The Anxiety Diaries Volume 10: Anxiety And Depression In The Films Of My Youth

It has taken me ten months of posts in this series to bring everything full circles within the topics of my site. Pop culture and lifestyle has always been my favourite topic to write about because of my adoration for film, TV, celebrity culture, music, and trash reality shows. For this month’s post, I wanted to dive a bit into how anxiety and depression are portrayed in media and pop culture. Given that film was where I got my foot in the door with writing I chose to focus on the silver screen. This is a shorter one, because hey February is a shorter month.

Looking back I believe the first three films I saw as a youth regarding depression were Girl, Interupted (1999), and The Virgin Suicides (1999), and Thirteen (2003). All three of the films had strong female leads and I think that really helped me get through depression I didn’t know I was experiencing. If we really want to go back, Disney hit some hard points but I didn’t truly come to understand those messages until well into my adulthood. The anxiety of being unable to figure out what was “wrong” with me weighed heavily but I felt I could always turn to my “friends” in my movies when I needed it.

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W. Ryder in ‘Girl Interrupted

These characters, the ones I felt so connected to, although fictional, aided me in an essential part of my life. The definitive moments of my youth that I didn’t realize at the time meant anything. “I’m just sad” I would think to myself “everyone gets sad and scared like this” and given that my parents were raised in a time when depression and anxiety weren’t a thing they also thought nothing of it. I could never have anticipated I’d have my own outlet just like the writers of some of my favourite films with this site.