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10 Things about Mental Illness that were showcased in Silver Linings Playbook!

Posted by on January 13, 2013

Last night I went out to see “Silver Linings Playbook” with my SO (significant other.)  It was a great movie, and one I really enjoyed, and one that focused on “mental illness.”

Because I reside with my partner who has a mental illness I look at these kind of movies in an entirely new way now, and I thought “Silver Linings Playbook” really showcased the realities that happen in a fun, witty way that truly humanized what goes behind closed doors, and now I want to show you those 10 ways.

1) Human like US or YOU or THEM or HE or SHE: In other words, the movie did a really great job showing that people with mental illness have hopes, dreams, and aspirations too.  That they feel emotions, that they get hurt, and really, there is a person there because WE all know a person with a mental illness is indeed a PERSON too.

2) Sense of Humor: The movie did a great job showcasing that a person with mental illness has a good sense of humor about their “mental illness.”  They are open to talking about their mental illness, and that people do not have to be self cautious around those with mental illness.  If you have a question, just ask.

3) Can Relate to Others with Mental Illness:  A part in the movie my SO really could relate to was when they were sitting down at dinner and they began talking about the kind of medications they were taking, or had tried, or how it made them feel.  The mental illness becomes a bond, because who else can really understand those feelings they’re experiencing other than a person who may have also gone through it.

4) Lets take a Closer Look at Dad: By doing this we realize that a lot of people can go their entire life with a mental illness without being treated.  The father had OCD in the movie, and wasn’t being treated.  It showcases how people, instead of treating or seeing how they could get better, instead, just adapt their lives around their mental illness and make it work.

5) Mental Illness Does Not Equal Violence: Not every person with a mental illness is violent.  One moment in our lives whether a person finds a spouse cheating, losing a job, or even a child or parent in life, could make a person snap.  That doesn’t mean they have a mental illness.  But not every person with Mental Illness is a VIOLENT person either.  Those cases are rare.

6) Bringing Mental Illness to Light in a humanizing way: Silver Linings Playbook did a great job of portraying mental illness in a way the majority of people could really relate too.  Instead of just talking about “mental illness” which may push people away, you could easily relate to the characters in the movie.  However, the reality is, there are a lot of people out there that live like this on a daily basis.

7) How Having the Right Support System around you can help a person with Mental Illness work through it:  Having a mental illness is tough, but having a support system around you can help guide a person on the right path.  There have been many cases of people who haven’t had that support system around them, and because of that, have ended up on the street, or other means.  In the movie, the support system was there, and by the end of the movie, a huge reason why things turned out the way they did. 

8) Showed how people are afraid of the “unknown.”  When he came home, how all the neighbors peered out the window, or whenever he would visit “Tiffany” how her parents would stare out the window.  Comments made from his parents to when an incident happened how the neighbors all stood out on the street.

9) The movie showed how “mental illness” is treated like a freak show, at times.   Again, when an incident happened, how the neighbors instantly would call the cops, or would stand out on the street peering around them, to the student that would knock on the door wanting an interview. 

10) Medication: Silver Linings Playbook really pinned this one down.  Showing the struggle that comes from medication, the struggle to taking it to the realities of how it makes a person feel, such as “inspiration being taken away from them, or feeling “blah” to nothing at all.

A part they didn’t really showcase in the movie related to medication was how you begin taking your medication, and how those dosages change, and once you try something, it may work for awhile, but then one day, it doesn’t, and the cycle starts all over again.  The ongoing battle with medication.

And, of course, those that continue to live their lives going untreated.

If you haven’t seen Silver Linings Playbook, go out and see it.  It was a really good movie, and one that makes you think about mental illness after.

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence shined in their roles and had great on screen chemistry.



15 Responses to 10 Things about Mental Illness that were showcased in Silver Linings Playbook!

  1. Sugar & Spice & All Things ? Nice

    What a fantastic post!! Many of these things that you mentioned I can relate to with ease. I have a family member with a mental illness, and have worked for the last 9 years on the psychiatric unit of our local hospital. After spending many, many years on a “more acceptable” ( not my description) unit, my co-workers could not believe I would go “there” to work. How wrong they were. What an eye opener for me and what a positive impact it had on my life!! Statistically, aprox 1/10 people experience some form of mental illness at some time in their life…. ex. post partum depression, anxiety attacks that don’t last for long.
    I am putting that movie on my MUST WATCH list now. Thanks again and have a wonderful week!

    • Jamie

      It was a GREAT movie… I saw it because it was nominated for “best picture” for the oscars and I’m trying to see all of those movies… =) as much as I like it though I don’t think it will receive that award…

  2. Ashley

    I can’t wait to see this movie. I love number five on your list. Yes it is a disease, but that doesn’t mean we are pre disposed to being violent. I love both of the actor’s in this film, so it was already on my list to see.
    Ashley recently posted..Comment on Guest Post: Maple Syrup Chicken Wings by zoe sheng

  3. Liz

    I really just found out about this movie watching the Golden Globe Awards last night. I didn’t know much about it but reading your post, it sounds like it addresses a lot of important issues related to mental illness. Plus, can’t wait to see Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence!
    Liz recently posted..It’s National Dress Up Your Pet Day: Come Celebrate With Us!

  4. Laura O in AK

    I’ve only now started to see the previews for this film and really want to see it soon.
    Laura O in AK recently posted..Fuel Your Child’s Brain for Learning #JennieO4kids #MobilizingMillions #CBIAS

  5. Ghada

    I’m a big fan of both of those actors, so thanks for the review.
    Ghada recently posted..Is It really Mid January?

  6. Amanda

    I love that they are using a film to bring to light so many of the things we should talk about on a daily basis that our loved ones deal with daily. Thank-you for taking the time to speak of it on your blog.
    Amanda recently posted..New Year, New You: Obstacles

  7. mary

    I want to see this film now:)

  8. Bibi @ Bibi's Culinary Journey

    Jamie, you did such a fantastic job with this review. I can’t wait to see it.
    Bibi @ Bibi’s Culinary Journey recently posted..Top 10 Essential Beginner Bakers Tools

  9. Debra

    What an awesome review. Very informative and encouraging. A movie that I would definitely go and see.
    Debra recently posted..What are you striving for this year?

  10. Alexis Grace

    Mental Illness really tends to be a taboo subject in US culture…. happy to see a movie starting the conversation!

  11. W. Kevin Rack

    Looking forward to seeing the movie and appreciate your perspective. Thanks much!

  12. Anita

    Not one to watch movies or TV much but this sounds awesome!
    Anita recently posted..Personal Productivity and being a Negative Nell

  13. Pamela

    I am impressed by the thoughtfulness of your review. We very much need a better understanding of mental illness in our society, and of what the mentally ill and their families and friends face daily. It is definitely on my short list of films to see soon. Thanks for the post.

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