Since mental illness can be a taboo subject, The Hive Society compiled a list of 7 movies highlighting mental illness to get the conversation started.

Whether a person has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), an anxiety disorder, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder (BPD), depression, dissociative disorders, an eating disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or schizophrenia, we need to begin a dialogue to better understand mental illness. Movies can either suspend our sense of reality or depict the minute details of the mundane. The movies below highlight protagonists with mental illnesses and portray a reality that is too often only spoken about in whispers.

Infinitely Polar Bear

Released May 22, Infinitely Polar Bear follows an interracial family with the patriarch of the household suffering from bipolar disorder. Cameron played by Mark Ruffalo is a loving  father who is also manic depressive. His wife Maggie, played by Zoe Saldana, agrees to allow Cameron sole responsibility of their two daughters while she attends graduate school. The film illustrates how loving someone with a mental illness can be challenging, but you never give up on yourself or the ones you love.

To Write Love on Her Arms

Chad Michael Murray is back and we didn’t realize we missed him until now. Imaginative young Renee Yohe, played by usual funny girl Kat Denning, dreams of a beautiful garden “but even the sun couldn’t outshine the gray.” Suffering from bipolar disorder, Renee stops taking her medicine which she calls “crazy pills” and turns to drugs after a Halloween party. Renee finally enters a rehabilitation center and soon after meets 2000s dream boat CMM who takes her to a music festival. Music has always an escape into her imagination, but will the festival make Renee relapse? Originally set to release May 11, 2015, now only says coming soon so keep your eyes. To Write Love on Her Arms shows how people with mental illness can thrive with supportive surroundings.

The Voices

Released February 6 in select theaters, The Voices follows a schizophrenic factory worker named Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) who hears voices. Jerry seems like a timid guy living at home with his cat and dog. Well his cat turns him into a serial killer by advising him to kill, while his dog tries help Jerry live a normal life. Movies like this give cats a bad name. Rude. With a talking head of his female victim in the freezer, this horror/thriller is filled with dark humor as it shows the dark side of mental illness.

Welcome to Me

You’ve asked yourself what would happen if a mentally ill woman obsessed with Oprah won the lottery? I’ve asked myself the same question and thankfully the producers including Will Ferrell asked themselves the same question. Welcome to Me starring Kristen Wig gets awkward when the protagonist spends $15 million dollars to have her own talk show where she comes in on a swam boat. Awkward and hilarious describe seeing Kristen Wig eat meatloaf cafe stale face into the camera.

Irrational Man

Joaquin Phoenix plays the legendary philosophy professor Abe Lucas with faculty and staff members ready to jump his bones. One of his student played by Emma Stone diagnoses Abe as suffering from “despair.” Somehow, his demeanor does a 180 and ABE IS HAPPY. No longer suffering from dizziness and anxiety, the sight of the rejuvenated Abe worries those closest to him.

Return to Sender

If you thought Rosamund Pike was crazy as Amy Elliott-Dunne in Gone Girl, just wait until her see her play a small town nurse who grows attached to the man who attacks and rapes her. This chick has full-on Stockholm syndrome and grows to live pain. Pike’s character aspires to be a surgical nurse and admires surgeons precision with a blade, cut to (pun intended) her in the bathtub purposefully cutting her legs with her razor.


Let’s end on a brighter note. Also releasing on July 17, Amy Schumer plays Amy, a men’s magazine writer. After Amy’s father announced to his two daughters that he and their mother are getting divorced, Amy’s father embeds the phrase “monogamy isn’t realistic.” Now adult Amy is living an emotionally damaged existence afraid of commitment, something many 20/30-something-year-olds suffer from today. For those of you unfamiliar with that movie, it’s the one with Lebron James. Amy Schumer is a hilarious comedian who explains the horrors of being forever single.
Check out these films now or when the come out in theaters, and let us know your thoughts.