Audiences are finally starting to feel seen in TV.
This May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, and what better time to celebrate shows that actively work to spotlight depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and other mental health struggles?
For series like This Is Us and You're The Worst, anxiety and clinical depression are portrayed in honest—and recurring—ways, not so much as plot points, but as realistic parts of three-dimensional characters. Girls and Pure, both on HBO, harness the real-life experiences of their respective screenwriters with obsessive compulsive disorder, while Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Modern Love and Maniac use songs and dream sequences to give glimpses into different mood disorders. BoJack Horseman, albeit an animated series, truly shined a light on self-sabotaging tendencies, familial emotional abuse, addiction and depression.
These shows move beyond just including the topic of mental health; instead, they further de-stigmatize what so many of viewers experience in real life. And, the more TV shows portray mental health issues onscreen, the more viewers will hopefully be aware and empathetic of disorders offscreen.
Keep scrolling to see our top picks for how TV has handled mental health storylines that made us feel less alone.