Depression is a mood disorder in which feelings of sadness, loss, anger, or frustration interfere with everyday life for weeks or longer. Depression is generally described as feeling sad, blue, unhappy, miserable, or down in the dumps. Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods.
Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows. But the more symptoms a person has, the stronger they are, and the longer they’ve lasted—the more likely it is that the person has depression. When these symptoms are overwhelming and disabling, that’s when it’s time to seek help. In film, depression is not always portrayed in a realistic manner, but some films go a long way in characterizing the depths and extent of depression.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Some of the common characteristics of depression include the following:
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
- Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
- Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
- Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
- Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
- Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
- Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
- Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
- Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
- Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
How Depression Looks in Cinema Therapy
There have been a number of movies have had characters who portrayed different types of depression. The following films contain a character with depression that depicts the condition in a realistic manner. Each film also provides a foundation for a good Cinema Therapy experience due to directorial style, character development, casting, and production quality. New releases will be added to this article so return if this topic is of interest to you.
- The Seventh Veil (1945)
- The Shrike (1955)
- The Wrong Man (1956)
- The Fire Within (1963)
- Repulsion (1965)
- Harold And Maude (1971)
- The Last Picture Show (1971)
- King Of Marvin Gardens (1972)
- Eraserhead (1976)
- Interiors (1978)
- Natural Enemies (1979)
- Ordinary People (1980)
- Alone In The T-Shirt Zone (1986)
- An Angel at My Table (1990)
- Death In Small Doses (1995)
- Unstrung Heroes (1995)
- Raja Hindustani (1996)
- Sue (1997)
- The Butcher Boy (1997)
- American Beauty (1999)
- The Virgin Suicides (1999)
- On the Edge (2001)
- Prozac Nation (2001)
- The Hours (2002)
- Closer (2004)
- The Butterfly Effect (2004)
- The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004)
- Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)
- Goodbye Solo (2008)
- A Single Man (2009)
- Helen (2009)
- My Suicide (2009)
- Shrink (2009)
- Veronika Decides to Die (2009)
- It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010)
- Detachment (2011)
- Melancholia (2011)
- The Beaver (2011)
- Side Effects (2013)