Top 10 Movies About Depression to Help You Understand It Better

movies about depression

Depression affects many individuals, and each person’s narrative is different. It is a mental health issue that can express itself in various ways. It can make individuals feel lonely, distant, discouraged, or unproductive as if nothing matters. It can also lead to unreasonable or harmful behavior. (1)

People may use artistic expressions such as movies to comprehend, empathize, and connect with the many forms of depression. (2) It may seem implausible, but watching a film about a character full of self-doubt and negative emotions can sometimes be enough to tide a depressed person over until the storm passes and they are ready to move forward with their lives.

It might be tough to know where to begin as a large number of movies have been made on depression, and countless more have significant themes of depression.

Instead of initiating a debate over which films are the finest in terms of cinematography, it would be more practical to understand which ones will best educate you about depression. If you suffer from depression, you may recognize several of the characters in such films, or they may help your friends and family understand what you are going through.

Here is a list of the top ten movies about depression recommended by prominent therapists to help you narrow down your choices. These movies describe the nature of depression, including what it really is, how it progresses, and how it impacts those who suffer from it and others around them.

These films may help you better understand what it means to be depressed, whether you are in a close connection with a depressed person or are displaying indications of depressive behavior personally.

World’s Greatest Dad

People may not always treat someone suffering from depression with compassion due to the stigma associated with mental illness. They do, however, show sympathy if a person suffering from depression commits suicide, but it does not appear to be of any benefit.

Lance Clayton, a failing novelist, and high school poetry teacher is the protagonist of the movie World’s Greatest Dad. He is dating a woman who does not acknowledge their relationship in public. He also has a son who is unambitious and obsessed with pornographic content. This movie can also show a link between pornography and depression.

His son dies as a result of an autoerotic asphyxiation accident. The intentional creation of hypoxia to maximize sexual pleasure is known as autoerotic asphyxia. (3) Clayton arranges his corpse in such a way that it appears he has hanged himself. To escape disgrace, he makes a phony yet incredibly lyrical suicide note. According to the message, his son committed suicide due to depression.

However, in reality, Clayton is the one dealing with depression. He was able to write such a compelling suicide note attributable to his melancholic depression. Nonetheless, it is his deceased kid who receives praise and compassion from his colleagues, who read the message and believe it is magnificent. The neighborhood, which previously thought of his kid as a jerk and a failure, now sees him as a gifted poet who struggled with mental illness; this portrays the truth of how individuals who are close to a depressed person act and how they behave after the person ends himself.


Depression is a complicated illness that affects people in several ways, but those who experience it are not the only ones who suffer. When a loved one suffers from depression, it affects the entire family. Others may feel burdened by it. When individuals care for people who are depressed, they sometimes may develop animosity toward the person they are caring for. At that moment, they have the option of abandoning the person they are caring for or trying to live with their displeasure.

Interiors is a film about a family that splits apart after the father divorces the mother because he is tired of caregiving for her as she suffers from high-functioning depression and dementia. She reacts by trying suicide. She then spent several years in a sanitorium, undergoing therapy on a regular basis.

Joey, one of her daughters, is tasked with caring for her. Joey vents her frustrations on her mother. Their connection exemplifies how depression may generate a resentment loop throughout families.

movies about depressionw

Prozac Nation

Prozac Nation is based on Elizabeth Wurtzel’s memoirs, chronicling her battle with atypical depression. Many experts feel it has helped to raise mental health awareness.

Prozac is an antidepressant medication used to treat a variety of mental illnesses. (4) The film Prozac Nation is about this prescription and a Harvard journalism student, Lizzi, who has just begun her academic career but is shortly diagnosed with depression. She isolates herself from everyone and continues to go through the phases of emotional instability due to the situation surrounding her.

After achieving success in her literary and journalism career at Harvard, she becomes extremely depressed. She falls into a profound depression and engages in self-destructive conduct due to the pressures of success. She abuses drugs to alleviate the agony.

However, while she first sees positive outcomes, she feels as if she is overly dependent on the drug and that it is engulfing her. She intends to use the medicine to alleviate the pain, but it appears to have taken control of her life instead of assisting her.

Many of these films were inspired by real-life encounters with depression. If you suffer from depression, you may recognize yourself in one or more tales or characters. Seeing these movie characters struggle and succeed might provide you with the motivation you need to keep going.


The Cake is undoubtedly one of the finest movies in this genre. Although the film garnered mixed reviews from critics, many health experts believe it accurately portrays what it is like to deal with chronic pain and major depressive disorder.

People with persistent pain, disability, or sickness are more likely to develop severe depression. In this film, Claire, the main character, suffers from depression after losing her son in a car crash that leaves her in chronic pain. She feels that all she can do is whine about life because of her PTSD and hopelessness about her recovery.

What is remarkable about this film is Clair’s ability to effectively convey the feelings of a patient suffering from chronic pain and depressed behavior. Her character goes through a sequence of experiences that alter her perspective on depression and show her how desiring to recover plays a crucial part in really recovering.

This film provides its viewers an optimistic approach to overcoming depression if they are determined to recover and surround themselves with those who care.

movies about depression

It’s Kind of a Funny Story

It’s Kind of a Funny Story is a cross between a drama and a feel-good film. The drama part emerges from the portrayal of people battling mental diseases such as depression, overthinking, and anxiety disorders. At the same time, the feel-good factor stems from conquering these challenges with the assistance of companions and a supportive group.

In this movie, the sixteen-year-old Craige, who is although doing well in school and life, suffers from depression. His depression stems from his conviction that any setback in his life will eventually ruin him. In every manner, he feels like he is not good enough. He is admitted to a psychiatric facility after realizing his depression.

Tragedy, assault, sorrow, toxic circumstances, or a dysfunctional family do not have to be the only source of depression. It is both a disease and a way of perceiving the world. Even in apparently simple lives, people might develop a sequence of illogical negative ideas that lead to depression and suicidal behavior.

The film is about how those suffering from mental illnesses may rediscover joy and happiness through counseling and healing. But, more importantly, it tells us that depression is caused not just by unfortunate events but also by merely existing without fully living and then having extremely unreasonable beliefs about despair and depression.


The film Numb narrates the experience of Hudson Milbank, a famous screenwriter whose physician diagnoses him with depression and depersonalization disorder, a mental ailment characterized by times of feeling distant or separated from the body and brain.

This film helps viewers comprehend what it is like to be depressed and depersonalized. The title Numb implies that there are times when you feel unconnected as if your spirit is physically separated from your mind and body. You can not sense anything, regardless of how many medications you consume or how much help you get from others around you.

The movie highlights the inclination to overprescribe pharmaceuticals by showing how the psychiatrists he works with feel that drugs are the key solution to his issues. The film teaches us about the hazards of overprescription, something we all need to learn. (5) Medical pharmaceuticals are intended to aid in the healing process. They are not the primary treatment for mental diseases. Beyond everything, a desire to heal and a commitment to act decisively are essential.


People believe that depression is caused by a traumatic incident, the worst childhood experience, or a crippling amount of stress. However, depression can occur for various causes or no reason whatsoever. It is typically haunting when it strikes, irrespective of the person’s situation or personal experiences.

Even if a person’s life is full of success and everything they desire, depression may deprive them of the sense of feeling happiness and joy. Helen, the title character, goes through this in the film. She keeps her depression hidden from her family for many years until it gets too extreme to overlook. All those around her appear to be having a good time, which makes her feel worse and adds to her emptiness.

Fortunately, she has a supportive husband and daughter who care for her and assist her recovery. She also gets to know a new friend who prepares her to accept and deal with her depression.  She reclaims control of her life and sentiments with the assistance of these people.

The movie depicts that if you have been enjoying a life of pleasure and success, you never know when depression may strike. The most significant point is to have a healthy network of people who care about you and help you heal. In order to help someone with anxiety, overthinking, depression, and other psychiatric conditions, it is essential to support them and assist in their journey towards recovery. (6)

movies about depression


The movie Melancholia is highly recommendable, especially by people who show indications of depression or other mental diseases. It is a work of art that belongs in both the sci-fi and drama genres.

The plot revolves around two sisters, Justine and Claire, who have diametrically opposed perspectives on life. Justine suffers from acute depression, while Claire enjoys life to the fullest. However, everything turns upside down when a new planet called Melancholia is believed to be heading towards Earth and threatening to destroy it.

The titular planet, which is on the verge of colliding with Earth and annihilating everyone, is a metaphor for how devastating depression can be.

Justine begins to recover from her depression as Melancholia approaches. She seemed to be welcoming death and the destruction of humankind; this was the only way she could get away from her dismal thoughts. On the other hand, Claire feels apprehensive and begins to worry about herself and her family. The catastrophe seemed to have awoken her sense of hopelessness in existence.

Melancholia, recognized as one of the finest movies on depression, is a must-watch for anybody who wants to learn all about depression. It assists people in realizing that the rest of the world understands their fears and feelings.

Girl, Interrupted

Various mental health conditions are frequently associated with depression. (7) Depression may strike without caution, irrespective of age, gender, or background. Most crucially, the symptoms may not be evident to others, yet they are present nonetheless.

The movie Girl, Interrupted features a star-studded lineup and an excellent narrative. It is based on Susanna Kaysen’s autobiography, which narrates her struggles after being sent to a mental institution following a suicide attempt. Although the film garnered mixed reviews, it is lauded for depicting diverse mental diseases accurately.

In this film, depression is not the only concern. Other illnesses, such as schizophrenia (8), anorexia nervosa (9), and anti-social personality disorder (10), are addressed. Susanna was also diagnosed with a bipolar personality disorder. During her time in the hospital, she learned about these disorders and how they influence others who suffer from them.

This film explains how other mental health issues frequently accompany depression. The lesson we may take from this movie is that we must maintain contact with the individuals we care about. These people may seem cheery and upbeat, yet they may want our assistance and are merely afraid of asking.

Garden State

Negative beliefs have a significant influence on the development of depression. They have the potential to become a burden that deprives people of their joy.

Garden State is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful, uplifting, and emotionally evocative films of all time. The plot centers on Andrew Largeman, who travels to his hometown following the death of his mother. He is dealing with depression and despair, and he is heavily drugged with all of the medications his father convinced him he needed. However, as the tale proceeds, he begins to interact with individuals from his past and develops a genuine connection with a girl with a bright attitude on life.

This film illustrates that depression is much more than loneliness. It may be extremely harmful because it numbs you in dimensions you never imagined were possible. The film conveys the sense of emptiness that many individuals feel when they mourn and struggle.

Luckily, there are numerous approaches to dealing with depression. Consciousness and self-acceptance are crucial in changing one’s viewpoint. In conjunction with the appropriate medication and therapy, these techniques can assist you in living a joyful life.

movies about depression


Depression affects people of all ages.  The stigma associated with depression is a significant barrier to individuals receiving the care they require. Many individuals are afraid of being labeled and put off seeking assistance, even when their lives are unraveling and becoming unsustainable.

Movies on depression might benefit anyone afraid to get treatment. Seeing others go through therapy and learning what is required is frequently enough to get someone to call their doctor and begin researching their depression more thoroughly.

A few-hour play may alter our perceptions of life and situations and provide us with a more hopeful outlook.

A single film about depression cannot represent the intricacies of depression and treatment. Therefore, there are many movies about depression. Few of the finest films made about depression are present above.  All ten of these movies are worth watching since they provide deep insights into the condition. Each of these movies addresses depression in its unique manner.

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