Therapy movies on netflix

Top Ten Movies about Mental Health on Netflix

Below is a list of the Top Ten Movies about Mental Health on Netflix.

Tarzana Treatment Centers offers valuable support for Mental Health Treatment Professionals, including Psychiatrists, Therapists, and Counselors. The goal is to help you supply quality resources to patients. For example, well-made mental health-oriented movies are available on Netflix. Our carefully vetted top ten list is an ongoing resource.

Top Ten Movies about Mental Health Issues on Netflix

As an important note, we recommend that you watch these movies before recommending them. Indeed, many of these films portray mental health issues with graphic reality. Thus, they are hard to watch for patients still struggling.

Indeed, a movie that could be illuminating for one patient, helping to reduce stigma, could also prove to be dangerous for another. Thus, as a disclaimer, we ask you to use your own experienced judgment when deciding whether to recommend these films to patients.

Top Ten Movies about Mental Health on Netflix
1) Strange Voices (1987)

The film captures the difficult road of a person with schizophrenia from diagnosis to prognosis. It reveals how much an individual’s willingness to accept treatment affects a painful outcome.

2) Brain on Fire (2017)

A successful young journalist finds her life upended when mental illness takes over her waking thoughts. Struggling to hold on, she manages to fight back and find a path to eventual recovery.

3) The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

After the suicide of a close friend, a young man finds himself haunted by past traumas from his childhood that were once repressed. Suffering from flashbacks, he fights to heal and recover.

4) To the Bone (2017)

The painful story of a young woman struggling with anorexia nervosa. Thus, she bounces from one recovery program to another. Indeed, the eating disorder hijacks her entire life.

5) Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

An award-winning film about a man struggling with bipolar disorder, he forms a relationship with a grieving woman. However, she might be suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder.

6) I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020)

A story about unexpected psychosis, the challenge is knowing what is real and what is imagined. With no easy answers provided, identities merge and characters become unreliable.

7) Horse Girl (2020)

Damaged by her mother’s suicide, a young, introverted woman suffers from paranoid delusions. Losing time and sleepwalking, her connection to reality is fractured by past traumas.

8) Mad World (2016)

A stockbroker, who has bipolar disorder, goes off the rails and blames his family. An indictment of social stigma and medical agencies, old baggage gives way to healing.

9) Into the Wild (2007)

The tragic story of Christopher McCandless is about so much more than mental health. However, issues of anger, idealism, and identity, taken to an extreme, ultimately lead to his untimely death.

10) The Disaster Artist (2017)

Caught in a vise of delusion and grandiosity, an enigmatic stranger backs, directs, and stars in what is considered the worst movie ever made.

You can provide certain patients with movies that will open their eyes about how mental health issues are viewed in society. Also, you can learn more about mental health challenges. With either of these two goals, this is a good place to start with easy access.

10 Netflix Movies With Storylines That Highlight Mental Health

Content Warning: This article discusses mental health issues and disorders that some readers may find triggering.

For years, discussions about mental health in movies have been iffy, at best, often negating the truth behind the experiences around mental health that people deal with on a daily basis. Mental health has been a growing concern, a topic (finally) more in the public eye, and for those who grew up in the digital age, a harsh reality.

RELATED: 20 Movie Characters Who Accurately Portray Mental Illness

There is no shortage of big-screen attempts at depicting mental illness. Many have swung and missed, while others did their due diligence to accurately and sensitively display the issues real people are faced with. Here are a few films, streamable on Netflix, that viewers can watch to see how the entertainment industry has tackled the subject, whether poorly or well done.

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Silver Linings Playbook highlights the story of a man diagnosed with bipolar disorder as he seeks treatment and recovers from an incident stemming from a manic episode. His inability to recognize that what he did was wrong further supports the accuracy of his diagnosis and the ways in which Bradly Cooper portrays the character. He meets a woman with whom he ends up romantically involved, who is dealing with depression.

The two create great on-screen chemistry and help drive the plot, while also realistically depicting the smaller and more mundane ways in which mental health can affect a person's life. The film was widely praised by critics, earning itself eight Academy Awards nominations. Jennifer Lawrence brought home the Oscar for Best Actress in one of her most iconic roles.

As Good As It Gets (1997)

Jack Nicholson stars in this comedy-drama about a man with diagnosed Obsessive Compulsive Disorder who must learn to love and accept his gay neighbor despite his homophobia, all while working through the symptoms of his disorder that affect his day-to-day. As Good As It Gets accurately depicts the functional interference and distress associated with the disorder.

RELATED: Jack Nicholson's 5 Most Lovable Characters (& 5 Most Hatable)

Viewers see how Melvin engages in ritualistic behaviors like turning the nob a certain number of times and how he avoids stepping on cracks due to superstitions. It is important to understand that not all of his behaviors are associated with his OCD, some are just part of his personality. The film was praised for its accurate depiction of the disorder, and the film received Oscars for Best Actor and Best Actress.

All The Bright Places (2020)

All the Bright Places is a book-to-movie adaptation that was released on Netflix in 2020. Elle Fanning stars in the film alongside Justice Smith as Theodore Finch, a character living with an unnamed mental illness, with many symptoms similar to bipolar disorder. He, as well as Fanning's character, also has developing signs of PTSD and depression that correspond with childhood abuse and trauma.

Although the film doesn't highlight the mental illness specifically, it manages to do a wonderful job showing how isolating and difficult it can be living with any type of mental burden. The film explores how important it is to talk openly about mental illness, whether it be a result of teenage adolescence, grief, or abuse.

To The Bone (2017)

To The Bone was released as a Netflix original in 2017 and stars Lily Collins as a young woman with anorexia. The film first appeared at Sundance and although it received positive critical reviews at first, after its Netflix release, the film opened up more conversation and its eating disorder subject matter became controversial. If nothing else, it illustrates how difficult it is for filmmakers to responsibly portray eating disorder subject matter on the big screen.

The film does offer an insightful look into the issues that are associated with a person living with anorexia and what the healing process might look like. It tries its best not to glorify the disorder, however, it is nearly impossible to avoid the negative backlash that comes with showing such content on screen. Many of the scenes were triggering to those who were recovering from anorexia, which is completely valid.

Strange Voices (1987)

Strange Voices was a made-for-television film about a young woman living with schizophrenia. The film was one of the highest-rated TV movies in 1987 when it was released. However, it received mixed reviews, and at a time when mental health discussions were not where they should have been, The New York Times called it "too much, too late."

The film touches on the difficulties many were facing in the '80s at receiving health care for mental illness, and what happened when they didn't get proper treatment. It also accurately depicts the learning process of the family of a person living with a disorder like schizophrenia. From denial to acceptance, viewers watch as the young woman and her family navigate her illness.

The Fundamentals Of Caring (2016)

Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez star in this comedy-drama film about a recent divorcee suffering from depression, and his unlikely friendship with a disabled teenager he is the caregiver for. Although The Fundamentals of Caring is primarily about this relationship and the difficulties Trevor faces as a man who utilizes a wheelchair, the film does a wonderful job highlighting the mental health difficulties that each of the characters faces, as well.

Rudd's character is dealing with severe depression after the loss of his daughter and subsequent divorce, and Trevor battles anxiety associated with his disability. The film, and the book it was based on, are heartwarming and filled with plenty of light and dark humor.

Horse Girl (2020)

Another Sundance Film Festival attendee, this Netflix original was released to streaming in 2020 and follows the story of Sarah as she struggles to find the support she needs while experiencing symptoms of mental illness. Horse Girl certainly takes a look at mental illness in a unique way, and the film requires more than one viewing to fully understand.

RELATED: 10 Movies to Watch After You Finish Horse Girl

Its complexities parallel the complexities of mental illness, and the storyline itself parallels the real-life battles that actress Alison Brie, who plays Sarah in the film, has with depression and schizophrenia. Sarah has difficulty understanding social cues and her real symptoms of mental illness are brushed off as quirkiness by those closest to her. This is a reality for many who live with mental illness, and it is nice to see highlighted in mainstream media.

I'm Thinking Of Ending Things (2020)

Too often mental illness is used as the subject matter for horror and thriller genre films. However, every once in a while, it can be a great way of highlighting the scarier aspects of a mental illness. I'm Thinking of Ending Things creates a jarring and psychologically difficult viewing experience for the untrained eye. It takes a deeper look to fully understand the psychosis, anxiety, and even schizophrenia the main character, Jake, battles with throughout his life and the timeline of the film.

The writer and director, Charlie Kaufman, uses abstract and metaphoric storytelling to dive into the mind of the mentally ill main character in this Netflix hidden gem. The film ends in a riddle, and viewers still question whether it is about childhood trauma, suicidal contemplation, or schizophrenia, but the film does a great job at showing how confusing any of those illnesses can be for someone.

The Edge Of Seventeen (2016)

The Edge of Seventeen is a wonderful depiction of teenage angst and does a great job of normalizing mental health issues in high-school-age kids.  Rather than glamorizing the subject of depression, it manages to touch on Nadine's experience with it while not putting it front and center of the narrative.

Nadine's experience with depression and anxiety stemming from her self-esteem issues and the loss of her father add depth to the story. Hailee Steinfeld leads this coming-of-age drama film with her critically acclaimed performance and the film received many positive reviews and did well at the box office.

Hillbilly Elegy (2020)

This Netflix-produced film received mixed reviews for its portrayal of mental illness and the portrayal of a woman addicted to drugs who is disconnected from her family. Despite the negative critical reception for Hillbilly Elegy, audiences loved the film and the performances were highly praised, with Glen Close receiving nominations at the Oscars and the Golden Globes.

It isn't clear what Bev's, played by Amy Adams, mental illness is exactly, and it's certainly gone undiagnosed, but the film highlights the issues a family faces when one of its members is going through this experience, especially when it manifests in drug addiction. The characterization is a little bit over-the-top and because of this, the film feels inauthentic, but at its basis, it highlights the ways in which untreated mental illness can create tumultuous relationships.

NEXT: 15 TV Characters Who Accurately Portray Mental Illness

Interactive series and movies on Netflix

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Netflix has series, movies, and quizzes where you change the course of events, answer questions, and do other things. Some interactive specials have you decide what happens next, while others are more like quizzes.

Live episodes can be viewed on most new devices, including:

To watch specials, install the latest version of the Netflix app on your device.

If your device supports interactive specials, one of these icons will appear in the upper right corner of the video poster.

Interactive Specials available

We offer a wide range of Specials and the number is constantly growing.

The following interactive movies and series are currently available:

  • Jurassic World: New Adventures. Secret Adventure

  • Triviaverse

  • Barbie Epic Road Trip

  • Ranveer Singh and Bear Grylls in the natural world

  • nine0003

    Kitty Fighter

  • Trivia Quest

  • Cat Burglar

  • Johnny Test Meatloaf Operation

  • Escape the Undertaker

  • You are in the natural world: no memory

  • Headspace: calm thoughts

  • The last teenagers on Earth. Happy Apocalypse Day!

  • You are in the natural world: animals on the loose

  • Spirit: the spirit of freedom. To Adventure

  • Boss Baby: Catch the little one!

  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend

  • Carmen Sandiego. To steal or not to steal

  • The Interactive Adventures of Captain Underpants

  • You are in the natural world

  • Black mirror. Bandersnatch

  • Stretch Armstrong Escape

  • Buddy Gromanuty: a lot of ideas

  • Puss in boots: captured by a fairy tale

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If you receive a message that the device is not supported, a software update might fix the problem. You can also try another device that has Netflix available. nine0009

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Make sure your device software is up to date. If you do not know how to update the system software of your device, please refer to the user manual or contact the manufacturer.

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Requires the latest version of the Netflix app available on Google Play. See How to update the Netflix app on your Android device. nine0017

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Requires the latest version of the Netflix app available from the App Store. See How to update the Netflix app on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.


You can watch interactive movies and series in the browser. Make sure you have the latest browser version installed. See What browsers does Netflix support.

Not supported:

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  • Tesla touch screens

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In the last couple of years, it seems that the psychotherapeutic approach is just everywhere: most shows do it rather clumsily, some quite gracefully. Alexey Filippov recalled several series that allow you to immerse yourself in the human psyche to one or another depth. nine0009

Alexey Filippov



Just Kidding (2018–)

Showtime Season 2 Coming February 2020 . TV presenter Mr. Pickles (Jim Carrey) has been teaching children to be kind and good for decades, but he himself has faced life situations that are difficult to get through even with the help of puppets and advice from a children's show for future saints. The family lost one of the twin brothers in the accident, the survivor began to withdraw into himself, simultaneously plunging into puberty, his wife at some point left for another, and Jeff himself continued to smile and wave, but problems also began with his career. Just Kidding, written by Dave Holstein and directed by Michel Gondry, is a poignant and heartbreaking story of how childhood covenants stop working in adulthood—something even middle-aged people sometimes don't realize until they're in a tough crisis. nine0009

  • The series “Sound” with Jim Kerry: dolls and depression in the strangest television show of autumn

“Sharp objects” (2018)

HBO, 1st season 9000

Camille journalist (Amy Adams ) returns to the city of childhood to investigate the murders of girls, but in fact, she plunges into traumatic memories, because of which she has not parted with the bottle for many years and cuts herself. "Sharp Objects" is an exemplary thriller about family, heredity, memory cracks and psychological notches that relatives and a small homeland can leave on the soul. Canadian Jean-Marc Vallee, who got in shape after Big Little Lies and Dallas Buyers Club, demonstrates the peak of his possibilities: Gillian Flynn's noir novel is carefully recast into the format of a harsh HBO drama, Adams solos on an aortic rupture, the past rushes into the present with a series of sudden montages gluing. The nominal detective rather quickly turns off the investigation path into the darkness of human souls until he finds a semblance of an answer to the question of how to live on. nine0009

  • “sharp objects”: a gloomy detective with elements of Dostoevshchina and Amy Adams in the title role

“Horse Bodzek” (2014–2020)

Netflix, 6 seasons, final series will be released on January 31, 2020 2020 2020

The main purveyor of serial psychotherapy is, of course, the slyly sensitive streaming giant Netflix, which is ready to suffocate the viewer in an affectionate embrace. The uber-hit of the platform "BoJack Horseman", invented by Raphael Bob-Waksberg, however, does not promise a long and happy life. For TV star 1990s BoJack gets worse every season: his fears, bad habits, and pent-up rage ruin everything he touches. The satire on show business with anthropomorphic animals quickly turned into a real odyssey over several generations of grievances and broken communications. When psychotherapy and a semblance of a cure dawned on the horizon, the series passed just a little, but Bob-Waksberg is unlikely to leave us without a heartbreaking finale.

Euphoria (2019–)

HBO officially renewed for season 2

Last year's hit from HBO is not only stunningly beautiful, but also fits perfectly into the format of "clarifying adversity through heart-to-heart conversations." Quit drug addict Roo (Zendey) is surrounded by people with complex psychological profiles: transgender classmate Jules (Hunter Schafer), latent homosexual with violent sociopathic tendencies Nate (Jacob Elordi), body-shy Kat (Barbie Ferreira), who starts a successful career as a webcam model, and further down the list. Showrunner Sam Levinson colorfully and concentratedly writes out teenage problems, the key among which is the problem of intimacy and often the inability to be heard, but it seems that there is still light at the end of the tunnel (otherwise there would be disastrously few adults). nine0009

  • The series "Euphoria" with Zendia-the American "School" about the life of adolescents in the era of post-truths and Mephedron
  • "Maniac" (2018)

    NETFLIX, 1st season

    Cunning drama about the cunning drama a future reminiscent of a futuristic fantasy from the 1990s. A mysterious laboratory is trying to develop a pill that would cure all psychological ailments. Among the patients there is an anxious quiet Owen (Jonah Hill in painful thinness) and hardened after the death of her sister Annie (Emma Stone). The test subjects will be sent into subconscious fantasies, where the entourage of the mass culture of the past is often found, so that patients experience other people's stories, identifying their triggers along the way. Director Cary Fukunaga (the first season of True Detective), known for his quarrelsomeness and ambitions of a visionary, comes off to the fullest: many cult films can be identified in the video sequence (from 12 Monkeys and The Matrix to the works of Wes Anderson and even Nicolas Winding Refn) , the supercomputer will gain feelings, and people with grief in half learn to live with their own. nine0009

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    Family Marriage (2019)

    Sundancetv, 1st season 9000

    in the London Pabe for a Circle for a Circle for a Circum beer and a glass of wine, a husband (Chris O'Dowd) and a wife (Rosamund Pike) meet to discuss life before a session with a family psychotherapist: her betrayal, his work and sexual drought, compare marriage with Brexit, dream about future spouses, if they will still get divorced, and, in general, sort out their feelings; Is marriage about love, about sex, about children, about friendship, about conversation, or about something completely different? Filmed in the UK for the American SundanceTV, the series has a bit of an export flavor: the pub is British, the references (apart from the Poles and Brexit) are more American, but it is done in the ascetic manner of a two-man-on-camera theater (it seems that you can listen to it as a radio play as well). Ten episodes of ten minutes each were staged by the live classic Stephen Frears ("Queen"), who in recent years has moved to television. nine0009

    Quarry the Mercenary (2016)

    Cinemax, Season 1

    Cinemax cable network's ambitious drama (Konkerbocker Hospital) about life after the Vietnamese soldier's Mak La Merganam campaign Green, who is fashionably confused with Tom Hardy). The year is 1972, the United States is in turmoil from an unpopular war and all sorts of rights movements, and Mac, branded as a public service killer, struggles to find a real civilian job and not lose a marriage that is cracking at the seams. The motherland, however, cares little about his future, on the contrary, she herself puts a pistol in her hand; except for the path of a hired killer, they have not yet come up with ways to adapt. However, Mack - now there will be a military stamp - has not actually returned from the battle: he is haunted by the horrors of war, which will be shown only in the final series - but in one eight-minute frame. Many films and series have been made about post-traumatic stress disorder (take Netflix's The Punisher, for example), but Quarry, for all its weaknesses and commonplaces, stands out among the latest stories on the topic. After all, he talks about the PTSD of an entire country. nine0009

    Sex Education (2019–)

    Netflix Season 2 released January 17, 2020; show expected to be renewed for 3rd

    Another successful Netflix project - about sex and teens with a flirtatious English accent - tells the story of shy schoolboy Otis (Asa Butterfield), raised by his mother (Gillian Anderson), whose profile is sex therapy . Experiencing difficulties on the personal front (and with masturbation too), Otis, however, turns out to be a talented therapist and begins to consult peers for money, for whom self-identification through frictions is extremely important, but difficult. Soft as an Ikea blanket, "Sex Education" constantly pats the viewer on the head and reminds that sex should be the way you like it, and not how it is broadcast by teenage fantasies and media. Everyone is happy and close to a psychological orgasm. nine0009

    Bonus: the theme of sexual self-identification is a little more complicated than the Netflix series Bonding, where a novice homosexual stand-up comedian becomes a dominatrix assistant and learns that people sometimes need unexpected things (from golden rain to a penguin costume).

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    The End of the F***ing World (2017-2019)

    Netflix Season 2

    A free-form adaptation of Charles Forsman's comic book of the same name about two unfortunate teenagers in the first season described a deceptively mind-blowing trip of growing up, which was accompanied by rampant theft, disorder and even murder. In an optional second chapter that has lost its original source, Alyssa (Jessica Barden) and James (Alex Lawther), a beach-faced ringleader and a shriveled lad ready to slit someone's throat, must deal with the mistakes of youth. Screenwriter Charlie Covell in the second season tells for a very long time and in great detail how some events are imprinted in the psyche and how difficult it is to live with them further, and also explains no less seriously that growing up is not a fuck, a shooting and a road trip with your eyes closed, and the willingness to accept that life is a box of unpredictable shit. But you can find someone who understands you. nine0009

    The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

    Netflix, officially renewed for season 2 and filmed the Stephen King novel Doctor Sleep. "Ghosts" is usually praised for its supposedly unusual depth for horror, although the series endlessly chews on its own content for the viewer, reminding the viewer through a monologue in almost every episode that ghosts are not what they seem. The ghosts that plague the Crane family are a projection of their emotions and desires: ambition, guilt, fear, and so on.

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