4. Scarlet Witch
One of the most realistic depictions of mental health can be seen in the life of Scarlet Witch. Wanda Maximoff spent her formative years struggling to create an existence that wasn’t defined by other people. In her earliest appearances, she was shown to be in the shadow of her brother Quicksilver and manipulated by villains like Magneto.
Wanda’s feelings of inadequacy came to a head in House of M, where she suffered a psychotic break and wiped out a large percentage of the mutant population. Wanda spent a long time feeling guilty for her mistakes, which exacerbated her depression and anxiety.
Scarlet Witch finally started to recover in James Robinson’s impressive solo series. Wanda learned to stop blaming herself. She began to see a therapist. She quit drinking alcohol to stop it effecting her mental health - but she also acknowledged that her battle with depression was ongoing.
This is a powerful reminder that mental health disorders can’t be dealt with overnight. It takes constant work and self-care.