Thoughtful Tuesday: Movies and Books about Mental Illness

There is tons of literature out there swarming with information and realistic fiction stories about individuals with mental illness. Since the stigma against mental illness unfortunately still exists, I thought it would be appropriate to share a few books and movies that portray characters with mental illness.

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves is an astonishing book that discusses one woman's journey to feel loved. She struggles with hallucinations and morbid thoughts that all feel very real to the reader. It is a great representation of the life lived with psychosis.

Elena Vanishing by Elena and Claire B. Dunkle is a great story with an even greater representation of how mental illness can evolve and how we learn that not all coping mechanisms are beneficial. Elena struggles with anxiety and it eventually develops into an eating disorder. It tells the story from both Elena's and her mother's point of view.

A Beautiful Mind is a great movie that showcases the true story of a paranoid schizophrenic. John is a brilliant mathematician teaching his work and theories at a university. Despite his brilliant mind, signs of paranoia and schizophrenia appear making it increasingly more difficult for his work and his family. A Beautiful mind is a story about how one man's determination to live life well among his delusions.

The Breakfast Club is a classic coming of age movie that tells the story of five very different high school students that all seem to be regular kids. Throughout the movie we learn that not everything is how it seems despite being the popular girl, the athlete, the nerd, the rebel, or the 'basket case'. Each teenager has their own battles that include dealing with abuse, physical and emotional, dealing with the pressure of parents, and the social pressures of high school. This movie is a reminder to us all not to judge a book by it's cover, because you never know what someone else is going through.

These movies and books are just a few of the many that teach well about treating individuals with mental illness with respect and patience.

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