Shutter Island (2010) – Paranoid Schizophrenia

US Marshals Teddy Daniels (Leonardo Dicaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) must investigate the disappearance of a murderous patient – but what happens when they discover the patient is closer to home than originally thought. Shutter Island is the embodiment of how Schizophrenic sufferers operate; the audience are just as confused as Teddy Daniels whilst he struggles to differentiate reality from delusion.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012) – Bipolar Disorder/ Borderline Personality Disorder

A film that understands the rapid emotional highs and lows that having Bipolar/a Borderline Personality disorder brings, Silver Linings Playbook follows the story of Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) – a man who believes his marriage can be fixed “since he is better now” – and his recently widowed neighbour, Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence). Peppered with mania and humour, the delightful rom-com portrays mental health in an accurate yet hopeful way.

Black Swan (2010) – Schizophrenia/ Psychosis

The American psychological thriller Black Swan, directed by Darren Aronofsky, is a ruthless insight into the world of professional ballet. Nina (Natalie Portman) is finally chosen for the lead in the upcoming production of Swan Lake – but with the newfound responsibility comes a dark price. It’s a slow-burning portrayal on the toll that Schizophrenia can take, starting with anxiety and extreme paranoia to hallucination.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) – PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

This film moves away from the striking cinematic portrayals of PSTD and focuses on the isolated life of a high-school “wallflower”, Charlie (Logan Lerman), who is tormented by troubling memories of childhood abuse and his friend’s suicide. The emphasis on recovery instead of the development of this mental illness creates a deeply moving yet positive result.


Want to read more on mental health? Read our article I’m Not Some Horror Film Cliché.