The 15 Best TV Shows That Talk About Mental Illness

There are a lot of TV shows that highlight some aspects of mental illness in their characters. This representation can be comforting to many people who suffer from mental illnesses. Various shows feature characters with various mental problems, including depression, anxiety, OCD, and more.

Some of these shows deal with mental illness head-on, while some of these have them going on in the background.

Here are some of the best shows depict these and other mental illnesses.

Warning: spoilers for some of the shows ahead!

Monk

Monk.
Image Credit: ABC.

 

With a frank depiction of a person with OCD, this show made multitudes of viewers feel seen. The show found a way to depict just how difficult OCD can be while finding humor in it.

Mr. Robot

Mr Robot
Image Credit: USA Network.

 

This show depicts many mental issues such as loneliness and depression. It’s a thoroughly entertaining show that has a lot of depth to both the story and the characters.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Image Credit: Black Lamb.

 

There’s nothing like using the word crazy in the title to let people know it contains mental illness depictions. The show was a fun ride that also featured a lot of types of mental problems.

The Sopranos

The Sopranos.
Image Credit: Courtesy of HBO.

 

Anxiety is a growing problem that many people face, and some of those people may include mob bosses. The show depicted a character seeking psychiatric help for severe anxiety.

You’re the Worst

You’re the Worst.
Image Credit:
Hooptie Entertainment.

 

This show never reached the highest heights of popularity, but its depiction of depression was skillfully done. You’re the Worst made being toxic and self-destructive funny again.

Shameless

William H. Macy and Christian Isaiah in Adios Gringos (2019).
Image Credit: Showtime.

 

This ensemble show brought together a lot of characters who each had their own brand of mental illness. It created a particularly good depiction of people with bipolar disorder.

Mad Men

Mad Men _ Season 7B, Episode 14.
Image Credit: Justina Mintz/AMC.

 

Many different mental illnesses wound their way through this show. The vintage charm of this show worked well with its sympathetic portrayals of people with various mental illnesses.

The Haunting of Hill House

The Haunting of Hill House.
Image Credit: Tina Rowden/Netflix.

 

One of the best possible depictions of mental illnesses, this series takes them seriously. The five siblings each have their kind of mental illness, and each is done in a highly realistic manner.

The Leftovers

The Leftovers.
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

 

From depression to anxiety to PTSD, this series wasn’t afraid to take them all on. The show followed several people who were left in bad mental states after the disappearance of part of the population.

Six Feet Under

Six Feet Under.
Image Credit: HBO.

 

The ensemble of flawed characters has a lot of mental illnesses between them. It’s a show that had great writing as well as great characters who each played an important part in the whole tapestry.

Bojack Horseman

Bojack Horseman.
Image Credit: Netflix.

 

Sure, it’s animated, but it still includes a lot of heavy depictions of serious mental illnesses. From depression to anxiety to bipolar disorder and more, it covered a lot of the illnesses that plague society.

Hoarders

Hoarders.
Image Credit: Screaming Flea Productions.

 

This is a reality show that depicts people who have hoarding disorder, a type of OCD. The show tries to help these individuals live in better surroundings after they’ve hoarded so much that their homes are bursting.

House

House M.D.
Image Credit: Fox.

 

The skillful depiction of a host of mental illnesses has made this show a good representation of these issues. It’s also entertaining and full of slightly educational information.

Ted Lasso

Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham in "Ted Lasso," now streaming on Apple TV+.
Image Credit: Apple TV.

 

The whole focus of the show isn’t on mental illness, but it does play a big part in the story. The show has found its place in everyone who wants an uplifting story that is highly heartfelt.

The Bear

The Bear,
Image Credit: Courtesy of FX.

 

The show has the rare skill of being able to portray some mental illnesses with both sensitivity and frankness. It’s a highly successful depiction of many different mental problems.

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Image Credit: Netflix.

 

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Evan Rachel Wood HBO Westworld Season 4 - Episode 7.
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