Earlier this month, the Okadoc team met with MindTales, a mental health tech startup in Abu Dhabi that offers accessible mental health solutions for adults through wellness games, self-help exercises, and online counseling.

During our conversation together, we discussed the ways in which mental health is an integral part of your overall health, wellbeing, and happiness. No matter what challenge you’re facing, it’s essential to know that you’re not alone. It’s important to be able to recognize your emotions and normalize feelings of stress, anxiety, and sadness. When you’re emotionally aware, you know when to reach out for professional guidance for yourself.

While May has been coined Mental Health Awareness Month, there are several thought-provoking books and movies that allow you to broaden your knowledge and emotional awareness year-round. It’s critical that we process our own feelings and strive to comprehend others’, especially now that we’re starting to emerge from the isolation of the pandemic.

But let’s face it, when it comes to movies and books, mental health isn’t the easiest topic to represent as it is stigmatized, difficult, and frequently misunderstood in our society nowadays.

That’s why it’s critical to recognize and promote films/books that accurately portray mental illness, which affects 1 out of every 4 individuals at some point in their life. While some films/books portray mental illness in a stereotyping way, others accurately reflect what it’s like to suffer from mental illness.

Here’s our selection of films and books that get it right.

Movies


  • One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest: Randle Patrick McMurphy anticipates a less restrictive environment when he is transported from a prison farm to a mental facility until he meets the psychiatric ward’s martinet Nurse Ratched. Who on the other hand, was using violence, drugs, and electroconvulsive therapy to keep her patients in line.
  • Rabbit Hole: Life for a happy couple is turned upside down after their young son dies in an accident and forces them to find new ways to cope with their grief.
  • A Beautiful Mind: The film brilliantly depicts the difficulties a mathematical genius who suffered from schizophrenia endured throughout his life, including paranoia and delusions.
  • Good Will Hunting: Will is an extremely smart young man who had an abusive childhood. Which makes his mind not only incredible but also troubled. Will is able to overcome his depression and rebuild his life by meeting with a therapist.
  • Inside Out: Eleven-year-old Riley moves to San Francisco, leaving behind her life in Minnesota. She and her five core emotions, Fear, Anger, Joy, Disgust, and Sadness, struggle to cope with her new life.

Books


  • Girl Interrupted: Susanna Kaysen, an American author, narrates her experiences as a woman in an American psychiatric hospital after being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.
  • All The Bright Places: Two people struggling with emotional and physical scars from their past and have suicidal thoughts meet each other. They learn that even the tiniest details can have a significant impact on one’s life.
  • Love’s Executioner: It’s the story of ten patients who pursued psychotherapy to help them cope with their existential agony.
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: The life of Esther Greenwood, a college student young woman struggling with depression as she follows her dreams to become a writer.
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower: This coming-of-age book excels at depicting the highs and lows of growing up with mental illness.

When To Seek Help?

Therapy can be beneficial for a variety of reasons, including assisting with the treatment of a specific mental health issue or relieving day-to-day anxieties and discomfort.

You don’t need to be coping with a mental health disorder to ask for professional help. If you or any of your beloved ones feel like professional help is required, do not hesitate to consult a specialized practitioner.

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