Netflix Shows On Mental Health (2022)

Netflix movies and shows about mental health

Mental health is a subject that some may find hard to tackle, but that doesn’t mean we lack the resources to learn about it. Available at our fingertips, Netflix has a wealth shows about mental health that take on pretty heavy representations of this prevalent issue.

So if you’re looking for something new to watch while gaining an understanding of the human psyche a little better, here are 7 Netflix movies and shows about mental health you need to watch ASAP:

Check out our other articles on mental health:

  • Common depression myths
  • Getting therapy in Singapore
  • Mental health support workshops and platforms
  • Tips to keep your mental health in a good place

1. Never Have I Ever – a teenage girl deals with grief

Netflix Shows On Mental Health (1)
Image credit: Sourcefilm

Never Have I Ever is a heartwarming and relatable story of how conservative families come to terms with taboo subjects like grief. The family struggles to manage their fraught relationships while learning to cope with their grief after the main character Devi loses her father to a sudden heart attack.

The show explores this grim topic through Devi’s goofy and comedic antics throughout a typical American high school life. Here, we see it all masked by her trying her best to seek affirmation from her schoolmates and snag a hot new boyfriend.

What’s accurate: Devi’s friends and family were initially unsympathetic when she lost the use of her legs, but psychologists have found that psychiatric conditions can have serious physical effects.
What we can learn: Similar to how Devi’s best friend Eleanor declared “in protest, I shan’t use my legs either”, we should lend emotional support to those who need it.
IMDb: 8.0/10

Watch Never Have I Ever

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2. The Umbrella Academy – childhood trauma in adulthood

Netflix Shows On Mental Health (2)Umbrella Academy’s much anticipated season 2 is coming out at the end of July 2020.
Image credit: The Arcade

As we grow older, we come to realise how important siblings can be in our lives, however infuriating they are sometimes. The Umbrella Academy explores the relationships between 7 estranged siblings with a twist – superpowers.

These siblings reunite to solve the mystery of their father’s death and save the world from an impending apocalypse. In doing so, they struggle to come to terms with the emotional abuse they suffered at the hands of their adoptive father during their adolescent years.

What’s accurate: The diversity of responses to childhood trauma – with each sibling in the show dealing with different kinds of mental illnesses such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) and Avoidant Personality Disorder (APD) later in their life.
What we can learn: Whether or not we’re dealing with trauma, it’s healthy to leave the past behind and to appreciate the present.
IMDb: 7.9/10

Watch The Umbrella Academy

3. Atypical – understanding autism within the family

Netflix Shows On Mental Health (3)
Image credit:
Netflix

Atypical is a heartfelt comedy that follows Sam, a teenager with autism, in his search for love as he navigates major changes in his life towards adulthood. Besides learning to accommodate Sam’s needs, his family grapples with adapting to unexpected curveballs when issues like infidelity and sexuality arise within the family.

Other than raising awareness about what people with autism go through, it puts a spotlight on the lives of caregivers and their struggles as well. His mother struggles to allow Sam to be independent, while his father has difficulties accepting his son’s condition.

(Video) Top 10 Most Accurate Depictions of Mental Illness in Movies & TV

What’s accurate: Atypical portrays autistic individuals’ desire for relationships, and how they cope with the stresses of socialising rather than indifference towards it.
What we can learn: The mental health of caregivers is just as important.
IMDb: 8.3/10

Watch Atypical

4. Russian Doll – coming to terms with emotional abuse

Netflix Shows On Mental Health (4)Image credit: Netflix

If you are into Inception-esque shows that mess with your concept of time and space – Russian Doll is for you. Following the lives of Nadia and Alan who are stuck in a time loop, this dark comedy defies expectations with its nuanced portrayals of mental health issues and delves into how each character goes through a journey of self-discovery.

The time loop they are trapped in makes for a pretty accurate analogy of how trauma recovery is like for those who are suffering from it. Only when they are able to accept and bring closure to their experiences are they able to move on.

What’s accurate: The fear of vulnerability that prevents them from seeking help is something we all should be on the lookout for.
What we can learn: Emotionally abusive people tend to be the ones in need of the most help.
IMDb: 7.9/10

Watch Russian Doll

5. It’s Okay That’s Love – helping each other recover

Netflix Shows On Mental Health (5)
Image credit: Netflix

(Video) Mom With Postpartum Depression Shows Reality Of Having a Mental Illness

This one’s for all the K-drama fans out there. The show follows the relationship between a novelist and a psychiatrist who are both struggling to resolve deep-rooted traumas in their past.

It has all the elements of a good K-drama like an attractive couple and snippets of comedy, but its unique take on mental health is what makes it stand out from others in the genre. It gives representation to a variety of disorders including schizophrenia and Tourette’s syndrome, portraying them in an accurate, sensitive manner.

What’s accurate: Mental illnesses can coexist with regular life and can appear even in people who may seem to be functioning normally.
What we can learn: There is nothing shameful about having a mental illness.
IMDb:8.3/10

Watch It’s Okay That’s Love

6. Mad World – bipolar disorder within a conservative society

Netflix Shows On Mental Health (6)
Image credits:
Golden Village

Mental health is not yet a topic that many Asian films centre their plot around on, but Mad World is one of the few that do. The tone of the film is rather solemn, but it’s pretty apt as it shows how unsympathetic society can be of people with such issues.

This indie film tells the tale of a man recovering from bipolar disorder who is trying to restore his relationship with his estranged father after being released from a psychiatric hospital. For those of you who enjoy emotional dramas that make it hard for you to take sides, this is for you.

What’s accurate: The stigma of mental health that can be found in many Asian societies.
What we can learn: How mental illness can be aggravated by societal issues such as work pressure and poor living conditions.
IMDb: 7.3/10

(Video) Kanye West opens up to David Letterman about his struggle with bipolar disorder

Watch Mad World

7. Bojack Horseman – a self-deprecating horse with depression

Netflix Shows On Mental Health (7)Image credit: Netflix

If you enjoy adult animated sitcoms like The Simpsons and Rick and Morty, Bojack Horseman should be right up your alley. Unlike your typical feel-good show where it’s a happy ending for the main protagonist, this washed-up humanoid horse from a 1990s sitcom goes through repeated failures while figuring out how to become relevant again.

This 6-season series on Netflix has received critical acclaim for its unfiltered take on depression and anxiety. The episode “Stupid Piece of S**t” has been praised for its realistic take on the self-destructive behaviour that many people suffering from depression have.

What’s accurate: Coping techniques that are used in real life are incorporated into the narrative of the show such as the 5-4-3-2-1 technique for anxiety.
What we can learn: Though we should lend our support to sufferers of mental illnesses, it’s as important to hold them accountable for toxic and harmful actions. Suffering from mental illness does not absolve you from taking responsibility for your own actions
IMDb: 8.7/10

Watch Bojack Horseman

Shows and films about mental health on Netflix

The isolation and longer working hours during the past few months of the pandemic have shown how important the awareness of mental health issues is. In addition to giving us a great opportunity to kick back, these shows also help us better understand struggling family members or even your own troubled thoughts.

Remember to take a break from time to time to keep your own mental health in check. Whenever you can, reach out to your friends to check in and provide emotional support too.

(Video) 14 Minutes of Comedians Reaffirming Mental Health Struggles

For more articles on Netflix, check these out:

  • Netflix documentaries to watch
  • 12 sci-fi series on Netflix
  • Must-watch anime series
  • Horror movies and series on Netflix

Cover image adapted from (clockwise from top left): Sourcefilm, Netflix , Netflix, Netflix

FAQs

What mental illness did Hannah Baker have? ›

Hannah has symptoms of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder; she may also have antisocial personality disorder or borderline personality disorder.

What TV shows portray mental illness? ›

Streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, these shows are incredibly nuanced in their portrayal of mental health
  • BoJack Horseman (2014—2020) Netflix. ...
  • Lady Dynamite (2016—2017) Netflix. ...
  • Jessica Jones (2015—2019) Netflix. ...
  • Big Mouth (2017—) KinoCheck.com. ...
  • Atypical (2017—2021) Netflix. ...
  • Modern Love (2019—) Prime Video.
10 Oct 2021

Does 13 reasons why cause depression? ›

13 Reasons Why is not recommended for any teen struggling with anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, or a history of trauma. The potential triggers are plentiful. Last year, when the show first debuted, there was immediate and enormous pushback.

What movies portray mental illness accurately? ›

So without further ado, here are a few of my favorites, some modern and some classic, that portray mental health accurately.
  • Autism: Rain man (1988) ...
  • Anxiety: What About Bob (1991) ...
  • OCD: As Good As it Gets (1997) ...
  • Schizophrenia: A Beautiful Mind (2001) ...
  • Bipolar disorder: Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Is Clay schizophrenic 13 Reasons Why? ›

Clay Exhibits Schizophrenia In All Three Seasons.

What did Clay do to Hannah? ›

After the death of Hannah Baker, a classmate of Clay's that he had a crush on, Clay started to hallucinate Hannah in the halls and classrooms of Liberty High School, the school that both Clay and Hannah attended. He first saw a hallucination of Hannah looking at him in the halls.

Is there a mental health documentary on Netflix? ›

The Mind, Explained (Netflix)

As the title suggests, this docuseries explores the complexity of our minds. It includes a great variety of topics like memory, dreams, anxiety, creativity, mindfulness, brainwashing, and even psychedelics.

What mental illnesses are in euphoria? ›

Teen Drug Abuse, Addiction, and Mental Health in “Euphoria”

It is alluded to that she suffers from bipolar disorder, anxiety, as well as OCD. As viewers, we hear Rue's thoughts, we watch as she cannot fully escape them, and we break a little inside as she uses drugs (and continues to use them) as an escape.

What mental illnesses are in 13 Reasons Why? ›

Dr. Ellman confirms that Clay is dealing with dissociation, which, according to Mental Health America, is a "mental process that causes a lack of connection in a person's thoughts, memory and sense of identity." Though Dr.

Should a 15 year old watch 13 Reasons Why? ›

Warning: Graphic Content

This rating means a show is unsuitable for anyone under the age of 17. According to Common Sense Media, the film graphically portrays bullying, rape, sexual assault, and suicide. Netflix ultimately removed the suicide scene due to complaints from mental health professionals.

Why was Hannah Baker depressed? ›

Hannah Baker experiences many traumatic events in her school. She is bullied and has no friend at school. She starts recording twelve tapes contains of the name list of her friends that disappoint her and become the reason she depressed.

What age group is appropriate for 13 Reasons Why? ›

According to Common Sense Media, kids who have seen the series say that 14 is the appropriate age for teens to watch it, whereas parents feel age 16 was more appropriate. In our parent's guide, which covered the things you should know before watching the series with your kids, we recommended kids be 15 before viewing.

What is SpongeBob's mental illness? ›

DIAGNOSIS: WILLIAMS-BEUREN SYNDROME: Apparently the goofy spongebob was suffering from Williams-Beuren Syndrome.

What disorder did Harley Quinn have? ›

Everyone knows Harley Quinn as the Jokers' girl, but how did she become Harley Quinn? Personality Disorder, specifically, Histrionic Personality Disorder plays a key part in Harley Quinn's life.

Is the Joker bipolar? ›

He has bipolar disorder type 1, most recent episode manic, severe, with psychotic features, and he also has Pseudobulbar affect.

Why Does Clay have a cut on his head? ›

Tape 1, Side A

So, before Clay receives Hannah's tapes, his forehead is bare. But as soon as Clay discovers Hannah's tapes, he gets into a nasty bike accident and ends up with a serious gash on his forehead.

Does Clay have an alter ego? ›

Meet Carrie Dragshaw, Dan Clay's alter ego who has taken 'Sex and the City' fandom to a new level. As Carrie Dragshaw, Dan Clay has become a viral sensation for his send-up of the “Sex and the City” character made famous by Sarah Jessica Parker.

What was wrong with Clay? ›

Clay became plagued by anxiety attacks and frequently saw hallucinations of Bryce and Monty, later learning he was suffering from what his therapist labeled dissociative episodes. In Episode 8, we learn that Clay manifested a sort of alter ego, one who ran around creating chaos while Clay was in a fugue state.

Who does Clay end up with? ›

Clay breaks up with Ani, but the two remain friends. In the final scene, Clay drives off with Tony on a summer trip, before he packs up and leaves for Brown University.

Why did Hannah give Tony the tapes? ›

A flashback showed Tony beat up Lucas after he called him and Ryan homophobic terms. Tony had gone to the Baker's house, where he revealed that the reason Hannah gave him the tapes was that he owed her. Hannah hid Tony when the police were after him.

Why did Hannah blame Clay? ›

According to Hannah, she had secretly wanted Clay to stay and console her. Despite that, she didn't blame Clay for doing merely as she outwardly demanded. Hannah went on to say that Clay didn't actually belong on the list at all. However, he needed to be there as he was a part of her story.

Are there any documentaries about depression? ›

New York, NY - Many of the 18 million Americans who live with severe depression suffer in silence because of the stigma attached to mental illness. That silence is broken in "Dead Blue: Surviving Depression," a new HBO documentary that chronicles the lives of three people suffering from depression and their families.

What is the story of Mai on Netflix? ›

A grieving mother discovers the criminals behind her daughter's tragic death, and transforms from meek to merciless to get the real story. Watch all you want. Karnesh Ssharma ("Bulbbul") executive produces this crime thriller.

Is the mind explained accurate? ›

The psychological explanations in The Mind, Explained are rather accurate and consistent with what is taught in the first year of our bachelor program, specifically for the episodes on memory, dreams and anxiety. The visual effects in the videos are pleasing and enhance one's understanding of the concepts discussed.

What is Cassie personality disorder? ›

Cassie is depicted as being eccentric and suffering from several mental disorders — most notably, anorexia nervosa — and multiple issues, including low self-esteem, suicidal ideation, and drug addiction, but is gentle-natured and friendly.

What is Rue's diagnosis? ›

Levinson's own struggles inform his depiction of Rue, who also has bipolar disorder, as is addressed in the penultimate episode of the season.

Why did Cassie have abortion? ›

With the support of her mom and sister, Cassie decides to go through with having an abortion after realizing she's pregnant with McKay's baby.

Does Clay have did? ›

Eighth episode “Acceptance/Rejection” reveals Clay has been suffering from trauma-induced dissociative fugue since the beginning of the season.

Is 13 Reasons Why a true story? ›

No, 13 Reasons Why is not based on a true story, and Hannah Baker is not a real person. The original writer of the story did open up about what 13 Reasons Why is based on, so keep reading to find out more.

What Mental Illness Did Justin Foley have? ›

How Depression Can Lead to Substance Abuse and Drug Addiction. As part of new character development, former basketball star Justin Foley develops an addiction to heroin as a result of his depression from the tapes. Clay spends a significant part of season two trying to get Justin clean so that he can testify in court.

Is euphoria OK for kids? ›

Euphoria is rated TV-MA for drug use, nudity, violence, and language which means some content may not be suitable for kids under 17.

What age rating is Riverdale? ›

Riverdale Series Age Rating & Content Info

The information below is a summary based on data gathered from industry-sponsored series and film classification agencies in various global regions. The Series, Riverdale Age Rating, is TV-14.

What age rating is stranger things? ›

Despite the scary, disturbing and otherwise crass content present in the Netflix original series, “Stranger Things,” the show still holds a TV-14 rating.

Why is 13 Reasons Why so good? ›

The controversial Netflix teen drama 13 Reasons Why initiated a crucial conversation on sensitive topics such as sexual abuse, suicide, drug abuse, HIV, and, of course, high school bullying. The series ended with four seasons but it was the first season that introduced fans to the students at Liberty High School.

Why do people watch 13 Reasons Why? ›

Suicide, bullying, sexual assault, and self-harm: these are incredibly difficult topics to broach with your kids, and many parents avoid them for exactly that reason. But 13 Reasons Why not only handles many of these issues sensitively and authentically, it provides a ready-made framework for talking about them.

What do you think about 13 Reasons Why? ›

“13 Reasons Why realistically captures the lives of high school students. Every teenager can relate to the social struggles that each character faces. The show eloquently portrays the dangers of bullying and how it can have a ripple effect on an entire school population.

Why is 13 Reasons Why an 18? ›

To this end, Netflix has added trigger warnings to episodes that contain especially graphic or disturbing content, as well as brief videos with cast members stating that kids already at risk for depression and other mental health issues may not want to watch the show.

Is Never have I ever appropriate? ›

Never Have I Ever season 3 is rated TV-14, meaning it may not be suitable for ages 14 and under.

Is Ginny and Georgia for kids? ›

Ginny & Georgia is rated TV-14 for a reason and will probably be better handled by teens. Common Sense Media recommends only kids aged 15+ watch the series.

What mental disorder does Alice in Wonderland have? ›

zooming at some topics of this novel, we come up to understand that Little Alice suffers from Hallucinations and Personality Disorders, the White Rabbit from General Anxiety Disorder “I'm late”, the Cheshire Cat is schizophrenic, as he disappears and reappears distorting reality around him and subsequently driving ...

Who is SpongeBob's girlfriend? ›

Sandra Jennifer "Sandy" Cheeks is a fictional character in the Nickelodeon franchise SpongeBob SquarePants. She is an anthropomorphic squirrel who wears a diving suit and lives underwater.

What is jinx mental illness? ›

The Animated Netflix series, Arcane (TV series) presents the story of two sisters suffering from extreme trauma. Fans trust Jinx suffers from Borderline personality disorder, PTSD and Schizophrenia, while Vi has extreme childhood trauma.

Does The Joker have BPD? ›

1) Joker- Borderline Personality Disorder

However, the most prominent disorder he suffers from is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). People with Borderline Personality Disorder have difficulty managing their emotions and behavior, and they also have a pattern of unhealthy relationships.

Is Harley Quinn a sociopath? ›

Finally away from her no-account boyfriend, Harley swaps grim Gotham for the joys of Coney Island, and her day job as a sociopath-murderer for more dignified work as a landlady, member of a roller-derby team and part-time shrink.

What mental illness does Michael Myers have? ›

Michael has a disorder called catatonia. Michael Myers is sometimes disabled from moving whenever he either sits or stands. This makes sense because it explains why Michael walks after his victims rather than running. He exhibits stupor also which is an inherited disorder.

What is Joker's real name? ›

Jack Napier The

Why was Hannah Baker depressed? ›

Hannah Baker experiences many traumatic events in her school. She is bullied and has no friend at school. She starts recording twelve tapes contains of the name list of her friends that disappoint her and become the reason she depressed.

What mental illness is shown in 13 Reasons Why? ›

This series also depicts that Hannah's suicide was driven by how others treated her and therefore her death was caused by others however in reality, her death was caused by a severe mental illness, whether it was depression, bipolar disorder, an eating disorder or anxiety.

What mental illness does Justin Foley have? ›

How Depression Can Lead to Substance Abuse and Drug Addiction. As part of new character development, former basketball star Justin Foley develops an addiction to heroin as a result of his depression from the tapes. Clay spends a significant part of season two trying to get Justin clean so that he can testify in court.

What mental illnesses are in 13 Reasons Why? ›

Dr. Ellman confirms that Clay is dealing with dissociation, which, according to Mental Health America, is a "mental process that causes a lack of connection in a person's thoughts, memory and sense of identity." Though Dr.

Why is 13 Reasons Why so good? ›

The controversial Netflix teen drama 13 Reasons Why initiated a crucial conversation on sensitive topics such as sexual abuse, suicide, drug abuse, HIV, and, of course, high school bullying. The series ended with four seasons but it was the first season that introduced fans to the students at Liberty High School.

Why do people watch 13 Reasons Why? ›

Suicide, bullying, sexual assault, and self-harm: these are incredibly difficult topics to broach with your kids, and many parents avoid them for exactly that reason. But 13 Reasons Why not only handles many of these issues sensitively and authentically, it provides a ready-made framework for talking about them.

Is 13 Reasons Why a true story? ›

No, 13 Reasons Why is not based on a true story, and Hannah Baker is not a real person. The original writer of the story did open up about what 13 Reasons Why is based on, so keep reading to find out more.

Why is Clay crazy in season 4? ›

2. What happened to Clay in 13 Reasons Why season 4? In the final season, Clay is in therapy after struggling with his mental health. Clay experiences blackouts and, at one point, is admitted to the psychiatric ward of a hospital after stealing a gun from a police officer and waving it around.

Why does Clay hallucinate? ›

Clay became plagued by anxiety attacks and frequently saw hallucinations of Bryce and Monty, later learning he was suffering from what his therapist labeled dissociative episodes. In Episode 8, we learn that Clay manifested a sort of alter ego, one who ran around creating chaos while Clay was in a fugue state.

What did Clay do 13 Reasons Why? ›

After the season three finale revealed Alex as Bryce's killer, Clay decided to cover up the murder and allow the police to frame Monty, who was incarcerated for assaulting Tyler and had died in prison.

Who did Clay end up with? ›

He is talked down by officers and is let off of the hook. On the series finale, Clay gives a speech at graduation and he meets a girl named Heidi (Veronica St. Clair) who will also be attending Brown next semester. The two agree to get coffee and look at course catalogs together.

What did Zach do to Hannah? ›

After being humiliated by Hannah, Zach got revenge on her by stealing and throwing away all of Hannah's notes in the Brown Paper Bag Program, notes that she desperately needed to gain comfort and confidence.

What did Justin Foley do to Hannah Baker? ›

Accused. Hannah devotes an entire tape (two sides) to Justin. His first tape describes how he betrayed Hannah her freshman year by dumping her without a word and then spreading rumors about her. It's pretty easy to see why she's mad at him for that: he broke her heart, then stomped on it.

Does Clay have did? ›

Eighth episode “Acceptance/Rejection” reveals Clay has been suffering from trauma-induced dissociative fugue since the beginning of the season.

What issues does 13 Reasons Why talk about? ›

Suicide, depression, bullying, and sexual assault are among the prevalent themes and while some viewers might not directly relate to Hannah's story, there's a chance most will identify in some way to at least one of the other characters affected by her experience.

Will there be a 13 Reasons Why season 5? ›

Will 13 Reasons Why be back for season five? Unfortunately, Netflix has confirmed that 13 Reasons Why won't be returning next year, with the fourth season being Liberty High's last.

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