When Bipolar: Films To Watch While Depressed
Written by Jennifer Kiley
©couerbattreécho by j. kiley
The Hours: Depression. Suicide. Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway – a thread throughout the entire film. An intense film can draw you out of yourself. I, so, love Virginia Woolf that the mere presence of her in the film carries me back in time. It causes me to feel such intense feelings for what she must have experienced. I connect to her pain & awkwardness & complete sense of feeling madness taking over her mind. She doesn’t want to burden her husband Leonard any longer or her family, that she decides to place heavy rocks in the pockets of her coat and walks into the river Ouse & drowns so that all the pain will be washed away. Suicide is a theme in this film & failing relationships. It is attractive to me when I am depressed for I feel a oneness with several of the characters & it makes me feel more connected with my own self through their lives.
What Dreams May Come: Death. Finding Your Loved One In Hell. Going through the many level of death, trying to get your loved one to remember you. Once done you both are brought to Paradise. Illusions in film are sometimes beautiful & often horrible but the thought of being reunited with the person you most love is well worth the journey. Most would go to the ends of the Universe to find their love but to the basement of Hell that is one long perilous journey.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Losing Your Memories of Ever Knowing the Person You Love. You ask for your memory to be wiped. I am rooting for the two main characters in this film that they will find a common ground in which to make their relationship work but it seems they always end up wiping their memories clean & once again play out their destiny to meet & repeat their love affair all over again. It is serious & amusing at the same time. So there are laughs but there is a sadness & desperation of wanting the two to actually work out their love relationship. It is the romantic in me to believe that there are soul mates out there and that love can& does in some cases last forever throughout eternity as it was for the Browning’s, Elizabeth Barrett & Robert.
Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Fellowship of the Ring. The Two Towers & Return of the King. Escape. Fantasy. Lofty. Good triumphs over evil. Appeal to noble instincts against the worst sort of odds. Coming together of people from all magical dimensions to fight the good fight and be triumphant. The struggle to carry out the journey only one can achieve, of course, with the help of his best companion & being waylaid by evil all along the quest.
Harry Potter: (all eight in series) These films grew in maturity & I love Daniel Radcliffe & Emma Watson. I loved the fact that practically every top rated British actor did a role in these films. Once again Fantasy, it always hits in a good place for me. It takes you into a world that is impossible to have experienced until you either read the books or watched these films. It was a tradition in our household that S would receive as a present every hardcover book of Harry Potter as soon as released, usually around her birthday. And the best collection of each film would follow around Christmas to show up under the imaginary or potted tree for a present for S. I love Harry & Hermione the most. Ron was a good sidekick but I really wanted to Hermione & Harry to end up together but I suppose it did all work out. There were several gasps when certain characters died that you did not expect. Especially, a certain rather short fellow that you got attached to. Time for a Harry Potter marathon. S does LOTR marathons all the time. I usually get into Twin Peaks marathons. I am due a Lost marathon. I missed all of year 6 b/c of being extremely ill. I literally Lost that year of my life. There is no recall of anything that happened that year.
Somewhere In Time: A Love Story where the two lovers are separated by Time, torn apart & the only way they can be rejoined is for one to travel back in time in order to meet. An unfortunate thing happens with a penny from his present. Its presence in the past cause him to be jerked back to his present. He is too weak so is unable to return. He must die to be reunited with his beloved. The music & the love story is the most beautiful, sad & love story ever. I cry every time I see it. I listen to the music from it quite often.
The Sound of Music: Favorite film of all time & most watched film, also. Love. Family. Romance. Shyness. Finding a mother who loves you. Falling in love. Beautiful music. Longing glances. Escaping the Nazis with success but leaving their old life behind. The only life that they knew, Facing an unknown future. Beautiful music & scenery & love growing throughout.
Ruling Class: It is about Insanity, in part. Peter O’Toole opens the film as Jesus Christ & his father erotically hangs himself by accident while trying to achieve sexual satisfaction. JC inherits the fortune. It’s a comedy. Really. Interesting transformation. The family are all nuts. In the family’s efforts to lead him off the cross they haphazardly turn him into Jack the Ripper. He goes from the God of Love to the God of Vengeance. There is singing, dancing, lewd jokes & murder. It is quite funny. Makes you forget about the fact that you are feeling so depressed.
V for Vendetta: Evey is an ordinary girl capable of overcoming her fear and being a part of a revolution. This is an empowering film. The hero V blows up the root of Power – The House of Parliament. After living under the oppressive rule of a Talking Head tyrannical government. First, V starts with a list of people who are high up in the group of Talking Heads & one at a time starts methodically killing in a manner that fit each one’s past transgressions. Great Explosive Ending. The People’s Revolution a total success. Very Uplifting.
Except for great mysteries, the category of films that Girl Interrupted is in, I would say that I love most films that take place in mental hospitals or that have psychotherapists and patients as main characters. I’ve been drawn to psychological films since I was a child when I first saw David & Lisa. Psychology has fascinated me with my first contact with the subject. Understanding how the mind works. Why we feel the way we do. How our lives are affected/effected by merely living it. All the traumas of the world that we have or come in contact with during the course of living. There are predators out there that fuck you up. There are chemical imbalances that fuck up our brains or so they say. I like to watch people with questionable mental creativeness interact. The ability to not block your ego from letting everything out. Feeling your inhibitions unblocked or so it seems. What is insanity after all? Does it really exist or are some people just too sensitive for this world?
There is a long list of films in this category that I have seen & would recommend when depressed. First film after David & Lisa and Girl Interrupted are the following: Suddenly, Last Summer. Lilith. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Prince of Tides. Spellbound. Freud. A Dangerous Method. Good Will Hunting. Sybill. Mr. Jones. Primal Fear. Nuts. Marnie. Beyond Therapy. (All excellent films & dramas except Beyond Therapy, which is a Robert Altman comedy of errors. If you are an Altman fan you will find this film hysterically funny & it will lift almost any ones depression at least during the time while you watch this film.) Another film S reminded me of which she absolutely hates but knows I absolutely love. I had a therapist that use to tease me jokingly about this film & said please don’t ever do that to me. The film is called: What About Bob? This is the ultimate OCD film comedy of all times. Bob gets a new psychotherapist who is about to go on vacation, He sees Bob once & recommends another psychotherapist he can see during the summer during his vacation. Well, Bob has bonded extremely intensely with his new therapist & goes to extremes to follow him to where he is on his summer vacation. Every psychotherapist’s nightmare. His family absolutely adore Bob. It is extremely funny & frustrating. Good for any depression, I think. The psychological film list of greats: As Good As It Gets. Three Faces of Eve. Persona. Shutter Island. A Beautiful Mind. Harvey. Twelve Monkeys. All of them excellent. Forgot The Sixth Sense: “I see dead people.” An amazing film that will take you out of yourself. You will be so amazed at the twists & turns of this film. By now everyone knows the ending but just in case I am not revealing it here. I do in my dreams what this kid does in his waking hours.
The film list continues with just a few more suggestions…
Donnie Darko: Destiny. Who expects something to fall out of the sky & crash through your bedroom roof & kill you while you are asleep. That is not the film. The film is what happens before the Big Event. It’s a quirky, time distortion, strange story about a kid who seems to be living in another time zone from the rest of the world around him. Great film.
Proof: Shows the growth of a loving relationship between a daughter, who is a touch questionably balanced, & her father who was losing his mental faculties. Both brilliant mathematicians who are trying to solve an extremely important & complicated math problem. At least, important to them. Then enters the sister from Hell who after their father dies, tries to sell the family home & bring her sister back with her to live in the city, after spending her entire life in that house. It’s a brilliant film. Very moving but pisses you off b/c the sister just doesn’t get it.
Inception: This film will blow your fucking mind. It takes you on a trip through the corridors of time & space so that you cannot tell where or when you are in reality or inside of a dream. The world around you keeps caving in. Might be a great distraction for someone depressed. The world in the film seems a hell of lot worse than the delusions you might be experiencing in the reality you are presently in. I still haven’t figured out the ending. Totally disagree with S even though we have played the last scenes over and over again.
My favorite films with Julie Andrews, who I adore & she can help me through some of my many mood changes. Good love stories & musicals, sad or happy: Tamarind Seed. The Americanization of Emily. Thoroughly Modern Millie. Victor/Victoria. Princess Diaries I. Mary Poppins. I mentioned The Sound of Music earlier. Just having them on in the background helps.
Musicals on the stage & on film. Those over the years that have helped with depression are: West Side Story. All That Jazz. Showboat. Funny Girl. The Pirates of Penzance. Hair. Hello Dolly. Chicago. Moulin Rouge (with Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor). Musicals help me to get in touch with what I am feeling but those feelings are usually good or real, not bad. Feelings are never bad.
jk the secret keeper
This is the end of part 1–part 2 follows next post
When Bipolar: Experiencing Depression
Evanescence — My Immortal
Quotations from Films:
Virginia Woolf: “If I were thinking clearly, Leonard, I would tell you that I wrestle alone in the dark, in the deep dark, and that only I can know. Only I can understand my condition. You live with the threat, you tell me you live with the threat of my extinction. Leonard, I live with it too.” — “The Hours”
Virginia Woolf: “You cannot find peace by avoiding life, Leonard.” — “The Hours”
Virginia Woolf: “Dear Leonard. To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. Leonard, always the years between us, always the years. Always the love. Always the hours.” — “The Hours”
Virginia Woolf: “A woman’s whole life in a single day. Just one day. And in that day her whole life.” — “The Hours”
Virginia Woolf: “Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more. It’s contrast.”
— “The Hours”
Angelica Bell: “What happens when we die?”
Virginia Woolf: “What happens?”
Virginia Woolf: “We return to the place that we came from.”
Angelica Bell: “I don’t remember where I came from.”
Virginia Woolf: “Nor do I.”
— “The Hours”
Clarissa Vaughn: “I remember one morning getting up at dawn, there was such a sense of possibility. You know, that feeling? And I remember thinking to myself: So, this is the beginning of happiness. This is where it starts. And of course there will always be more. It never occurred to me it wasn’t the beginning. It was happiness. It was the moment. Right then.” — “The Hours”
Leonard Woolf: “Do you think it’s possible that bad writing actually attracts a higher incidence of error?”
— “The Hours”
Virginia Woolf: “Did it matter, then, she asked herself, walking toward Bond Street. Did it matter that she must inevitably cease, completely. All this must go on without her. Did she resent it? Or did it not become consoling to believe that death ended absolutely? It is possible to die. It is possible to die.”
— “The Hours”
Virginia Woolf: “I was going to kill my heroine. But I’ve changed my mind. I fear I may have to kill someone else, instead.”
— “The Hours”
Virginia Woolf: “Dearest, I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel I can’t go through another one of these terrible times and I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices and can’t concentrate so I am doing what seems to be the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I know that I am spoiling your life and without me you could work and you will, I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. What I want to say is that I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. Everything is gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been. Virginia”
— “The Hours”
Galadriel: “The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it. It began with the forging of the Great Rings. Three were given to the Elves, immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings. Seven to the Dwarf lords, great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls. And nine, nine rings were gifted to the race of men, who, above all else, desire power. But they were, all of them, deceived, for another Ring was made. In the land of Mordor, in the fires of Mount Doom, the Dark Lord Sauron forged in secret a master Ring, to control all others. And into this Ring he poured his cruelty, his malice and his will to dominate all life. One Ring to rule them all.” — LOTR “The Fellowship of the Rings”
Galadriel: ” And the ring of power has a will of its own. …some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. And for two and a half thousand years, the ring passed out of all knowledge. …Darkness crept back into the forests of the world. Rumor grew of a shadow in the East, whispers of a nameless fear, and the Ring of Power perceived. Its time had now come. …something happened that the Ring did not intend. It was picked up by the most unlikely creature imaginable. A hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, of the Shire. For the time will soon come when hobbits will shape the fortunes of all…”
— LOTR “The Fellowship of the Rings”
Frodo: “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.” — LOTR “The Fellowship of the Rings”
Elise McKenna: “The man of my dreams has almost faded now. The one I have created in my mind. The sort of man each woman dreams of, in the deepest and most secret reaches of her heart. I can almost see him now before me. What would I say to him if he were really here? “Forgive me. I have never known this feeling. I have lived without it all my life. Is it any wonder, then, I failed to recognise you? You, who brought it to me for the first time. Is there any way that I can tell you how my life has changed? Any way at all to let you know what sweetness you have given me? There is so much to say. I cannot find the words. Except for these: I love you”. Such would I say to him if he were really here.” — “Somewhere In Time”
V: “…words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning…where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission… He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent… More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives… if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you…allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.”
— “V for Vendetta”
Cobb: “Dreams feel real while we’re in them. It’s only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange.”
Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison: “War isn’t hell at all. It’s man at his best; the highest morality he’s capable of. It’s not war that’s insane, you see. It’s the morality of it. It’s not greed or ambition that makes war: it’s goodness. Wars are always fought for the best of reasons: for liberation or manifest destiny. Always against tyranny and always in the interest of humanity. So far this war, we’ve managed to butcher some ten million humans in the interest of humanity. Next war it seems we’ll have to destroy all of man in order to preserve his damn dignity. It’s not war that’s unnatural to us, it’s virtue. As long as valor remains a virtue, we shall have soldiers. So, I preach cowardice. Through cowardice, we shall all be saved.”
— “The Americanization of Emily”
Lt. Cmdr. Charles E. Madison: “I don’t want to know what’s good, or bad, or true. I let God worry about the truth. I just want to know the momentary fact about things. Life isn’t good, or bad, or true. It’s merely factual, it’s sensual, it’s alive. My idea of living sensual facts are you, a home, a country, a world, a universe. In that order. I want to know what I am, not what I should be.”
— “The Americanization of Emily”