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15 Movies about Mental Illness

Still from Punch-Drunk Love - a movie about mental illness

Still of Adam Sandler and Emily Watson in Punch-Drunk Love, New Line Cinema

Lights, Camera, Action!

Movies about mental illness make for some of the most memorable and heartfelt storylines in modern cinema. And while we love a hilarious comedy or action-packed thriller that allows us to forget reality and dive into an entertaining plot, so many of the most profound films today are also stories that depict the human experience and artistically represent the challenges that we face every day.

A great film can be one of the best places to go when looking for hope, inspiration or even a good ole fashioned reality check; sometimes it also just helps to know that someone, somewhere has been there too. We’d like to share our 15 favorite films that depict mental illness, which have all played a role in helping evolve our individual perspectives on what it’s like for the people in our lives as they experience mental illness of all kinds.

  1. I Am Sam
  2. A Beautiful Mind
  3. The Silver Linings Playbook
  4. Rain Man
  5. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  6. Lars and the Real Girl
  7. The Other Sister
  8. Punch Drunk Love
  9. Matchstick Men
  10. Reign Over Me
  11. It’s Kind of a Funny Story
  12. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
  13. Running with Scissors
  14. The Perks of being a Wallflower
  15. Benny & Joon

If you haven’t seen some of these movies about mental illness, it might just be the perfect excuse to call a friend or family member for a laid back, soul warming and informative movie night!


Whose world will you change?