Social Anxiety in Movies

social anxiety in movies

As someone trying to overcome social anxiety, I often seek out information to learn more about the disorder. I read websites, blogs, books, interviews, listen to podcasts, audio books, and watch Youtube videos and documentaries. And since movies have always been my first love, I’ve naturally searched for films about social anxiety, as well.

Social anxiety disorder is rarely portrayed in film, however; because if you have a shy character on screen who doesn’t talk or take action, you will probably have a boring movie. Thankfully some filmmakers have taken on the challenge to make movies with shy introverted characters. Those films may never implicitly state that the characters have social anxiety disorder, but the characters suffer from many of the classic symptoms, and I can definitely relate to them.

So I’m launching a new running column on the blog, where I will watch and review movies that are in some way related to social anxiety disorder. I won’t be critiquing the film itself so much as its portrayal of social anxiety and how it compares to my own experiences. I’ll also try to figure out what, if anything, we can learn about social anxiety from the movie.

Click here for the current full list of movies I’ve reviewed in this series.

Possible future films to review:

  • Adaptation
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  • Speak
  • Nerve
  • Mary and Me
  • Waiting
  • Napoleon Dynamite
  • Punch-Drunk Love
  • Amelie
  • The Net
  • Now Voyager
  • Lars and the Real Girl
  • Bubble
  • Girl, Interrupted
  • Harold & Maude
  • Elling
  • Clockwatchers
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Dead Poets Society
  • Greenburg
  • Thomas in Love
  • American Beauty
  • Donnie Darko
  • Taxi Driver
  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Run Ricky Run
  • Thomas in Love
  • Carrie
  • Willard
  • Ginger Snaps
  • Only The Lonely
  • Crumb
  • My Best Friend
  • Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend
  • God’s Lonely Man
  • Floundering
  • Welcome to the Dollhouse
  • As Good as It Gets
  • About Schmidt
  • Edward Scissorhands
  • Lost in Translation
  • Buffalo ’66
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
  • The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
  • [Safe] 
  • Fallen Angel
  • An Invisible Sign
  • Dan in Real Life
  • Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  • Office Space
  • Bread and Butter 
  • Up in the Air
  • The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • Pretend We’re Kissing
  • Radio Rebel

If you have any suggestions to add to the list, or a request for the next social anxiety movie to review, feel free to post them in the comments below.

19 thoughts on “Social Anxiety in Movies

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  15. Daniel

    Moonlight and Fantastic Beasts are two more movies with shy main characters that come to mind. Moonlight is an especially comforting one for me, as the main character experiences some degree of self-acceptance by the end of the movie.

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