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9 Films About Bipolar Disorder

Last Updated on March 13, 2019 by Inspire Malibu

Bipolar Disorder is a mental health condition causing extreme mood swings between emotional highs and lows.

It was previously referred to as manic depression because the highs present as either manic or hypomanic and the lows are accompanied with an intense depression.

Like most mental illnesses, there’s a negative stigma associated with bipolar disorder. In fact, it’s much more common than most people realize.

As many as three million people in the U.S. suffer from a bipolar episode each year. Bouts with this complex condition can last years or a lifetime, though bipolar disorder can be treated with certain medications.

One sign that bipolar disorder is so prevalent in society is the number of films Hollywood has produced about the condition.

The struggle for those suffering from bipolar disorder, as well as those coping with loved ones and friends battling it, often inspires moving stories filled with drama and hope.

Films About Bipolar Disorder

Films That Deal With Bipolar Disorder

1. Touched With Fire (2015)

While receiving treatment for bipolar disorder in a psychiatric hospital, two patients develop a romance that’s both beautiful and terrifying. (Katie Holmes)

2. Infinitely Polar Bear (2014)

A troubled man is, all at once, battling manic depression, trying to win his wife back and trying to stay sane as the father of two young and strong-willed daughters. (Mark Ruffalo)

3. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Living with his parents after some time in a mental hospital, a former teacher wants to reunite with his ex-wife, but the situation gets complicated when he is smitten by another woman with problems of her own. (Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro)

4. The Informant! (2009)

A successful executive at the agricultural giant Archers Daniels Midland, Mark Whitacre is secretly battling his bipolar disorder and becoming a whistleblower and star-witness for a government investigation into his employer. (Matt Damon)

5. Michael Clayton (2007)

A “fixer” for a high profile New York City law firm is forced to clean up a mess when the firm’s leading attorney has a manic episode. (George Clooney, Tilda Swinton)

6. The Hours (2002)

This film follows a single day in the lives of three women from different generations, each of whom has been forced to deal with suicide, including author Virginia Woolf who battled depression and ultimately committed suicide in 1941. (Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman)

7. Mr. Jones (1993)

During a manic episode brought on by untreated bipolar disorder, Mr. Jones is arrested and seeks psychiatric treatment. As his therapist helps him sort through his emotions, she develops romantic feelings for him. (Richard Gere)

8. Crazy/Beautiful (2001)

Set in the plush Los Angeles neighborhood of the Pacific Palisades, this film is about a young Latino man struggling with poverty and his feelings for an affluent girl coping with mental health issues. (Kirsten Dunst)

9. Blue Sky (1994)

The father of two daughters tries to balance duty to his job and his family while his wife’s behavior is increasingly more difficult as a result of bipolar disorder. (Jessica Lange, Tommy Lee Jones)


4 Types of Bipolar Disorder According to the DSM-5

Films About Mental Illness

What is the Difference Between Unipolar Depression and Bipolar Depression?


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