Mental disorders in film

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Many films have portrayed mental disorders or have used them as backdrops for other themes; this is a list of some of those films, sorted by disorder, regardless of whether or not the disorder is portrayed accurately. For instance, though 50 First Dates presents a case of anterograde amnesia, the type depicted does not actually exist. Also, of the "mental disorders" listed below, "catatonia", "sadistic personality disorder", and "self-injury"—while referring to a medical sign or a harmful behavior—are not mental disorders recognized in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

Similarly, dissociative identity disorder, formerly called "multiple identity disorder", is one of the most controversial psychiatric disorders, with no clear consensus on diagnostic criteria or treatment.[1] Most films purporting to represent dissociative identity disorder do not convey the doubts concerning the reality and symptomatology of that nosological entity.

Owing to the nature of drama, extreme and florid manifestations of a given disorder tend to prevail over the more subtle manifestations typical of an average case. For example, persons with agoraphobia are generally portrayed in drama as recluses who never, or hardly ever, venture from their homes; in reality, this is rare and extreme, not typical of agoraphobes.



Anterograde amnesia[edit]

A person with anterograde amnesia is unable to form new memories.

Lacunar amnesia[edit]

Lacunar amnesia is the loss of memory about one specific event.

Psychogenic amnesia[edit]

"Psychogenic amnesia, also known as dissociative amnesia, is memory loss caused by psychological stress."

Retrograde amnesia[edit]

A much-used plot device, retrograde amnesia occurs when a person forgets part or all of his or her past.


(Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder.)

Antisocial personality disorder[edit]

Avoidant personality disorder[edit]


Conduct disorder[edit]

Delusional disorder[edit]


Alzheimer's disease[edit]

Dependent personality disorder[edit]

Dissociative identity disorder[edit]

Previously called "multiple personality disorder".

Eating disorders[edit]

Factitious disorder[edit]

Folie à deux[edit]

"Recent psychiatric classifications refer to the syndrome as shared psychotic disorder (DSM-IV) (297.3) and induced delusional disorder (F24) in the ICD-10."

Fugue state[edit]


2018 Telugu film which stars Raj Tarun and Amrya Dastur.

Narcissistic personality disorder[edit]

Obsessive–compulsive disorder[edit]

Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder[edit]

Paranoid personality disorder[edit]

Passive–aggressive personality disorder[edit]


Posttraumatic stress disorder[edit]


Schizoaffective disorder[edit]

Schizoid personality disorder[edit]


Schizotypal personality disorder[edit]

Willy Wonka


Substance use disorders[edit]

"Drugs listed from most addictive, harmful or destructive to least (from most to least dangerous, based on a 2007 scientific research study."[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is probably the most disputed of psychiatric diagnoses and of psychological forensic evaluations in the legal arena. The iatrogenic proponents assert that DID phenomena originate from psychotherapeutic treatment, while traumagenic proponents state that DID develops after severe and chronic childhood trauma. In addition, DID that is simulated [feigned] with malingering intentions, but not stimulated by psychotherapeutic treatment, may be called pseudogenic. With DID gaining more interest among the general public, it can be expected that the number of pseudogenic cases will grow and the need to distinguish between traumagenic, iatrogenic, or pseudogenic DID will increase accordingly." Reinders AA (2008). "Cross-examining dissociative identity disorder: Neuroimaging and etiology on trial". Neurocase. 14 (1): 44–53. doi:10.1080/13554790801992768. PMID 18569730.
  2. ^ Evelyn B. Kelly (2015). The 101 Most Unusual Diseases and Disorders. ABC-CLIO. pp. 83–84. ISBN 978-1-61069-676-0.
  3. ^ "Skeptical Cinema: 'Bug' and folie à deux". CFI Center for Inquiry. 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  4. ^ "Cahiers du Coco: Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 2019-08-22.
  5. ^ Francine R. Goldberg (2013). Schizophrenia: A Case Study of the Movie a Beautiful Mind – Second Edition. eBookIt. ISBN 978-1-934107-12-6.
  6. ^ Nutt, D; King LA; Saulsbury W; Blakemore C (24 March 2007). "Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse". The Lancet. 369 (9566): 1047_éç1053. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60464-4. PMID 17382831.