A real-world reminder of why it’s essential to look at media representations of mental illness with a critical eye.
Ordinary People is a 1980 film about a family coming to terms with the death of their older son, and offers insightful commentary on grief within a family unit.
Side Effects is a 2013 drama that follows the twists and turns of Emily Taylor, a young woman seemingly suffering from severe depression. After visiting a doctor to start medication, things really start to go downhill — for both her and the film’s depiction of mental illnesses.
Girl, Interrupted is a 1999 drama that follows the story of Susanna, a young woman hospitalized after a suicide attempt. While inpatient, Susanna meets a host of characters, and we get a glimpse of what a psychiatric hospitalization was like in the 1960s.