anyone seen it.

  15. Matchy69
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    12 October 2020
    The movie Girl Interrupted was recommended to me to watch by a girl I met in the mental hospital as she had borderline personality disorder and she told me Winona Ryder character reminded her of herself.It gave me some insight into what she goes through in her daily life.
  16. Guest_1643
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    12 October 2020 in reply to Matchy69
    Hi Mark it is a great movie and I'd also recommend the book - it is a memoir written by Susanna Kaysen and I related to some of her story.
  17. Matchy69
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    12 October 2020 in reply to Guest_1643
    Hi Sleepy yes I knew their was a book but haven't got it yet.It would be an interesting read.I unfortunately no longer talk to my friend who had Borderline personality disorder.I get a bit emotionally when thinking of her and hope she is doing ok.
    1 person found this helpful
  18. Guest_1643
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    12 October 2020 in reply to Matchy69
    i was just in hospital myself and met some people I cared about a lot too. Unfortunately I cannot be friends with them either at this point as they are not able to because they are in acute crises and so am i - so we'd not be a good match. It hurts my heart too as I cared about them deeply. I know some people maintain friends from hospital stays but sadly a lot of times it doesn't work out. Sorry about your friend and that you couldn't continue the friendship;
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  19. Guest_1643
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    12 October 2020
    hi mark sorry if that tone sounded a bit harsh - absolutely didn't mean that was trying more to say i'm going through something similar - but not minimilise it. its hard losing friends from hospital :(
  20. Matchy69
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    12 October 2020 in reply to Guest_1643
    Thanks Sleepy it's very hard for me as it was completely my fault as I was having another breakdown not related to her.I just wish I could have done things differently.
  21. Guest_1643
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    12 October 2020
    that sucks, sorry you are hurt by the way it happened.
  22. Jasjit
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    13 October 2020
    Exam (2009)
    1 person found this helpful
  23. Not_Batman
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    14 October 2020 in reply to Emmen

    I thought that Joker (2019) Was as very good film.
    Its not for everyone, And has some graphic scenes. but looking past that, the mental health overtones provide another perspective.

    note: i am in no way associated with the movie ;)

    Not_Batman


  24. Emmen
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    14 October 2020 in reply to Not_Batman

    Hello Not_Batman,

    Your note made me laugh!

    I agree that Joker (2019) provided a very intense look into mental health. I didn't like the violence but I did end up feeling like the system failed the Joker. Reminds me of an article I read some time ago about it. Have a read at the Sydney Morning Herald. It's called "As a psychiatrist, I was blown away by the latest Joker".

    Cheers,
    M

  25. Not_Batman
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    14 October 2020 in reply to Emmen

    Hi Emmen.

    just read the article you suggested. Thanks. I respect the viewpoint Dr Ahmed poses.
    The movie is of course a movie with artistic license, and not to be taken as fact. Depicting a time in the 1970’s when mental health care was vastly different from today.

    Not_Batman, I swear!

  26. Guest_1643
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    26 October 2020
    Adaptation by Charlie Kaufman had an interesting contrast of two twin brothers, one who had socially anxious tendencies and the other who was very social. It had a warm message about feeling less than - (really the socially anxious brother was an amazing creative and person).
    1 person found this helpful
  27. ecomama
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    26 October 2020 in reply to Guest_1643

    I think it's called "My beautiful broken mind (or brain?)".... on Netflix.

    This is a brilliant doco by a wonderful young woman who had medical issues strike affecting her brain.

    Pretty sad, but I cry at ads... I loved it.

    EM

  28. Not_Batman
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    6 November 2020 in reply to ecomama

    Not one strictly about mental health, but I found the novel ‘Sphere’ by michael chrichton quite interesting. It talks a bit about fears and past experiences and how they can manifest themselves in our lives.

    the martian by andy weir talks about isolation and loneliness a fair bit.

    as usual the novel is waaaaay better than the film adaptation.

    Not_Batman

    1 person found this helpful
  29. romantic_thi3f
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    16 November 2020 in reply to Not_Batman

    Hi,

    I would add 'After Life' which is a TV show on Netflix. The show is about a guy called Tony played by Ricky Gervais who works in a free newspaper company dealing with the grief of his wife.

    It couldn't be more spot on for me. The way that the grief and depression comes in waves, his own suicidal thoughts and the reactions/responses from people that he cares about. It's certainly not for everyone but it definitely resonated with me.

    rt

    1 person found this helpful
  30. uncut_gems
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    16 November 2020 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    It's a rather obnoxious book to recommend, but I don't think I've seen a better treatment of mental illness anywhere than in Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.

    I think the closest a movie comes to capturing depression is Lars Von Trier's Melancholia.

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