Living with Bipolar Disorder
In this clip from the documentary “No Kidding, Me 2!” (2010), Mackenzie discusses the impact of bipolar disorder on her life. This video includes references to intravenous drug use and may not be appropriate for young, immature viewers. This video is available on the No Kidding? Me Too! YouTube channel. (00:02:06)
Marya Hornbacher, Madness Part 1
In this video, Marya Hornbacher, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Madness: A Bipolar Life, reads from her book and speaks at Vail Place in Minneapolis in 2009. This is one of a series of videos from the same presentation. Hornbacher is poignant and funny, and her words are searing. Her unique way with words allows her to advocate for people who share this disorder but cannot communicate about the effects of it on their lives. This video would be helpful for clients with severe mental illness and for clinicians working with them because it is both honest and hopeful. A variety of Hornbacher’s speeches are available on vailplace’s YouTube channel. (00:10:00)
Other parts of this speech are relevant to eating disorders, addiction, and mental illness in general:
- Marya Hornbacher, Madness Part 2
- Marya Hornbacher, Madness Part 3
- Marya Hornbacher, Madness Part 4
- Marya Hornbacher, Madness Part 5
20/20 Interview: Demi Lovato Reveals Bipolar Diagnosis
In this 20/20 interview, Disney star Demi Lovato reveals for the first time that she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She details her experience with mental illness, which began in early childhood as a result of bullying in school and led to cutting and self-harm, and the moment at which she and her family recognized she needed treatment. Many aspects of this video could be useful for discussion about stigma, bipolar disorder, and self-harm. A distinctive part of this video is the empathy the interviewer shows while listening to Lovato describe her self-harm, something that many people have a hard time showing when hearing such stories. (00:07:51)
“Up/Down” Bipolar Disorder Documentary
This full-length documentary contains many valuable segments that cover various aspects of bipolar disorder, including its history, treatment, and the stigma associated with it. Depending on the discussion, many segments of this video could be effectively used for a presentation on some aspect of bipolar disorder (refer to the bulleted list below for subjects covered in specific timed segments). This film was created by Arpi-Revo productions and won the 2011 Indie Gathering Star Award and the 2011 Accolade Competition Merit Award, and was a 2011 Reel Film Festival Nominee for Best Feature Documentary. This video is available on the Arpi-Revo YouTube channel and their website www.arpi-revo.com. (01:23:28)
- (00:00:00-00:02:30) This segment gives statistics about the prevalence of bipolar disorder in the U.S. and lists famous individuals who have had the disorder.
- (00:02:30-00:12:24) This segment begins with a discussion of stigma and features individuals on the street describing what they know about the condition. This reveals many misconceptions as well as some relatively accurate interpretations. Then the film takes a look at the history of the definition of the disorder and interviews psychiatrists and psychologists to get a more present-day clinical definition. This segment could be used for a discussion about the general public’s knowledge of the disorder, including its history.
- (00:12:24-00:17:24) This segment steers away from the medical definitions in favor of interviewing individuals with bipolar disorder themselves. In this segment, the individuals speak about their lives before diagnosis.
- (00:17:24-00:23:45) This segment is very interesting because of the variety of responses that the interviewer gets from his interviewees. What makes this documentary refreshing is that these individuals are not placed in a box and viewers are not led to believe that all people experience the disorder in the same way. This segment asks the individuals to describe how they felt after being diagnosed with the disorder, and answers range from absolute elation to utter shame and denial. This segment would be an especially important one for behavioral healthcare workers to view in that it exposes the reality that while some may be grateful for the diagnosis, others will want to run from it. This may be informative for empathetic practices of diagnosis.
- (00:23:45-00:25:48) This segment is similar to the one above in that it elicits varied responses from the interviewees. They reveal the different reactions they received and some of the internal struggle they went through in revealing their diagnosis to friends and loved ones.
- (00:25:48 – 00:31:23) Individuals describe their experiences with manic episodes.
- (00:31:23 – 00:34:26) Individuals describe their different experiences with depressive episodes. Perhaps this segment and the preceding segment would be useful presented together.
- (00:34:26 – 00:40:27) This segment begins with the interviewer asking the individuals to describe a pivotal moment with bipolar disorder—either during a manic or depressive episode—that changed their lives. Many of the stories are grueling; they include suicide attempts, self-harm, and ECT treatment.
- 00:47:27 – 00:51:15 Individuals discuss treatments and side effects they have experienced and the benefits and side effects of medications they are currently taking. They also discuss their individual views on therapy.
- (00:51:15 – 00:54:34) Individuals describe the differences they’ve seen comparing themselves before and after treatment. This is a very encouraging segment for behavioral healthcare workers, but also discusses the grief over giving up the “highs” and creativity that mania offers some individuals.
- (00:54:34 – 01:00:33) Individuals describe experiences they have had with discrimination and stigma because of their disorder. They offer poignant insights into societal views of bipolar disorder as they experience it. The individuals are asked why they believe more men refused the interview than women did. This section would be great to show to a general population as well as those working with individuals with the disorder in order to create more empathetic understanding of these individuals’ experiences.
- (01:00:33 – 01:09:08) This segment shows interviews of the friends and family members of individuals with bipolar disorder. This might be helpful to show to families and those working with families affected by the disorder.
- (01:09:08 – 01:13:01) This segment shows family members describing how they view bipolar disorder differently now that they have been impacted by it through a loved one.
- (01:13:01 – 01:23:28) asks the individuals with the disorder what their hopes are for the future and to sum up what it’s like to have bipolar disorder. They continue to discuss stigma and the daily struggle to be healthy. Of all of the segments, this might be the best one to show in that it addresses stigma and the struggle (in a few very creative analogies) as well as hope and treatment.