10 Monologues from Characters Coping with Mental Illness

Written by Meghan Mitchell

December 20, 2016

Are you in search of a monologue from a character dealing with mental illness?  Whether it is depression, suicide, or schizophrenia, each of these characters is suffering through, or helping someone along their journey, in battling their own mind.  Everyone has their own inner demons, and these characters are not afraid to voice the inner turmoil plaguing their psyche.

A monologue from Nobody by Crystal Skillman

(Female, Dramatic, 20s)
Six people come together, each for their own reasons, at a restaurant on the Lower East Side. Obsessively going over the events of the day, they grasp at trying to come to terms with their disjointed lives and their singular, unsettling dream. Ilona, the waitress at the restaurant, recounts to the audience a few moments and feelings from her life. She describes a fantasy she’s had about being hired as an actress on a soap opera, which leads into an anecdote about the time she realized that her mother had been married when she met her father. All of this ties together when she explains that she’s been going to doctors in an attempt to diagnose her depression.

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A monologue from A Louisiana Gentleman by Rosary O’Neill

(Male, Dramatic, 20s)
A Louisiana Gentleman is a comedy that exposes Blaine Ashton, a young medical student desperate to choose among three women: his manic sixteen year-old sister, a seductive middle aged actress, and his alcoholic, duty-driven aunt. A hilarious climax forces Blaine to decide in which world he belongs and bridge the painful gap to adulthood. In this monologue, Blaine speaks to his newborn baby about his mentally retarded sister Dale.

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A Monologue from Norman! by DT Arcieri

(Male or Female, Serio-Comedic/Comedic, 20s – 40s)
Norman has sought out a variety of methods to get a hold of his severe anxiety. After losing his wife and job he is willing to try anything. From conventional to new age he is on a journey to find the root of his mental illness. At this point in the play he has decided to talk to a Neuropsychiatrist after having a rough experience with a physic. After this long explanation of what is going on with his brain, she/he can only offer him pills. She/He keeps using the word “dysfunctional” to describe his condition which stings him a little more each time.

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A monologue from One Good Thing by Don Zolidis

(Female, Dramatic, Teens)
Travis, a senior in high school, is pretty miserable. The girl he’s in love with doesn’t know he exists, his father is leaving his mother, and his older brother has been deployed to Iraq. Erynne, a rebellious punk girl, has been kicked out of her house and is living in a mini-van and her boyfriend is thinking about dumping her. Even though they have class together at school, Travis and Erynne don’t know each other. And whether or not they find each other will determine if they live through the night. This is a play about dealing with tragedy and the strength necessary to survive, all in the search for just one good thing. In this monologue, Erynne talks to her boyfriend Nemo about the death and suicide of her sister Dierdre.

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A monologue from Dear Chuck by Jonathan Dorf

(Male or Female, Dramatic, Teens)
This character sits in a church at a funeral for one of their classmates.  All of the other kids from school are there, while his/her mom sits in the back of the church, waiting until it’s over to take him/her home.  In this inner monologue, this teen tries to make sense of the suicide that happened, observing the service; one classmate can’t make it through singing Amazing Grace in the choir.  In an age of trying to find out who we are (what our “Chuck” is), this teen is caught up in the greatest unknown—death.

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A monologue from The Fainting Couch by Jill Elaine Hughes

(Female, Comedic/Serio-Comedic, Late teens-20s)
Julia, a poor, depressed young woman without health insurance seeks free help under the care of Dr. Nukulye, an Anglo-Kenyan psychiatry resident seeking certification in the U.S. This isn’t Julia’s first round in therapy, but to this point nothing seems to have worked. Her past dysfunctional sexual relationships haunt her through the guise of an “Everyman Lover” who lives mostly in Julia’s mind. Unfortunately, Dr. Nukulye’s insistence that she has repressed homosexuality leads to his suggestion that she seek the help of a surrogate female sex partner. What Julia doesn’t know is that Dr. Nukulye has a hidden agenda driven by his own deviant sexual fetishes that have gotten him into trouble in the professional world. In this monologue, Julia describes how depression feels to the audience.

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A monologue from Broadway or Bust by Rosary O’Neill

(Male, Comedic, Late Teens – 40s)
Two love struck actors audition for Broadway and are confronted with questions that are afraid to answer and routines that lead them into questioning their lives. The lights of Broadway illuminate this escapade into the audition process and the magical world of acting. A wild outrageous comedy full of romance, intimacy and dare deviling action. As a breast cancer survivor and an alcoholic defy all rules to get cast. In this monologue, Johnny attacks the auditioner for his invasiveness.

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A monologue from About a Goth by Tom Wells

(Male, Dramatic, Teens)
This speech is the start of a monologue play about a young man who volunteers in old people’s homes, and suffers paroxysms of love and hate for the residents. The play, narrated by Nick in the present tense, traces the events of a life-changing day. It is intercut with recollections from the past. Nick is gay. He has feelings for Greg, and later on in the play it seems as though these may be reciprocated. Nick has a love of the Existentialists. You might like to read Camus’ The Stranger, if you have not already done so. By the end of the day, Nick is no longer a goth.

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A monologue from 20-Nothing by Ashleigh Ann Gardner

(Female, Dramatic, Teens – 40s)
In this monologue, Ava tries to relate to her therapist how her emotions and self-worth have been attacked and beaten down by a feeling of worthlessness. She is bogged down by what a doctor would call depression, but her descriptions are more poetic than direct, implying that she knows how she feels but is unaware of what’s causing it or how to stop it. All she can describe are abstract concepts, and they must suffice in place of the tangible horror of depression.

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A monologue from Women of Choice by David Rush

(Female, Serio-Comedic/Dramatic, 20s – 40s)
Women of Choice is a collection of monologues, each spoken by a woman who has made a significant choice in her life.  The show is in the manner of Talking With or Vagina Monologues.  This standalone monologue is entitled “SANDRA, the Writer.” Sandra is speaking to a doctor, a psychiatrist. She is a very creative woman, but she’s having a problem dealing with the voice in her head that tells her what to write. She attempts to tell her doctor how she started writing.

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Looking for other monologue collections? Check out the ones below!

Meghan Mitchell is a working actor who graduated cum laude from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois with a B.A. in Musical Theatre. She loves Shakespeare and nightly fireworks, and after working regionally and on ships, she is now proud to call Orlando her home.