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Favorite examples of mental illness and neurodivergence in media

Saturnal Snowqueen

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Do you have any favorite examples of characters that showcase a certain mental condition? Post em here. It can be confirmed by the writers, or it can be your own hot take.

Bonus if you list their type.
 

ygolo

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Do you have any favorite examples of characters that showcase a certain mental condition? Post em here. It can be confirmed by the writers, or it can be your own hot take.

Bonus if you list their type.

There are movies that make neurodiversity something that others ought to value. Often they fall into the category of "...and their neurodiversity led to something great" instead of just valuing their intrinsic humanity.

Also, I gravitate towards seeing a particular type of neurodiversity, but I can think of a few others that I enjoyed. I'm not sure how positive the stereotypes are, I just know I enjoyed the movies/tv series. We make do with what we have.

Nevertheless, here are a bunch that come to mind(I should say hate the word "disorder"):
  • As We See it (Autism Spectrum)
  • Atypical (Autism Spectrum)
  • Love on the Spectrum (Autism Spectrum)
  • Imitation Game (Autism Spectrum)
  • It's a Wonderful Life(Depression and Suicidal Ideation)
  • Beautiful Mind (Schizophrenia)
  • Fight Club (Schizophrenia)
  • Good Will Hunting (Attachment)
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend(Borderline Personality)
  • Girl Interrupted (Borderline Personality)
  •  The Aviator (Obsessive Compulsive)
  • Sideways (Histrionic Personality)
  • One flew over the cuckoo's nest (Post Traumatic Stress?)
  • Patch Adams (unsure)
 

Frosty

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Bipolar:

Shameless. (Though there is definitely a greater focus on the manic aspect and the depression aspect is touched on in a much briefer way)

Silver linings playbook (not sure how to describe this one)

Call me crazy - a five film (just worth watching in general because each story is fairly accurate to my knowledge)

No letting go (idk on this one. I dont remember if he is actually ever diagnosed bipolar but I think so? Also. Its more from the perspective of the family dealing with it and less from the perspective of the kid)

Thats all that I can think of that is decent

Autism:

Please stand by (maybe its not the best representation idk but I enjoyed it)

Parenthood (the series- tbh I think this was mediocrely done, they enabled the kid with “aspergers” so much that idk, it seemed to harm him more than anything)

Miracle run. (Low budget but I remember really liking this, might be offensive because the characters with autism arent super high functioning (I know we arent supposed to use those labels but Im not sure how else to describe it))

Eating disorders:

To the bone. (Solid)

A bunch of lifetime movies that are all meh but not necessarily bad.
-Ex: Sharing the Secret, Hunger Point, When Friendship Kills, For the Love of Nancy


Schizophrenia:

Strange voices. (Outdated. Its from the 80s, but is actually really accurate imo. There was less hope then tho and thats shown in the movie)

Undone. (Only the first season really is schizophrenia a question. In the second question it is basically completely dismissed. But the surreal nature of the first season is worth watching if there is interest. Other recommendations are probably better though)

Words on Bathroom Walls (Hollywoodized. But some of it is decent. Just realize the hallucinations as imaginary friends is very uncommon to never correct. The demon voice got me tho. Also the going off meds part is… yeah)

Call me crazy - a fab five film. (Probably one of tbe best representations of schizophrenia with the “lucy” part Ive seen, the scene in the library is legit)

Fear of rain. (Solidly ok)

Depression:

Ordinary people (a duh recommendation)

Little miss sunshine (you can feel his depression almost weighing down the movie, its done well even if not the main focus)

The virgin suicides (idk on this one. Its a lottle too sensationalized or something)

Ect:

Beautiful boy (substance abuse, really good)

Phoebe in wonderland (tourettes/OCD - really interesting and well acted)

Front of the class (tourettes, only remembered this one because I watched it last week lol. But its decently well done for something with an obviously fairly low budget/straight to tv movie)

Girl interrupted (BPD - honestly for a movie set in a mental hospital the mental illness part was weirdly overshadowed)

Speak (ptsd from rape - the book is better than the movie, but they picked a great actor for the main character so the movie was also not bad)

Ill probably think of more later but yeah. Thats it for now
 

Frosty

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A few more

And to be clear, Im only really including ones that I think are like, decently accurate. That means no split, no beautiful mind, no me myself and irene. None of that be. Also including learning disorders and stuff in this one.

In her shoes (dyslexia. Definitely a drama film and not entirely focused on the dyslexia aspect, more on relationship issues. But good for showing how an invisible disability, especially an undiagnosed one, can impact someones day to day life)

Atypical. (Autism- Not bad. Not much more to say about this one)

I am sam (intellectual disability. I thought it was good when I watched it as a young teen. Not sure if its actually good but I dont think its BAD)

Elizabeth Blue (schizophrenia. Not bad until the big reveal at the end. Sigh)

Ben is back (addiction/substance abuse - actually fairly similar to beautiful boy. Both are good)

Horse girl (some sort of psychosis. But honestly this one is like undone where its sorta left up to the viewer what is mental illness and what isnt)

We need to talk about kevin. (ASPD and PTSD maybe with the mom. This ones dark and dreary as fuck)

Like stars on earth (dyslexia - this is a bollywood film and Im not sure if it was dubbed or subtitled but its genuinely fantastic imo so worth watching if you can get past that)
 

Lexicon

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*nestles into favorite Armchair Psychologist..uh.. Chair...*



(May add to &/or otherwise modify later)

In no particular order of preference, & grouped by media type:


[TELEVISION]




[BOOKS]



[FILM]



[STAGE]
 

Saturnal Snowqueen

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Time to answer my own thread:

Steven Universe: ESFJ, PSTD

Peridot(Steven Universe, ESTJ): I headcanon her as autistic although this isn't confirmed by the writers. Hyperfixations and repetitive behavior, also she doesn't seem to understand social cues well. Like I could tell with her interactions she wasn't trying to be mean she was just, genuinely oblivious.

Liam, (ISTJ maybe, who knows, Dino Squad) An obscure example from my childhood. I feel like some parts were exaggerated, like where he was talking about juice, but it's also a kids show. I think they did a good job with his stimming(tapping his chest, for example).

Carl, Arthur(ISTJ again probably). It's a great introduction to autism for kids, and I like the analogy they used with the alien(how you're dropped on a new planet, and it looks like earth for the most part, but there are a few differences).

Julia(Sesame Street, INFP maybe?). Another great introduction to kids, and they nailed down a lot of the key behaviors(meltdowns, stims, poor social recognition. She's adorable, got to be my favorite Sesame Street character.

Connor(Degrassi, INTJ): A solid example of autism-I also like that he most likely gave some asexual representation. I remember Clare once said someone suggested she could be autistic, but it was never confirmed.

2D(Gorillaz, INFP): I think he's semi-confirmed as autistic? Murdoc once called him "Rain Man", plus in his interview with G-SHOCK you see him stimming, plus he does seem like he could have special interests(zombie movies)

Dr Shaun Murphy(The Good Doctor, INTJ). Cause Freddie Highmore is king, and does a great job at portraying autism.

Emma(Degrassi, ESTJ). While it was a one and done deal basically, I like that they portrayed Emma's anorexia as stemming from a need for control

Adam(Degrassi, INTP). Depression from his struggles as being trans, it struck a chord with me cause it seemed so realistic, bouts of reactivity and dissocativeness but being able to mask it for others

Craig and Eli(Degrassi, ESFP and INFP). Both decent examples of bipolar disorder, though I think Eli conveyed it better, alongside his hoarding
 

Frosty

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Oh! I totally didnt think of books. This will be fun. Unfortunately its late but cant wait to do this over the weekend
 

Maou

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Subaru Natsuki (RE:ZERO, ENTP) He starts out with a bit of narcissism, but eventually overcomes it, and develops CPTSD and a bunch of other mental illnesses as the show progresses. He is a case example of a well written character who people "hate" and can't distinguish between well written characters you're supposed to hate, and badly written characters. Similar to Shinji from NeonGenesis.

If you watch this show, its depressing as fuck and lots of traumatic things happen. But also a very unique and interesting take on fantasy isekai.
 

Doctor Cringelord

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I didn't see anyone mention Mr. Robot. Elliot has dissociative identity disorder. He also displays extreme social anxiety whilst in his "main" Elliot mode. That bit in the pilot when he's going to meet co-workers at a bar, gets to the front, sees them all laughing and talking inside, starts to open the door, then turns around and leaves.... ouch. Hit really close to home for me.
 

Saturnal Snowqueen

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I've been watching Cold Case and there was this one episode where an autistic boy witnessed his parents get murdered. Not a bad portrayal, but I had to laugh at one scene. The character's name was Brent, and he got nervous inside his parent's fish store and suddenly the family was like, "HE"S GOING TO START STIMMING!!". I know this was from 2006, but dang, it's amusing how they treat stimming like it's a bad thing.
 

Frosty

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Oh! I totally didnt think of books. This will be fun. Unfortunately its late but cant wait to do this over the weekend
I am so far behind on some forum commitments but Ill get to them soon.
 

Doctor Cringelord

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The movie Mercury Rising, although its portrayal of an autistic kid may be slightly dated and Rainman-ish. Also, Mozart and the Whale, a movie that was made just before it became more common to see autistic characters in TV and film.
 

The Cat

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Reg Barclay in Star Trek

The EMH in Voyager

Seven of Nine Star Trek

Rom from DS9

Bernard Black Black Books

 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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Brazil - Sam Lowry: bipolar (I'm referring to the real ending which is the only version I've ever seen). Can't figure out the type beyond being your standard unambitious-for-ability P.
 
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Forever_Jung

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Entrapta from She-Ra (newer Netflix version) is written as autistic and was developed a lot by a writer they have on staff who is on the spectrum.
 

Wunjo

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"Gypsy" on Netflix was like a crash-course on pathological attachment styles.
 
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