Let’s get something straight: teenage depression exists. It isn’t stupid and it isn’t just all in their head. It turns out that being a teen/young adult is actually bloody hard these days.
This movie recognizes that and I could not love it more.
The story revolves around 16 year Craig and his five day stay in a psychiatric ward (which he gets checked in to after insisting to an ER doctor that he needs immediate help as he has been contemplating suicide). I get Craig. He feels pressure to do well at school so that he can go to a good college, get a good job and live a good life – and he feels like the world will end if he fails at any point. Who hasn’t struggled with those feelings?
I loved how real the movie felt. I could recognize people’s reactions to my own struggles with mental illness in their reactions to Craig’s. I understood how Craig felt like he wasn’t crazy but like he still needed help. I related to how having a few days to check out from his life and just re-calibrate helped him to find a new enthusiasm to live and deal with his issues.
Any teenager or young adult who is struggling to figure out this absolutely insane life should watch this movie. Actually, everyone should watch this movie. It will make you feel like you’re not alone. Like depression is ok and that lots of people struggle with it. Like it is ok to ask for help. Like depression is survivable. And like things can get better.
FYI, they can. They do.