Diagnosing Love, Energy: A Bi-Polar Story

If you have a loved one with mental illness or, specifically bipolar disorder, this film will resonate with you. Katie Hayes is a 28 year old free lance photographer who recently interviewed photographer and activist Charlie Ward.

Katie made a short film documentary about her sister's experience with bi-polar disorder. While I have never had bi-polar disorder, I have had major depression, and many things that her sister said ring true. It is so difficult to explain "what depression is like" to someone who has never had it, and even more so when most people believe that depression is something you can make go away just by "thinking positive thoughts." Even more difficult is getting people to understand that depression is something that causes one not to function; many people assume it is just "lack of willpower" or "laziness."

The film also talks about how many hospitals don't give doctors enough time to really diagnose a mental health disorder, and to make up for it will prescribe several medications at one time. Side effects of one medication may actually be seen as a symptom of the disorder instead of a side effect, and so another medication will be prescribed to counter that "symptom." At one point, Katie's sister is put on 10 different prescription medications. As you will see, the results are disastrous.

Here is the film in its entirety. At the end of the film are links to getting help for bi-polar disorder if you need help or know someone who needs help. Or, you can go here: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/complete-index.shtml

Diagnosing Love, Energy from Katie Hayes on Vimeo.

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