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Top 10 Movies About Psychological Disorders


The mechanisms of the human mind and its behavior have always been at the center of discussions and have generated several controversial topics. Although fiction films are not documentaries, and what is portrayed as mental illness is generally not one hundred percent accurate, there are some films that educate and raise awareness about these sensitive issues, such as psychopathologies.

Below we offer a list of 5 recommended films for those who are studying psychology, or for those who have a general interest about this discipline so full of surprises, psychology.

A brilliant mind

“A Brilliant Mind” is a film directed by Ron Howard, which features the story of a brilliant mathematician, John Forbes Nash, who is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. The film is based on the true story of the mathematical genius Nash.

Nash was an arrogant socially inept math student, who spent most of his time making an effort to discover a revolutionary equation in mathematics. As the film progresses we can distinguish that Nash is suffering from a severe mental illness: schizophrenia.

It should be noted that sometimes schizophrenia is often confused with schizotypal personality disorder  – since their symptoms are widely similar – but these two disorders are not the same, since those with schizotypal disorder may have strange beliefs and behaviors, but, Unlike those with schizophrenia, they are not disconnected from reality and usually do not have hallucinations.


The sci-fi psychological drama film “Melancholy” is not the only film by Lars von Trier to feature themes of mental illness. This film is part of the Trilogy of “Depression” -not officially named-, “The Antichrist” and the “Nymphomaniac” by von Trier, which were also based on themes related to psychopathologies.

Melancolía is a different movie than the one we get used to seeing; It shows a very realistic picture of how depressed people face adversity and chaos in their life with a sense of peace.

For those who suffer from depression  and feel like the world is falling apart every day, this movie can help you understand a little why that feeling.

“Melancholy” is considered a masterpiece for its compelling story and brilliant cinematography.

A clockwork orange

This is an Anglo-American film, written, produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and adapted from the novel by Anthony Burgess. It shows the story of Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell), a charismatic sociopath whose interests include classical music (especially the Ninth Beethoven Symphony), rape and ultra-violence.
Alex runs a small gang in which they carry out serious crimes and constant infractions.
After two years in prison, Alex requests an experimental treatment that would reduce his jail time, but that treatment will be harsher than he imagines.

Antisocial Personality Disorder , also known as Sociopathy, is clearly shown in this movie.

The look like people

This is a psychological thriller directed by Perry Blackshear in the year 2015.

In the film, two old friends, Wyatt and Christian – who have recently struggled – meet in New York City for a chat. Throughout the film it is determined that Wyatt suffers from schizophrenia, and his hallucinations make him distrust everyone around him.

This film gives us access and some answers to a big question: if someone important in your life is suffering from a   dangerous mental illness , how could you help him?

Interrupted innocence

This is a classic drama movie directed by James Mangold and Jonathan Kahn. It shows the story of two young women who resided in a psychiatric hospital in the late 1960s. These characters differ enormously.

Susanna (Winona Ryder) tries to mix alcohol with pills and almost ends her life; which is why she is taken to the psychiatric hospital, where she meets Lisa (Angelina Jolie), a chronic resident of the hospital who has escaped many times and is considered a sociopath with manipulative and rebellious tendencies .

The black swan

Film directed by Darren Aronofsky. This is a thriller that covers various themes of mental illness. Some say that the overall theme of the film is a metaphor for achieving perfection and the unfortunate price that must be paid to do so.

Nina Sayers is a professional dancer who suffers from a lack of self-confidence, which leads to eating disorders – in this case bulimia nervosa – and chronic hallucinations. When she is given the main role of Swan Lake, Nina must fight to achieve the cunning or sensuality required by one of those characters -the black swan-, which could be represented by Lily, her new threat. As the two young women expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina becomes more in touch with her dark side, which will lead her to make drastic and tragic decisions.

You may also be interested in:   Reverse Psychology

This film shows and emphasizes the topic of eating disorders , and how they can lead to other types of mental disorders.

The Machinist

Film directed by Brad Anderson. This thriller introduces us to the mind of a character who, after suffering from a serious sleep disorder – chronic insomnia – begins to question his sanity. This disorder takes over your life and causes your mind to malfunction, in an altered state of consciousness.

Trevor Reznik is a lathe operator who suffers from insomnia and hasn’t slept in a year. Throughout the plot, Trevor begins to doubt his sanity as increasingly strange things begin to happen to him at work and at home. Haunted by a deformed co-worker who no one seems to believe exists, and an unbroken stream of indecipherable notes that he finds in his refrigerator, he attempts to investigate what appears to be a mysterious plot against him, and in the process, wraps two women in his madness.

Jacob’s ladder

Jacob Singer, a US soldier, is wounded by a bayonet during an attack on his platoon. Because of this, Jacob begins to experience intensely terrifying flashbacks and hallucinations. In these hallucinations, Jacob is chased by demons and finds the army conspiracy against him, while having strange visions at different times in his life.

This film directed by Adrian Lyne, shows us a reality that thousands of people live in around the world, post- traumatic stress disorder. This disorder brings with it a series of symptoms that become exasperating for those who suffer from them, including: hallucinations, insomnia, recurring intrusive thoughts and disturbing dreams, as well as mental and physical anguish or depression.

The sinister island

Teddy is a US Marshal who is assigned to investigate a psychiatric institution – where the biggest criminals with mental problems are found – after a patient goes missing. When the thriller comes to a close, it is known that Teddy is actually a man named Andrew Laeddis, who murdered his wife, who had severe bipolar disorder and drowned his own children.

This psychological thriller directed by Martin Scorsese, shows the different disorders suffered by patients who are admitted to the psychiatric institution, delving into the serious disorder of the protagonist and its consequences. It is shown how the mind of the character -Andrew- makes great efforts to return to sanity and recover his lost memories, trying to assimilate the facts of reality through keywords, images, symbols and associations.

Rain man

Charlie is a money-obsessed man who is trying to make a living selling Lamborghinis, but something is not going well for him, as his cars are caught in a conflict with the EPA and cannot reach their buyers. Charlie’s father dies and Charlie and his wife return to their hometown to claim their inheritance. Upon learning that his father has not left much of his inheritance and most of it has been destined to an unknown person. After inquiring to reach this anonymous person, Charlie discovers that it is an unknown brother, who has autistic syndrome.

Charlie kidnaps Ray (his brother) in order to get hold of his share of the inheritance, but then he begins to take a liking to him and Charlie’s desire to have his brother as a bargaining chip is transformed into a desire to have his brother close to help him and because he really cares about him.

This film directed by Barry Levinson delves into the autism spectrum disorder and shows the great capacities of Ray, who presents a special intelligence. Autism spectrum disorder is a biological disorder and affects emotions, memory , personality, mental processing, communication, and speech.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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