One out of every four adults over the age of 18 in the United States suffers from mental illness
, according to the National Institute of Mental Health
. This is an estimated 57.7 million people, making mental disorders the leading cause of disability in America.
It’s no surprise then that stories about issues of mental health are heavily woven into American cinema. Here is a list of ten films about mental illness.
Leaving Las Vegas
Ben Sanderson, the lead character, suffers from clinical depression and has lost everything due to his alcoholism. He goes to Las Vegas to drink himself to death, and in the process, forms a relationship with a troubled prostitute. This film is based on a semi-autobiographical novel of the same title, written by John O’Brien. Sadly, O’Brien committed suicide two weeks into the film’s production.
In this romantic comedy/drama, Barry Egan is afflicted with an anxiety disorder. The film highlights his lonely existence marked by occasional fits of rage, and reveals a family where emotional abuse is the norm. Barry has to navigate the symptoms of his life and mental health while falling in love for the first time.