Movies and Television can be a great escape to an alternate reality where just about anything and everything is possible. Choosing a world and experience is as easy as choosing a movie or TV programme. But sometimes what we watch can be the reality check we’ve been waiting for
Mental illness can be an issue that is hard to understand and even harder to talk about, but watching the ‘reality’ of mental illness play out outside of our actual reality can offer us a greater understanding.
You can ‘have it all’ and still be depressed
A Star Is Born is a tragic romance where a successful musician trapped in a cycle of addiction watches his career slide into obscurity while his wife, a young ingénue he discovered is rocketed into stardom.
Although Jackson Maine (played by Bradley Cooper) seems to be on the road to redemption; he is back from rehab, writing music again and has the support of his loving wife he ends his life convinced that his past failings will ruin his wife.
While feeling like a burden to the people who love you may be common to people suffering from depression, American psychologist Paul Schoenfeld wrote a review on the film acclaiming its artistic genius and importance in highlighting the growing suicide rates across the globe, however, Paul like many other mental health profession criticises how in the movie Jackson’s death seems to rocket his wife Ally (played by Lady Gaga) further into stardom discounting the tragedy and heartbreak his death would have caused in reality.
Addiction is an illness
It’s hard to imagine a person as globally famous and wealthy as Sir Elton John struggling with anything.
The musical biography Rocket man gives insight into the struggles he faced on his way to becoming the Elton John known and loved by the world.
In the movie, Elton John struggles with his identity, emotional abuse and addiction.
It is clear in the movie that he fully understood what the drugs and alcohol he took were harmful he held on to them as a crutch and those who benefitted from his success seemed happy to patch him up well enough for him to work.
It was only after a serious intervention that Elton Johan moved into recovery. This shows us that you can’t just stop addiction because you realise it is bad for you, addiction is an illness and you need an intervention, treatment and support to overcome it in many cases- even if you are a musical genius.
Being funny isn’t always fun
You’d imagine comedians being so happy because of the amount of laughter and happiness they bring about, but some of the funniest people on the silver screen have openly shared their journey with depression and struggles with mental health.
In Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, Jim Carey shares the toll making ‘Man on the moon’ took on his mental health and emotional wellbeing. While his performance and depiction of legendary comedian Andy Kaufman are still acclaimed so many years later- the aftermath was not fun for the actor.
According to a psychology website,verywellmind depression doesn’t always look like sadness, in fact many people suffering from depression work at hiding it and live with what is called ‘smiling depression’ where they seem happy.
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