The Best Documentaries About Mental Illness

There are a number of documentaries out there that discuss mental illnesses, including depression, suicide, autism, and insomnia. Documentaries are great educational pieces that can be extremely informative. The best documentaries about mental illnesses approach their given topics by presenting multiple sides of the issues and offering practical solutions. What are the best documentaries about mental illness?
A person who’s suffering from a mental illness can be hard to understand. Many display irrational behaviors and thinking patterns that isolate them from the rest of the world. For family members and friends who know a loved one suffering from an illness of this type, a relationship can be incredibly difficult to navigate without better understanding. A documentary about mental illness can help identify medical reasons for mental disorders, and offer a sense of connection through understanding the associated symptoms more easily.
This list discusses the best documentary films discussing mental illness, including: The Horse Boy, Ryan, Tarnation, Happy, Let There Be Light, Isolation, Other Voices, Flipping Out, Walk Away Renee, Warrendale, and My Heart of Darkness. 
Ranked by
  • Boy Interrupted
    Dana Heinz Perry
    • Released: 2009
  • Tourettes: I Swear I Can't Help It

    Tourettes: I Swear I Can't Help It

  • Let There Be Light
    • Actors: Walter Huston
    • Released: 1946
    • Released: 2013
    • Released: 2005
  • Other Voices
    Dan McCormack
    • Actors: Mary McCormack, David Aaron Baker, Campbell Scott, Rob Morrow, Stockard Channing
    • Released: 2000
  • Happy


    • Released: 1993
  • Ryan
    Chris Landreth
    • Actors: Derek Lamb, Ryan Larkin, Chris Landreth, Felicity Fanjoy
    • Released: 2004
    • Released: 1999
  • Thin
    Lauren Greenfield
    • Actors: Shelly Guillory, Brittany Robinson, Alisa Williams
    • Released: 2006
    • Released: 2006
    • Actors: James Farentino, Kathryn Harrold, Stephen Elliott, Max Showalter, Mike Adams
    • Released: 1979
  • Children of the Stars
    • Released: 2007
  • Are the Kids Alright?
    Ellen Spiro, Karen Bernstein
    • Released: 2004
  • Titicut Follies
    Frederick Wiseman
    • Released: 1967
  • Tarnation
    Jonathan Caouette
    • Actors: Jonathan Caouette, Michael Cox
    • Released: 2003
  • Walk Away Renee
    Jonathan Caouette
    • Actors: Dominic Gould, Jared Hutchinson, Jorge Torres-Torres, Kathy Biehl, Derek Lucci
    • Released: 2011
    • Released: 2002
  • I'm Still Here: the Truth About Schizophrenia
    Robert Bilheimer, Richard Young
    • Released: 1996
  • Running from Crazy
    Barbara Kopple
    • Released: 2013
  • Seven Dumpsters and a Corpse
    • Actors: Thomas Haemmerli, Erik Haemmerli
    • Released: 2007
  • Marwencol
    Jeff Malmberg
    • Actors: Mark Hogancamp
    • Released: 2010
  • You're Gonna Miss Me
    Keven McAlester
    • Actors: Billy Gibbons, Roky Erickson
    • Released: 2005