Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"Of Two Minds": straightforward documentary about people with bipolar disorder

Of Two Minds” is a documentary, by Douglas Blush and Lisa J. Klein, looks at the lives of three people living with bipolar disorder. 
The condition seems less well defined than many other issues (even OCD) covered by other documentary films. 
One artist says he suddenly feels, he can’t take care of anything, that he’s never been normal, when he has always taken care of things.
A young woman says her illness started when a bird landed on her head. Later she discusses being bisexual.  During "up" phases, there is a tendency "you" can have anyone. 
Another older man, also an artist and architect, says, “artists are temperamental.”  He had also enjoyed cross-dressing, but was not truly transgender. He also used crack, and once barely missed getting busted. After standing on a bridge over an overpass, he said “I had to live”. 
“It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not.”  One of the men says that the mania is great, but sometimes people actually “enjoy” the depression.
One big problem is that medication “dulls” creative people.  
Health insurance has been a huge problem for people with bipolar disorder, as a pre-existing condition; it’s not clear how well Obamacare (“The Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act”) has helped with this. Medication typically costs about $600 a month. 
NIH has a detailed page on bipolar disorder, and suggests that it can be quite acute and disabling.  
When I was growing up, it was called manic-depressive. 
The official site is here  (Docurama and New Video).
I watched the film on Netflix instant video. 
The film should not be confused with the TV movie of the same name by Jim O’Hanlon, reviewed here March 11, 2012.  

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