Much like with movies, television has some issues with mental health representation in their shows. Some shows have awful and inaccurate representation, while others take care to be as accurate as possible. So I am focusing on the latter and sharing some shows that aim for better mental health representation.
Supernatural focuses on the Winchester brothers as they hunt supernatural beings like demons, ghosts, and monsters. It has garnered a reputation for accurately portraying struggles with mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. One thing fans have noted in particular is the idea that, even in the darkest most difficult times, you can get through it.
Shameless is a comedy-drama that centers on Frank Gallagher, a single father of six children. It is the character of Ian, who has bipolar disorder, that highlights mental illness and the journey of living with it in a relatable way.
BoJack Horseman follows the titular character who is a washed-up 90s TV star as he struggles with addiction, relationships and maintaining his celebrity status. Many have pointed to the shows depiction of depression to be one of TV’s most accurate.
The main character of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder during the show, with depression and anxiety being symptoms of hers as well. The show takes it’s time with this, depicting that diagnosis doesn’t lead to overnight cures.
Attack on Titan
This one if probably the oddball of the list, but I do believe that Attack on Titan depicts a variety of mental health issues well. The most apparent issue is trauma, as all of these characters live through numerous traumatic events. They all handle that trauma differently, which is important since we don’t all process issues the same. And that is only part of the mental health issues depicted.
What TV shows would you recommend for their accurate mental health portrayals? Share them with a comment!