Schizophrenia.com

Books and movies with schizophrenic characters?

Do you guys know of or have any favorite books or films with schizophrenic characters, preferably fictional?

I have some books I intend to read with schizophrenic characters, such as a blue so dark by holly schindler, the boy who could see demons by carolyn jess-cooke, made you up by francesca zappia, I never promised you a rose garden (of course), and a head full of ghosts by paul tremblay. I have yet to actually read any of them though because I expect them to hit close to home and probably make me cry (I had a children’s book about a girl who could see ghosts make me tear up from reminding me of my illness recently. It happens a lot).

For films, I have yet to actually watch any movies with specifically schizophrenic characters that are realistic portrayals (aka not stigmatized). However, I watch a lot of horror films and find I can find a lot of the stories very relatable to my illness even if it’s not what it’s about.
The common scenario of a character being terrified for their lives and not being believed they’re in danger because their claims are ridiculous is obviously relatable. Any film in which a character’s mind betrays them, a character discovers they have supernatural powers (especially psychic powers), or a character escaping into a fantasy world, even if it’s just their imagination and not mental illness, reminds me of what it’s like to have schizophrenia for me.

Jacob’s latter is a standout one, rosemary’s baby up until the end reveal feels very relatable because rosemary we’re led to believe is just paranoid, a tale of two sisters is about a girl having hallucinations to cope with grief and guilt, and pan’s labyrinth (not quite horror but close) is about a girl using her imagination to cope with the horrors around her.

Other than horror, I don’t have much I relate to, but that’s because horror is pretty much all I watch. My taste in books is much more diverse. The only real non-horror film I can think of is an obvious choice, Alice in Wonderland.

Any books or films you know of or recommend with schizophrenic characters? And while we’re on the subject, what kind of things in films remind you of your illness? I’m curious if anyone else has specific things they relate to even if it’s not necessarily what they experience.

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@everhopeful Oh, that makes me so happy that’s a thing! Thanks for sharing.

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On Netflix there’s a spanish documentary about schizophrenia. It’s called Una cierta verdad. Maybe there are subtitles in English.

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An old favorite is an Australian Movie “Angel Baby”. Its realism from the 80’s and it’s a sad ending but it’s a decent attempt at 80’s reality. Don’t watch if you don’t want a realistic approach at things.

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Braveheart has the mad Irishmen

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Benny and Joon. I love that movie!

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12 monkeys kind of has one

There are is “high brow” novel called Mrs Dalloway, wrtitten by Viginia Woolf who was kind of mad. In that book there is a schizophrenic character called “Septimus”

A lot of scholars thinks the swedish author August Strindberg was schizotypical personality disordered like me, and after i read him, im sure he was schizotypical. :slightly_smiling_face:

He wrote a terrific book, Inferno, about a psychotic breakdown he had in Paris 1896. you can have it for free on Amazon

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@bluebutterfly I actually own a copy of Mrs. Dalloway! Had no idea there was a schizophrenic character. I’ve heard about Virginia Woolf’s eccentricities in the past. I wonder if she’d be diagnosed with anything today?

Never heard of August Strindberg but that book he wrote sounds very interesting and I just downloaded on amazon, thank you for sharing!

Great, just a thrill to read Strindberg, it’s kind of fun how he enjoys his own mental breakdown. Some scholars said he was seeking a breakdown in Paris to be able to write his masterpiece, Inferno.

Virginia Woolf a bit harder. I have seen a lot of speculation about her diagnosis, but the most common is bipolar.

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one flew over the cuck coo’s nest

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Black Swan…

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“Canvas” starring Marcia Gay Harden. It’s a very sympathetic look at sz.

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Haha that does sound interesting! I kind of get a slight dark enjoyment out of my own insanity too, maybe he’ll be a new favorite?

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I actually tried to pick this one up around the time I was considering being hospitalized. Not a good decision. Heard it’s great though! I really appreciate how ahead of its time it was for showing the reality of psych wards at the time.

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Proof, a movie with gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins.

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Surviving Schizophrenia has a whole chapter on this. Here, I"ll list some from the book I have here in front of me:

Movies:
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Through a Glass Darkly, Repulsion, “Clean, Shaven,” Benny and Joon, The Saint of Fort Washington, Angel Baby, Shine, Pi, A Beautiful Mind, Revolution #9, Spider, People Say I’m Crazy, Out of the Shadow, The Soloist

Literature:
Diary of a Madman, Berenice, A Madman’s Manuscript, Jane Eyre, David Copperfield, Bartleby the Scrivener, Ward No. 6, Mrs. Dalloway, The Waves, “Silent Snow, Secret Snow,” Save Me the Waltz, Tender is the Night, I Am Lazarus, The Headless Hawk.

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I just watched a short video from the child of a schizophrenic. This is great but we need to tell our own stories, not just from the perspective of a relative.

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Shine is one of my favorite movies. Beautiful movie.

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