Coming to a screen near you.

I hear a lot of talk about which actors and actresses are bipolar, but I haven’t heard a lot of talk about how actors and actresses portray bipolar characters on screen. Art imitates life, right? So, without further adieu, enter my favorite cinematic basket cases stage right.

  • Effy Stonem- Skins (UK) Seasons 3&4

I became addicted to Skins awhile back before the short lived US version came out. The way the show works is every two seasons you follow a group of British teens on their sex, drugs, and drama filled adventures. Each episode centers around one of the characters, but they all tie in together. It’s a little relate-able, a little outlandish at time, a lot raunchy and very entertaining. Effy first appears in seasons 1&2 as the quiet yet mischievous younger sister of one of the male characters. Effy becomes a member of the group that seasons 3 and four are centered around. (She is the only character that crosses over out of her two seasons) Effy first appears as a pleasure seeking teen that caters to her every impulse, but you eventually find out that something much deeper is at play. Personally I found much of what she goes through before her diagnosis quite relatable. Especially since I was not diagnosed until after high school.

  • Elizbeth Wurtzel- Prozac Nation (Based on the memoir)

I have seen Prozac Nation once. While renting movies I picked it up several times though eventually opting for something else. I knew nothing of the book or movie, but I found the title and cover aesthetically pleasing. I watched this alone right around the time I was diagnosed. I found it very upsetting to say the least. I identified too well with a lot of what was going on and at the time I was still in the denial stages. It is still not something I have plans to watch again anytime soon due to the fact that it conjures up memories of previous episodes. However, I do highly recommend it. Especially if you are female and have doubts about your diagnosis or just want to be able to identify if some of your behavior is due to your bipolar.

  • Monica Gallagher- Shameless (US)

I love this show for a variety of reasons. I have only seen the first two seasons I think, but I think the show does a good job of showing the havoc an untreated bipolar member can wreak on a family. This is in extreme cases of course, so don’t watch this and assume this is what your family must see in you.

  • Kathleen Stabler- Law & Order: SVU (Detective Elliot Stabler’s daughter)

I experience impulsivity, but nothing all that extreme. There are a few episodes centering around Detective Stabler’s daughter that illustrate impulsivity during mania. (Hyper sexuality, stealing etc.)

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