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Mental Illness in Fiction

Few conditions are as often stigmatized, misdiagnosed and misunderstood as mental illnesses. Whether schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders, or any other maladies of the mind, you can be sure there has been controversial debate about it. At times it seems as though early treatments were little more than trial and error or process of elimination.

From Boo Radley to R.P. McMurphy, some of literature’s most memorable characters have suffered from mental illness, and it’s fascinating to see how their stories changed over the years, as the world continues to learn, decipher and understand mental illness.

See 25 of the best examples of Mental Illness in Fiction

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