Very few people feel comfortable talking about mental illnesses however these anime have done so in a way which doesn’t always explicitly say but instead gives certain characters the characteristics of certain mental illnesses.

PTSD

What is PTSD?

PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which is normally causes by a stressful or traumatic event in someones life. PTSD can cause the person to have frequent nightmares and flashbacks of the traumatic event in their daily lives which can make them feel isolated, guilty or irritable. They typically have insomnia – difficult sleeping – due to these nightmares and the fear of falling asleep knowing the nightmares will be there. (NHS) 

Anime Examples:

  • Naruto

Naruto tells the story of Naruto Uzumaki, an adolescent ninja who searches constantly for recognition and dreams of becoming the Hokage, the ninja in his village who is acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of all. (Wikipedia).

In Naruto’s group there is a character called Sasuke who has suffered the traumatic experience of his entire clan being murdered by his brother. He, for the most part, does not understand why his brother did this and for a lot of the anime he is after his brother to get revenge on his clan. The death of his entire clan could be the cause of why Sasuke appears emotionless in a lot of the anime and his obsession with finding and killing his brother.

  • Your Lie in April  

Your Lie in April approaches the story of Kousei’s recovery as he discovers that music is more than playing each note perfectly, and a single melody can bring in the fresh spring air of April. (Anime List).

Before the events occurring in the anime, Kousei’s mother died and since she was a big influence on her sons music, he stopped playing the piano till the point he became deaf to his own fingers against the keyboard. This is a clear portrayal of someone suffering with PTSD as the death of his mother has traumatised him to the point that it has affected what was his normal everyday life. However the anime shows his slow road to recovering and rediscovering his love for the piano again.

 

Schizophrenia

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a long term mental health issue which can include voices in your head, hallucinations, delusions, muddled thoughts and behavioural changes. (NHS)

Anime Example: 

  • Steins Gate

Steins;Gate takes Okabe through the depths of scientific theory and practicality. Forced across the diverging threads of past and present, Okabe must shoulder the burdens that come with holding the key to the realm of time(Anime List).

In Steins Gate, there are many times where we can see the character of Okabe laughing to himself and talking into his phone when there is no one on the other end. This can be classed as Schizophrenia as he is talking to a voice or something that isn’t there in the real world. But since the plot of this anime messes around with time period while him being the only one who knows what has happened, this could have a significant effect on his mental health.

Social Anxiety

What is Social Anxiety?

Social Anxiety is the constant fear of social interaction and can often be confused with shyness. However there is a distant difference between the two: Shyness is more not having the confidence to speak your mind where as Social Anxiety is the fear of speaking your mind and being with other people – this fear can sometimes cause the person to panic when they are uncomfortable within social situations and many try to avoid them at all costs. (NHS)

Anime Example:

  • Welcome to NHK

 

Welcome to the NHK is is a psychological drama comedy that follows Tatsuhiro as he strives to escape from the NHK’s wicked machinations and the disease of self-wrought isolation, while struggling to even just leave his apartment and find a job. His unexpected encounter with the mysterious Misaki Nakahara might signal a reversal of fortune for Tatsuhiro, but with this meeting comes the inevitable cost of having to face his greatest fear—society (Anime List).

 

 

In this anime, Tatsuhiro has social anxiety to the point in which he fears the outside world and enjoys staying in the comfort of his own apartment. In Japanese culture there is a term used that typically describes someone who suffers from social anxiety and that is a NEET. NEET is used to describe someone who is no longer in the education system or in training or work. This normally describes someone who suffers from social anxiety, such as Tatsuhiro, as they become afraid of leaving their comfort zones.

Stockholm Syndrome

What is Stockholm Syndrome?

Stockholm Syndrome is when the person who has been kidnapped y someone else starts to fall in love or have desires for their kidnapper. (Wikipedia)

Anime Example: 

  • Mirai Nikki/ Future Diary

Mirai Nikki follows the story of Yukiteru Amano and Yuno Gasai. Deus, God of time and Space, grants them both along with 11 other holders the power to see the future through their diaries forces all of them into a bloody battle royale in order to take Deus’ place (Anime List)

In Mirai Nikki or Future Diary, the audiences focus is that of Yuno and her psychopathic tendencies and obsession with Yuki.  However Yuki himself appears to suffer from Stockholm Syndrome. When he first met Yuno, he felt creeped out by her and found her obsession and stalking nature creepy but as time went on and Yuno kidnapped him, he appears to have fallen in love with Yuno.

 

 Suicide

What is Suicide?

Suicide is the act of ending your own life (NHS). 

Anime Example:

  • Narutaru/Shadow Star

During her summer holiday at her grandparents house Tamai Shiina, a young and cheerful schoolgirl, meets a strange looking creature. They befriend each other and Shiina names it “Hoshimaru: The Round Star.” When Shiina returns home after the summer to go back to school, she starts meeting other kids that also have befriended a strange creature like Hoshimaru. But she soon finds out that not all these creatures and their masters are as friendly as Hoshimaru (Anime List).

This anime deals with the theme of suicide by having kids befriend monsters and some of the monsters persuade the kids to kill themselves. While this is a very dark subject, it can show how some people who are contemplating suicide feel as if it is beyond their control.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

If you ever feel concerned that you are developed or have developed a mental illness, there is no harm or shame in seeking help. Remember, you are never alone.

For details on what do if you are experiencing any of this or if you have been affected by any of the topics , please visit the link below on who you can contact:

 

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/getting-help