No Kidding! Me 2!! is both the title of a film and the non-profit organization behind it dedicated to “stomping the stigma” surrounding mental “dis-ease”. The documentary is the directorial debut of actor Joe Pantoliano, who has appeared in such films and TV series as The Sopranos, The Matrix and Memento.
Pantoliano’s goal is to make brain disease “cool and sexy” so that somebody suffering from this condition could openly admit to it in the same way that they could any other physical malady. According to statistics in the movie, 1 in 4 Americans suffer from mental illness. Such frequency means that 4 in 5 Americans have a friend or family member with this condition. Having to cope with stigma makes treatment and recovery additionally challenging.
This 76-minute documentary focuses on the stories of several people who have survived and flourished in spite of their disease. They include the director himself, his wife, and his children. Pantoliano relates his experience with clinical depression and addiction. He explains how it influenced his decision to become an actor and how it affected his career. His wife and children also share what it was like to live with him during his bad periods. We also meet a diverse group of people who share their stories of enduring clinical depression, bi-polar disorder, self-mutilation, attempted suicide, schizophrenia, PTSD, ADHD and addiction.
This engaging film is available for purchase as a dvd or video stream through Amazon.com and iTunes. Numerous reviewers on Amazon report that it has been useful in encouraging discussion and greater understanding in a number of venues including classrooms and clinical settings.
For those inspired by this film to work for the reduction of stigma we offer the following free toolkit, available both as an electronic download and iPad book:
For those inspired by this film to work for the reduction of stigma we offer the following free toolkit, available both as an electronic download and iPad book: Anti-Stigma Toolkit: A Guide to Reducing Addiction-Related Stigma