Bipolar disorder is a condition where a person has periods of extreme highs and lows, along with changes in their behavior and thinking. The person shifts between feeling excited and confident or exhibiting manic behavior, to being sad or depressed. They can also have periods of feeling relatively normal.
According to WebMD, “most people with bipolar disorder spend more time with depressive symptoms than manic or hypomanic symptoms.”
There are a number of movies out about mental illness. Here are some that focus on bipolar disease.
1) Of Two Minds (2012)
This documentary is a great opener to explain what it is like to have bipolar disorder, expressed through the stories of four people over a period of three years. Two are on medication, and two are not.
Kristin Davis plays Billie, and Joel Gretsch portrays her husband Rick. Tammy Blanchard plays Billy's sister Elizabeth, known as “Baby," who has bipolar disorder. Louise Fletcher portrays Aunt Will.
It shows them living their lives, engaged in regular activities such as getting ready for work or painting artwork. It also reflects how they feel about hiding the fact that they are bipolar, and the difficulties this has caused in their relationships.
2) The Hours (2002)
This movie explores the lives of three women, who are connected by the book “Mrs Dalloway,” by Virginia Woolf. Their stories are told by switching back and forth to each of their lives, which are happening during different time periods, but overlap in ways that makes their stories compelling.
Clarissa Vaughan, played by Meryl Streep, is trying to plan a party for her friend who has AIDs. Laura Brown is played by Julianne Moore, who is a pregnant 1950s housewife in an unhappy marriage.
Nicole Kidman portrays Virginia Woolf, the author of “Mrs Dalloway,” who struggles with bipolar disorder. She has had nervous breakdowns in the past, so her husband fears she will do herself harm.