October 10 is celebrated as the World Mental Health Day which was introduced in 1992. The annual awareness campaign focuses on raising public awareness on issues related to mental health. On the other hand, there have been several movies which had important characters with psychological disorders. Yet, they emerged to be winners in life by overcoming the relevant shortcomings.
Rain Man (1988)
Dustin Hoffman plays an autistic philosopher in the movie, creating some of the most unforgettable moments in movie history, along with Tom Cruise who plays his brother. The autistic spectrum is characterised by communication difficulties, repetitive behaviour and social deficits. It also causes cognitive delays in certain cases. Hoffman won the Academy Award for the Best Actor for his role in the movie.
As Good as It Gets (1997)
Jack Nicholson suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in the film. This is an anxiety disorder which leads to repetitive behaviour for reducing the anxiety involved. Nicholson won the Academy Award for the Best Actor for his exceptional portrayal of a misanthropist novelist who suffers from OCD. His disorder, along with his misanthropy, creates critical complications in the movie. He also suffers from pathological mysophobia which leads him to bring disposable utensils to restaurants.
American Beauty (1999)
Kevin Spacey suffers from Major Depressive Disorder, also known as clinical depression, in the movie. Spacey goes through a mid-life crisis and gets infatuated with the best friend of his teenage daughter. MDD may have adverse effects on a person's personal and professional life. About 60 per cent people committing suicide reportedly suffer from clinical depression.
50 First Dates (2004)
This popular romantic comedy is based on Drew Barrymore's anterograde amnesia (fictionally named as "Goldfield's Syndrome") which means that the character is unable to form new memories. When Adam Sandler decides to chase Barrymore and realises that she is not able to remember the previous meetings with him. Thus, he ends up having "50 first dates" with her.
The Notebook (2004)
The movie portrays Alzheimer's Disease in the most romantic way possible and makes it one of the greatest romantic movies ever made. Alzheimer's disease is incurable. It gets worse with time and finally causes death. One in every 85 people is predicted to be affected by AD by the year 2050. The most common symptoms include struggle remembering recent activities. Advanced symptoms include aggression, irritability, mood swings, long-term memory loss and language problems.
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