Top 10 Movies Based On Psychological Disorders

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It is a challenge as well as a brilliant opportunity for actors to play victims of various psychological disorders whereas for the directors, it is a chance to portray the psyche of people with these disorders in the best way possible. In the end, it is the audiences who get a glimpse of the world of these people. There have been beautiful movies created in the past about people suffering from such disorders . In earlier times mental illnesses used to be  huge social taboos in the society where people never admitted it or maintained contacts with anyone affected by it.Here are the top 10 movies based on psychological disorders.

10) Psycho


Psycho was released in 1960 and directed by the infamous filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. The movie starts with an individual called Marion Crane ends up at the motel after leaving town and embezzling $40,000.00 from her employer. Norman is a young man who is the owner of the motel and is shown to have a close relationship with his mother, whom the audience doesn’t get to see till the end of the movie. Marion is then killed and the audience is shown a shadowy figure of the mother letting everyone assume that it was Norman’s mother. As the movie progresses and reaches its end, Norman is shown to have dissociative identity disorder or multiple personality disorder. In reality, Norman had killed his mother years back but then  imbibed her as a personality within him. This side of him would cause him to act, talk, and look like his mother.

9) One flew over the cuckoo’s nest


Directed by Milos Forman , this movie was made in 1975.Here , McMurphy is a man with several assault convictions and he convinces the jail guards that he ‘s crazy and requires psychiatric care. At the mental hospital, he fits in with the other people and even tries to help some of the patients along the way. It also highlights the relationship between McMurpy and the nurse Mrs. Ratched. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest is the story of the struggle of a man to fight the harsh conditions of a mental institution from which there is no escape. By the end of the movie, McMurphy has managed to create a profound impact on the patients around him however turns insane himself after the treatments that he was exposed to. The film makes the audience question the idea about what is ‘normal’ and how do we define mental sanity.

8) What’s eating gilbert grape?


Leonardo DiCaprio plays the role of mentally challenged boy named Arnie in small American town. The movie explores the difficulties of taking care of a mentally challenged individual in a small town where there are limited resources, apart from people in the town being unsympathetic towards Arnie. Johnny Depp plays Gilbert who is Arnie’s older brother and takes care of him. The movie highlights the relationship between the two. Although no one is aware of Arnie’s condition in details, we can say that he was most probably autistic after observing how he has language deficiency, poor social skills, slightly violent behaviors, and impairment in terms of cognitive processing and   intellectual functioning.

7) A Beautiful Mind

beautiful mind
A Beautiful Mind has been based on the real life story of a renowned and talented mathematician known as John Nash who later became a Nobel Laureate in Economics after getting through episodic phases of paranoid schizophrenia and hallucinatory phases. The role played by Russell Crowe portrays a real life dilemma however this movie also shows him dealing with his inner demons and, neglecting them and thus getting over his mental condition. It was inspiring to see how an indidividual managed to cope up with his mental condition without the use of any kind of drugs.

6)Rain man

rain man
Rain Man was a critically acclaimed and successful film about two brothers where one was  normal( played by Tom Cruise ) and other one was suffering from autism (played by Dustin Hoffman ). The  younger  brother was too greedy for his own good but eventually gets transformed because he is touched by the innocence and talent of his autistic brother who  cures him of all the greed . The movie showed how it was not necessary for individuals like this to be locked up in mental institutions all the time and that they are capable of  merging into the society.

5) Ordinary people

ordinary people
This movie is about a teenage boy called Conrad who lost his brother Buck in a boating accident. Since they were best friends he was completely shaken up and tried to commit suicide. After being hospitalized for a few months, he comes back home. Still unhappy in life, he seeks therapy from a psychiatrist called Dr. Berger who helps him in uncovering the reasons for the Jarrett’s unhappiness. The movie is basically the journey of Conrad and his emotions as he was suffering from post-traumatic-stress-disorder and survivor guilt.

4) Girl interrupted

girl interrupted
Girl interrupted is about of girl named Suzanna who has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and sent to a mental institution after an “apparent” attempt to commit suicide. Over there she encounters different kinds of people and makes friends with a sociopath and pathological liar. She grew up in an unstable environment and witnessed her parents in an abusive relationship .Despite chances of having a schizotypal possibility, most of her symptoms point towards borderline personality disorder. This is because she clearly exhibits the signs of someone with borderline personality disorder such as acting self-destructive, feelings of emptiness, feeling rejected, mood swings, tendency to commit suicide etc.

3) Donnie darko

Donnie Darko doesn’t get along too well with his family, teachers or even classmates. The only people he does get along with are his friend called Gretchen his psychiatrist. He has an imaginary friend called as Frank who is a large bunny which only be seen only by him. When an engine falls off a plane and destroys his bedroom, Donnie is not there. Both the event, and Donnie’s escape, seem to have been caused by supernatural events. This film is classified as a sci-fi movie, because it involves multiple dimensions, the concept of time travel, and a complicated  plot structures with interwoven segments. What makes it  interesting is it’s ability to make the audience think critically.

2)Fight club

fight club
The narrator is an insomniac who has tried to cure his condition through various techniques but all in vain. However his conditions does manage to rebound back to its original state when he meets a lovely young woman and starts spending time with her. Later, he meets a young man named Tyler and after a short conversation both of them become close friends and relieve their inner tensions by hitting each other. Soon this news spreads around the town and a bunch of people are suddenly interested. The huge popularity leads to the formation of a ‘Fight Club’. They suddenly invest a lot of time in this and also end up earning a handful. However it is only later where it is revealed that Tyler is actually split personality of the Narrator. Even after realizing this “Tyler” tries to get things done through the narrator.

1) Black swan

black swan
‘Black Swan’ is basically about the story of a ballerina called Nina who is completely obsessed and possessed by her dance. Nina wants the lead role of the black swan in a new production but faces competition from another new dancer, Nina is said to be fitting for the role of the White Swan role but does not completely show justice to the role of the lack. In an attempt to get into the role completely, Nina gets in touch with her dark side which begins taking over her life slowly. She becomes a victim of eating disorders, schizophrenia and self-mutilation. She also experiences dissociation and at the end of the movie she is defeated by all of her weaknesses,

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