If you look up famous movies about PTSD, you won’t find the one playing in your dreams every night or in the flashbacks that come without warning. Sadly, if you look online for a list of movies with characters struggling with it, you won’t find as many as there have been because the list makers do not seem to understand that is part of the script even if not overtly so.
“This list answers the questions, “What are the best post-traumatic stress disorder movies?” and “What is the greatest post-traumatic stress disorder movie of all time?”
My eyebrows are hurting because I kept waiting to see the ones we know. They aren’t there. They do not call it PTSD when they show flashbacks, nightmares, mood swings, or emotional turmoil by characters unable to leave the past in the past. Yet, once you read this list, if you come across a movie you have seen, you’ll never think of the movie the same way again when you go back and watch it.
Jimmy Stewart brought his demon with him into the role after WWII.
EXCLUSIVE: How Jimmy Stewart’s agony in It’s a Wonderful Life came from extreme PTSD he suffered after he lost 130 of his men as a fighter pilot in WWII
Actor Jimmy Stewart was haunted by his memories from his time in the Air Force and suffered from PTSD when he returned from World War II
Stewart wrestled with the guilt of killing civilians in bomb raids over France and Germany and felt responsible for the death of his comrades
Stewart never talked about his struggles and bottled up his emotions
But they came out when acting parts he chose when he returned to Hollywood
He tapped into his emotional distress during the filming of It’s a Wonderful Life, where his character George Bailey unravels in front of his family
Stewart’s anguish is laid bare for the first time in Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the fight for Europe by author Robert Matzen (read more here)
I bet there are even more you may be thinking about right now. Any movie with nightmares of things that have been or flashbacks will have a reason for that being in the script. Use your inner PTSD couch critic and let other people you know see what you see, so they will be able to recognize the demons in the eyes of others. Then maybe we can all decide that there is no reason to hide the battles we fight since they are all watching these movies as entertainment.
If you are involved with church people, then read the Psalms with fresh eyes and you’ll find it there too!
Kathie Costos Author of Ministers Of The Mystery The Scribe Of Salem