8 Best Movies about Depression That Show What It Feels Like

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Sometimes depression cannot be described with words alone. There are movies about depression which can do a much better job of describing this darkness.

I’ve noticed people trying to describe what depression feels like, and they fail horribly. I cannot even describe to you what it feels like to drown in the depths of an endless darkness. No, I’m not depressed all the time, but when I encounter this monster, it’s not easy to understand much less put into words. Movies about depression do an outstanding job of conveying what I feel, and also what many other sufferers of mental illness encounter.

Take a look for yourself and “get the picture”!

Yes, movies do a pretty good job of telling this morbid story. So it seems that they can also transport you to a place where even depression is easier to stomach and quite relatable. Here are a few examples of exemplary movies about depression which tell the dark tale of this mental illness.

World’s Greatest Dad (2009)

Movies about Depression worlds greatest dad

As far as movies about depression go, The World’s Greatest Dad tells a realistic story of dealing with single parenthood and trying to raise a deeply disturbed child who is obsessed with pornography and perverted behavior. I’ve seen this movie at least twice and found it to be both disturbing and informative.

The lead actor, Robin Williams plays the single father who must deal with his son’s dysfunctional ways and then cope after his son’s suicide. William’s character also struggles with being a writer, poet, and trying to find love.

Williams was also deeply depressed in real life, and apparently dealing with mental illness. The actor committed suicide in late 2015. To understand more about depression, family dysfunction, and suicide, be sure to give this one a view.

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Melancholia (2011)

Inspirational Movies melancholia

Kurstin Dunst stars in this strange and euphoric tale of depression and the fate of our world. Justine, portrayed by actress, Dunst, is self-absorbed and seemingly void of accepting any consequences in life. Justine feels pointless to change anything in her life, and while a giant planet hurls toward the earth in a path of impending destruction, she indulges in whatever she wants.

The destruction of the earth is a metaphor for just how destructive depression can be. This movie about depression worth a watch!

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Girl Interrupted (1999)

Movies about Depression girl interrupted

This tale is the true account of author Susanna Kaysen’s 18-month stay in a psychiatric facility. The author, who was obviously struggling with depression and a personality disorder encounters others who make a profound influence on her life.

The author, recounts, that during her stay, she discovered things about herself while watching others work through their own various illnesses, even witnessing the suicide of one of her friends. Winona Ryder does an astounding job at portraying Susanna’s role in Girl Interrupted.

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It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Movies about Depression its a wonderful life

The classic Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, is more than just a “feel-good” vintage flick. On the contrary, this movie hits you right in the feels with an accurate portrayal of what depression is really like. George Baily, a successful businessman has worked his entire life to make life better for everyone else. But what about his own happiness? Baily comes to terms with the fact that his own life insurance policy may just be more valuable to the citizens of the town if he was dead.

As Baily plans to hurl himself from the Brooklyn Bridge, an angel shows Bailey what life would have been like without him. Needless to say, the world needs Bailey after all. The movie ends on a high note as Bailey joins his family for a Christmas at home.

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By |2018-09-06T18:22:57+00:00October 31st, 2017|Categories: Arts & Movies, Food for thought, Psychology & Mental Health|Tags: , , |2 Comments

About the Author:

Sherrie is a freelance writer and artist with over 10 years of experience. She spends most of her time giving life to the renegade thoughts. As the words erupt and form new life, she knows that she is yet again free from the nagging persistence of her muse. She is a mother of three and a lifetime fan of the thought-provoking and questionable aspects of the universe.


  1. Don November 1, 2017 at 12:29 am - Reply

    Strange thing depression. Possibly the most well known and least misunderstood of all afflictions. Explaining by the depressed sound silly.To explain it with sadness is like explaining the ocean as wet. Like waking at night, every night, and thrilled there’s no light. Like digging deeper with no way out. Like waking, washing your face and donning your mask to go out and be another person. Like living in darkness and having not a clue as to why. Like laughing on the inside which ends in a tear, not knowing what was funny.

    My first indication I was getting better was waking and not feeling so much darkness. It was like caring less and enjoying it more. See? Explaining getting away from it can’t be done. I don’t have any idea how that happened either. I don’t want it back, but here is the bizarre part – at times I miss some of it. Kind of like I lost a part of myself. A deeper self.

    • Sherrie November 1, 2017 at 5:34 pm - Reply


      It’s true, it’s hard, if not impossible, to understand. I guess that’s why those who’ve never struggled with depression cannot fathom what it’s like. I live with the beast and I have learned to deal with it in such a deep way that it almost seems nonexistent at times. Then, in a moment, it reminds me that I was never alone. Yes, I can understand why you miss it, it is a dark part of us that when cut away, leaves us feeling like our twin (our tumor) has been removed. It’s hollow where that old friend used to be, and I think that’s why, if we feel weak at times, we call it back to us. Yes, it’s creepy, but I am sure you know what I’m saying.

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