Thursday, September 24, 2009

Well, filming is complete but now lies the very exciting and demanding job of editing. There are so many artistic avenues to raise awareness, I can not stick to just one:) Some say a movie is made during editing. I agree with this. I have about 4 hours of interviews and other material which will be condense down into a 1-2 hour documentary. I have so many ideas of how I will weave these very inspiring stories together. Since I have a very obsessive attitude when it comes to my work, I know that many of my nights will be spent in front of my iMac as I try to perfect the flow of this  film. I can't imagine that others will not be moved by these different yet similar points of views (as expressed by the interviewees). Just to give you an idea of what to expect, here are descriptions of the participants:

• A young woman who was diagnosed with schizophrenia 10 years ago. Her story is proof that recovery is possible. Plus, her courage to speak out against stigma will show others that NO ONE should be silence by ignorance or fear.

• A mother who's  son was diagnosed with schizophrenia about 10 years ago. Her point of view is unique since she is fighting to raise awareness so that her son can live a life with dignity and respect. I connected with her right away since I want the same for my brother.

• A young man who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder about 10 years ago. Aside from his positive attitude towards recovery and life, this man's artwork and poems are sure to show how perseverance can aid in recovery.

• A mother who lost a son to suicide but keeps his spirit alive by raising awareness wherever she can. I am very honored to be able to share her story since suicide carries a much harsher stigma. Like myself, this woman believes that raising awareness about all mental illness can and will prevent suicide.

Well, I will be working hard and keeping all of you in mind as I continue on my journey. Thank you again for all of your support:)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I continue to be inspired by everyone I meet along this journey to fight stigma. I was asked to show the first edition of my documentary last night, even though at this point, I am focused on the content of the second edition. As a creative director and artist, I am subject to all sorts of criticism. It's part of the job:) Part of my growth as an artist involves the consideration of this criticism. I am known to be very stubborn and strong willed, but I am working on this. A few of the attendees expressed some VERY good points. All of  which I will take into deep consideration. There were parts of the film which show how mental illness can lead to suicide. I realize that I do not want my final film to dwell on this very unfortunate circumstance. 

When I created the first edition, I was immersed in the reality that my  brother had attempted suicide three times. My mind set at the time did not allow for too much hope and I was most likely dealing with my own depression. We were in the thick of my brother's psychosis. However, as he continues to improve and I continue to meet so many survivors, I am more focused on sending a positive message. Don't get me wrong, my first edition is full of positivity and I am happy with the outcome. But I have a unique task at hand. I must express my own personal views on this social issue while being a voice for millions. I would like to let everyone know that I am so excited about my second edition since it's message will be one of hope, courage and strength. I will do my best to make all of your proud.  

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Well, this appears to be true in the following article about antidepressant use. Studies show that antidepressant use has doubled in the U.S. between 1996 and 2005. Of course, some may argue that doctors are too quick to prescribe pills. However, I think this may be proof that social acceptance (or elimination of stigma) can encourage others to seek treatment (including therapy). As always, I commend anyone who battles mental illness and accepts treatment as a means to recovery. Here is the article.  

Sunday, September 6, 2009

At first, the following quote from Megan Fox left me speechless:

"I basically read every book ever written about Marilyn Monroe. I could end up like that because I constantly struggle with the idea that I think I’m a borderline personality—or that I have bouts of mild schizophrenia. I definitely have some kind of mental problem and I haven’t pinpointed what it is."

If you ask me, Megan is just one of many actresses who longs to be compared to an icon. Marilyn was truly unique and struggled her entire childhood. Her mother was in and out of mental hospitals and her father was not around. Most of her childhood was spent in foster homes. It's very narcissistic of Megan to frivolously claim she MAY be dealing with a serious mental disorder. I hope she could meet others who are in recovery or still fighting their demons. Maybe then, she would not make such insensitive comments. Trust me Megan, you would KNOW if you had a mental illness such as schizophrenia. Also, try to be yourself and make a difference instead of striving to be someone you are not. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

There are days when I just can't bring myself to think about my brother because it is too painful. Josh has been in a state hospital since February 2009. In the past, my family would cherish the fleeting moments of recovery or mental stability which existed between involuntary hospital stays. For the past seven months, my brother passed the time by roaming the white hospital halls, smeared in fingerprints and dirt. He paces to the rhythm of a psychosis that he can't seem to shake. He will not acknowledge his newborn niece, though his mind will not allow him to. I want to blame someone so I blame the mental health system. But they are only doing their jobs to carry out rules and regulations. As a family member, you feel like everyone who is "doing their job" looks right through you as they ignore your hunger to fix things. So, our hands remain tied, very tightly. How can I enjoy my career success, my life or even sunshine when someone I love is repeatedly choked by his own mind. I am haunted by the sensitive little boy who could never predict or deserve a future like this. My brother may be a victim of circumstance but he will forever live in my work, my mind and all that I do. Please get better Josh!