Mental health issues can be difficult to talk about — both in real life and on TV. This is partially due to how mental health disorders are portrayed in the media as it is quite often exaggerated or inaccurately portrayed.
However, there are a few shows that have done a great job at tackling these sensitive issues and have shed a raw, authentic light on mental health conditions. We recommend checking out the TV shows below!
Rebecca Bunch is a lawyer at a prestigious firm in Manhattan who trades the city life for a suburban one outside Los Angeles. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend uses a musical format to discuss the complexities of anxiety and depression — we love how open and real the show gets with these issues. Producer Rachel Bloom and a few of the writers of the show have personally suffered from such issues, as well.
While this animated Netflix series doesn’t immediately scream depression, that’s sort of the point. It’s a bright, hilarious cartoon about a washed up celebrity trying to make a comeback — so it’s not quite as heavy. BoJack’s depression acts more as a large hurdle he attempts to overcome, rather than a negative personality trait. The show can get dark, but it’s an honest story that accurately portrays how it feels to be living in a constant state of depression and loneliness.
Is there anything Lena Dunham isn’t good at? In Girls, Dunham’s character Hannah Horvath struggles with OCD and the show does a great job at depicting the anxious, pervasive, and paralyzing affects OCD can have on a person. Instead of glamorizing the issue or making it a superpower (as other shows have), Girls successfully portrays the illness as a constant struggle, and shows Hannah progressing and overcoming her disorder.
United States of Tara
You should binge-watch United States of Tara on Netflix if you want to learn about a mental health issue we don’t hear much about. The show centers on Tara Gregson, a suburban housewife and mom living with dissociative identity disorder, a condition that causes her to shift between multiple identities. The show presents differing views on the illness (some professionals don’t believe it exists, whereas others think it’s over diagnosed) through Tara’s family and, mixed with a bit of comedy, it’s definitely educational for those who don’t know too much about the disorder.
Here’s another show you can binge watch on Netflix! Nurse Jackie follows the life of emergency room nurse, Jackie Peyton, as she cares for patients while struggling with a Vicodin and Adderall addiction to get her through her high-stress shifts. The show is noted as one of the best portrayals of what it’s like to struggle with addiction because they drew from real, personal experiences — one of the creators admitted to having struggled with alcohol addiction in the past.
xx, The FabFitFun Team