It is represented in the media, so it exists: anxiety in the movies 'Eighth Grade' and 'Silver Linings Playbook'

Célia Belim, Beatriz Mota Duarte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



This paper aims to understand how anxiety disorders are represented in the films Eighth Grade and Silver Linings Playbook. A filmic analysis is conducted, specifically narrative analysis. Additionally, qualitative interviews with qualified informants bring a more robust understanding of anxiety disorders and explanation of the results obtained. The results reveal that the filmmakers choose to represent characters with characteristics that go beyond mental illness, enabling an identification by the viewers. In Eighth Grade, there are characteristics coincident with the symptomatology, such as apathy, restlessness, and irritability, and deviant ones, such as dependence on the Internet, the manifestation of increased maturity, and the revealing of confidence. In Silver Linings Playbook, irritability, mood swings, and refuge in sports are coincident particularities, and the expression of happiness, motivation, and recognition of overcoming are dissonant symptomatology. In both films, there was an attempt by the filmmakers to convey a positive message and a happy ending, condensing the idea of overcoming mental illness. The films, assuming an educational function, provide tools that teach how to deal with anxiety in everyday life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-70
Number of pages20
Issue number52
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2022


  • Eighth grade
  • Silver linings playbook
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Media representation
  • Narrative analysis


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