Over the past decade, Bollywood has produced more films with meaningful content. Makers are picking up lesser-known subjects as the core of their film and mental illness is one of them. There is no doubt that movies play a crucial role in influencing the masses to a large extent, hence, shedding light on issues that concern society makes a huge difference.

Mental illness, which until a few years ago was a hush-hush issue and wasn't discussed in a positive manner, has gradually been accepted in the society, all thanks to Bollywood that has tried to address a range of mental illnesses on the silver screen.

Bollywood movies that dealt with mental illness
A still from Dear Zindagi; Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in TamashaTwitter

We bring to you five Bollywood movies that have attempted to shed light on mental illness.

Dear Zindagi:

Dear Zindagi still
Dear Zindagi stillTwitter

Gauri Shinde's film portrays mental illness like any other ailment and stresses the importance of seeking psychological help. It tells its viewers that one shouldn't hesitate to seek help in the fear of being judged. Alia Bhatt's character Kaira develops a new perspective on life and overcomes her problems after seeking psychological help from Shah Rukh Khan's character Dr. Jehangir Khan. 

Anjaana Anjaani:

Anjaana Anjaani movie
Anjaana Anjaani movie posterTwitter

The romantic drama showcases two depressed individuals - Akash, played by Ranbir Kapoor, suffering from Acute Stress Disorder and Kiara (Priyanka Chopra) with Adjustment Disorder. The two find suicide as their only resort but after an unsuccessful attempt, they find each other, fall in love and tackle depression together.

Kartik Calling Kartik:

Kartik Calling Kartik movie
Farhan Akhtar in Kartik Calling Kartik movieTwitter

The psychological thriller stars Farhan Akhtar and Deepika Padukone in lead roles. The movie deals with schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder. Throughout the movie, Farhan's character, an introvert, keeps getting advice from an unidentified caller, who coaches him for a successful professional and personal life.

Bhool Bhulaiyaa: 

Bhool Bhulaiyaa movie
Bhool Bhulaiyaa movie posterTwitter

Directed by Priyadarshan, the comedy-horror psychological thriller deals with the subject Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) wherein a person completely forgets one's real identity and behaves like the assumed identity. In the movie, Akshay Kumar's character Dr. Aditya Srivastav tries to help Vidya Balan character Avni Chaturvedi suffering from DID.


Deepika Padukone tamasha
Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor in TamashaMovie Stills

Imitiaz Ali's 2015 movie starring Ranbir and Deepika Padukone dealt with the subject's identity crisis and abrasion. Ranbir's character Ved suffers from loss of self by living according to the social norms and that leads to erratic behaviour and depression.