Sunday, January 2, 2011


Every so often a movie comes along and captures mental illness in its most honest and realistic form (something I plan to do with my own documentary). It is necessary for the public to understand the reality of mental illness in order to eliminate stereotypes/discrimination. However, for every one true film their are countless others that hinder recovery and understanding. By fueling stigma through media, we create more damage than entertainment. Below are two trailers that I hope will urge you to watch each film in their entirety. Both films are about two artists with mental illness: The Devil and Daniel Johnston and My name is Alan and I Paint Pictures. I am grateful for the courageous individuals who not only fight a battle from within but try to combat stigma by inspiring hope. May their strength inspire others to come forward and share their own story. (Pretty ironic that Cobain is wearing a Daniel Johnston shirt in photo below since both may have/had bipolar disorder.)


  1. Hi Amber,

    This two movies looke very interesting. Are they out on video? Or are the in the movies? I am glad to see movies that show mental illness as it really is. You know what really distrubed me? On Halloween, I saw a couple of movies from the "Halloween" series. And it's like the psychiatrist is chasing the killer and the little girl is having fits because the killer is in her, but she is in a mental hosptial. It was just really distrubing. I don't generally watch scary movies, but it wasn't scary it was more offensive! I would like to see them make a movie making fun of race, color, creed then see what people do! It's not funny and it shouldn't be for mental illness either.

    Just my two cents, LOL.

  2. I think it's also necessary for the mentally ill to gain the confidence to use their own voice to fight the stigma. After all what other type of illness leads to such levels of dismissal of the individual?

    Doing my bit by starting my own blogsite last year.

    Good to find you, it helps me feel less alone in the battle.

  3. Thanks Amber for posting these two clips of films about mentally ill artists. There are a lot of us out here deserving of attention and basic respect. I am always amazed by the resiliency of the human spirit to be expressive and creative despite difficult circumstances.

    Kate : )

  4. Lord it seems a long time since I was here. Been on a roller coaster ride and swamped by downloads of mental health problems. So much so that I had to pull away to safeguard my own health.

    I'm winding up my blogsite soon as I've reached my limit on what I can say on the whole subject of mental illness. Glad I did it as it helped me in my own condition, gave me an outlet for something I felt I was being banned from talking about but most of all it is in memory of my much loved and missed Mum.

    She had a schizoid disorder of some kind. I was never interested to find out what the label was though as it was irrelevant. It didn't define her, it wasn't who she was.

    I recommend people sharing their thoughts and experiences as I have in but I would say don't make it your life. Use it as an outlet for those times when you need it, don't let it control how you live your life and never feel guilty whenever you need a change of scene. I did and had to work darn hard to get through that one.

    This is a good blogsite, I hope there will be many more so that anyone and everyone with mental health difficulties will know they are not alone and so that they can find just the right ones to help them.

    All best wishes to everyone. My heart, spirit and soul will forever be rooting for you to find happiness, peace, respect, acceptance and recognition for all the wonderful things you are as people and all the phenomenal challenges you overcome.

    Oceans of love. WW xxx