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Am you depressed and looking for eye-opening movies about depression to be related? Here’s a list of must-see 30 blockbusters compiled by Depression Open Talks for you. Check them out!

There should be something for everyone as we’ll be taking you through 30 movies today that deal with the subject of depression. Before we get started, it is vital to note that finding a depression treatment facility will be helpful if you or a loved one is struggling with significant depression.

According to official estimates, 16.2 million adults in the United States, or close to 7% of the adult population, experience depressive episodes each year. Although there is still much to be done, becoming more aware of these statistics and giving depression’s place in daily life more thought can go a long way toward eradicating the stigma associated with mental illness.


Many filmmakers use their own experiences with depression as inspiration for their films since they view the medium as a vehicle for the artist’s vision.

By using leading men who are generally associated with comedy, such as Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Will Ferrell in Stranger Than Fiction, some films make discussions on depression more approachable. Even our most amusing actors sometimes experience darker moments, just as no one ever experiences bliss throughout their entire existence.


This is by no means a comprehensive list. The list of works of art does a commendable job of capturing the experience of living with depression, regardless of whether they were instantly popular or developed popularity through time.

Top 10 movies about depression

1. Garden State (2004)

Depression is shaped in part by negative thoughts. These convictions deprive people of joy and may ultimately turn into burdens.

Actor Andrew Largeman, who is having financial trouble, believes that he is to blame for an accident that left his mother partially paralyzed and finally murdered her. He became apathetic and uncaring in many areas of his life as a result of his guilt.

Largeman, who has been estranged from his family for many years, travels from Los Angeles to New Jersey to attend his mother’s burial. Despite using marijuana and ecstasy at a party, Largeman maintains his cool when he meets up with old buddies.

When he visits his doctor, we find out that Largeman has been taking mood stabilizers like lithium and antidepressants since he was ten years old. He claims that his psychiatrist’s father prescribed him this drug.

In the remaining portions of the film, Sam, a pathological liar, and Largeman develop a romantic relationship. He quits taking his medication and begins to become more outgoing.

After the scene, Largeman informs his father that he was not to blame for the accident and that he would stop taking his medication. He decides to work on mending their connection after forgiving his father.

Now, while watching this movie has taught me many useful things, discontinuing my medicine suddenly without contacting a doctor is not one of them. Under no circumstances should you think about pulling the same prank as Largeman. He had a good outcome, although stopping mood stabilizers or antidepressants abruptly does not always guarantee this.

2. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Little Miss Sunshine, a tragicomic 2006 American road movie, follows a loving but troubled family as they travel in their brilliant yellow VW van.

What makes this movie about depression interesting are the eccentric characters. Sherryl Hoover, a mother of two, is already overworked, and her gay brother, who recently attempted suicide, now lives with the family, adding to her burden.

Richard’s father was kicked out of his senior community for sniffing drugs, and Richard is a failing life coach. Edwin is currently residing with the family as well.

You’re treated to a first-rate picture of the difficulties of coexisting with someone who has a mental condition in this film, which is undermined by family conflicts. Another film that explores the depths of despair while conveying an enormously uplifting message of optimism is this one.

3. World’s Greatest Dad (2009)

Because there is still a stigma associated with mental illness, persons who suffer from depression frequently receive care that lacks compassion. But when a depressed person kills, the subsequent sympathy and compassion come too late.

Another depressed person who appeared to have the world at his feet, Robin Williams, who played the lead character Lance Clayton, famously killed himself in 2014.

We learn in this movie about depression the tale of a failed author and high school teacher in World’s Greatest Dad. The woman Clayton is dating does not want their connection to be made public. Kyle, his kid, hates him and spends all of his time obsessing over pornography.

Lance discovers that his son had perished in an autoerotic asphyxiation incident. Clayton decides to set up the body so it looks like Kyle hanged himself. To prevent the disgrace that would have otherwise followed, Lance prepares a false but lyrical suicide note that makes the suicide seem like the result of sadness.

The film’s strong theme is that Clayton is the one who is depressed. He was able to write a note that was so sincere and compelling because of this. The community that once derided Kyle as a mediocre loser now hails him as a gifted poet marred by the plague of mental illness, which is ironic.

4. Cake (2014)

In the 2014 drama Cake, performed by Jennifer Aniston, we follow Claire as she tries to control the chronic pain she develops after losing her son in a car accident.

Claire has tried therapy and medicine to treat her depression, but she still appears to find that whining and repressing her feelings are the greatest coping mechanisms.

Claire becomes obsessed with the suicide of a member of her support group and develops psychotic as a result. Denial patterns emerge, which is a prevalent characteristic in many addictions and mental illnesses.

By the time the film is over, Claire has realized that instead of avoiding her history, she must face it. For anyone struggling with depression, this is an inspirational and enlightening movie.

5. The Perks of a Wallflower (2012)

The Perks of a Wallflower is a 2012 coming-of-age movie written and directed by Stephen Chbosky. 

Following the lives of Charlie, a shy and awkward kid, we see this unnoticed wallflower come alive after making friends with some elderly people who teach him the fundamental pleasures of friendship and music. Throughout the film, Charlie unravels as he struggles to repress memories of the past.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a moving film with humor intercut throughout, expertly conveys the highs and lows of adolescence. This movie will be instructive for everyone who is having trouble finding their place in the world.

6. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

A star-studded cast and a cult fan base may be found in Wes Anderson’s film The Royal Tenenbaums.

Tracing the sad (and occasionally humorous) effects of a family history of depression on each individual. The three siblings all experienced great success as children, but as adults, they all suffered a series of setbacks and disappointments.

For anyone who finds despair depressing, you must watch this meta-fest in which the plot is purportedly based on an unpublished manuscript. Royal Tenenbaum was portrayed by Gene Hackman, who won an Academy Award.

7. Silver Linings Playbook (2013)

One of the best romantic comedies (with a dash of drama) movies of the last ten years is Silver Linings Playbook for a variety of reasons. But foremost among them is how well-rounded, authentic individuals with mental illnesses are portrayed in the movie.

Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar for her portrayal of a grieving woman who recently lost her husband and has mental illnesses of her own. And, Bradley Cooper plays a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan who has a manic depressive disorder. A scene in which he throws Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms out the window in anger is a masterclass.

Sounds a little heavy for a romantic comedy, but Silver Linings Playbook expertly walks the line and convincingly demonstrates that a person’s mental illness does not define them.

8. Sylvia (2003)

The 2003 film Sylvia examines the relationship between Ted Hughes and Silvia Plath, two renowned poets. You are given excerpts from Plath’s famous depressed poems that she wrote about her despair throughout the story.

The tragedy of her father’s unexpected death before she started college, like many others with depression, affected her mental health. She received a literary scholarship to attend Smith College, which was when she started experiencing her first depressive episodes.

Plath was able to obtain a Fulbright Scholarship and attend Cambridge University after surviving a suicide attempt in her junior year. At a party, Plath meets Hughes. They are hitched, move to live with Plath’s mother in Massachusetts, and fall in love. Everything seems to be going well while he’s teaching at Smith College.

Plath believes she is living in her husband’s professional shadow once the pair returns to England. Hughes is ejected from the family home after Plath, who was right to accuse him of adultery, begins composing poetry seriously. These make up the Ariel posthumous collection. Plath commits suicide after the scene, leaving the manuscripts of her poems on the desk.

Although anyone suffering from sadness may find comfort in the film, Frieda Hughes (the couple’s daughter) believes the film took advantage of her mother’s suffering.

9. Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Based on Susanna Kaysen’s memoir of the same name, Girl, Interrupted is a true story. The movie’s screenwriter and main character attempted suicide and then spent the next 18 months in a psychiatric ward for young women. The late 1960s are the setting for the film.

Susanna (Winona Ryder) is still having a hard time coping with her suicidal thoughts and life in general while she is in the mental unit. Borderline personality disorder has been identified in her.Susanna becomes friends with a variety of fascinating individuals, such as the crazily erratic Lisa, who is superbly portrayed by Angelina Jolie.

This film explores a range of mental diseases, offering you a perspective on conditions more than simple clinical depression. The characters’ behaviors range from schizophrenia and self-injury to anorexia and pathological lying.

The action is not only provided honestly but it’s also done educationally with a heavy focus on the value of friendship during any type of recovery.

10. Prozac Nation (2001)

Elizabeth Wurtzel’s 1994 autobiography of the same name served as the basis for the 2001 film Prozac Nation. I Hate Myself and I Want to Die was the original title of the book, which should give you a good idea of how the author was feeling as a result of the crushing weight of despair.

In the film adaption, Christina Ricci plays the author and shows how she dealt with atypical depression while attending Harvard on a journalism scholarship in her first year.

Wurtzel’s disorderly upbringing and the odd bond she had with her mother, who was portrayed by Jessica Lange in the film, contributed to her depression, at least in part. Another aspect of Wurtzel’s underlying sadness is the four years she has spent being alienated from her father.

Don’t be deterred by the film’s unfavorable reviews. We believe that the claims that the book and movie were “exasperatingly sympathetic” and that the main character was “filled with narcissistic pride” were most likely made by someone who had not personally experienced depression.

One of Prozac Nation’s most important lessons, in our opinion, is that just because you’re an ivy league student and growing up in the US in the 1970s doesn’t mean you’re immune to mental illnesses like depression. Maybe you’ve been feeling guilty for feeling depressed when everything appears to be going so well. Do not feel bad. Opt for assistance. Make a call right away to a hotline or mental health care facility.

Top 20 Realistic Movies About Depression:

  1. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
  2. Numb (2007)
  3. Lilting (2014)
  4. Mad Love (1995)
  5. Mary and Max (2009)
  6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
  7. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
  8. Manchester By the Sea (2016)
  9. A Star Is Born (2018)
  10. Melancholia (2011)
  11. Palm Springs (2020)
  12. Gravity (2013)
  13.  The End of the Tour (2015)
  14.  Stranger Than Fiction (2006)
  15. It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010)
  16. You’re The Worst (2014-2019)
  17. WandaVision (2021)
  18. All the Bright Places (2020)
  19. Precious (2009)
  20. The Skeleton Twins (2014)

Movies about depression: Final words

Each of these films addresses depression differently, but maybe they all demonstrate to you that everyone experiences it at some point in their lives, no matter how they may sometimes feel.


Hogan, B. (2022, February 26). 25+ Honest Movies About Depression That Capture Living With It. Scary Mommy. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://www.scarymommy.com/entertainment/movies-about-depression

Sledge, P. (2021, October 7). 12 Thoughtful Movies About Depression | Cinemablend. CinemaBlend. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://www.cinemablend.com/movies/thoughtful-movies-about-depression

Vo, D., & Gilmore, J. (n.d.). 12 Best Movies About Depression. Renaissance Recovery. Retrieved October 13, 2022, from https://www.renaissancerecovery.com/best-movies-about-depression/

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