Mental Books & Movies..

  • Books ii love!!

Mimi Baird – He Wanted the Moon

Manic – Terry Cheney

The Dark Side of  Innocence – Terry Cheney

Girl, Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen

Stonehearst Asylum –  Kate Beckinsale

  • Movies ii love!!

Out of the Darkness – Starring Diana Ross

A Beautiful Mind – Kevin Spacey

Touched by Fire -Starring Katie Holmes

Girl, Interrupted – Susanna Kaysen

32 Pills – On Demand  (Ruth Litoff)

Shutter Island – Leonardo DiCaprio

Inception – Leonardo Dicaprio

Infinitely Polar Bear – Zoe Saldana

Gothika – Halle Berry

 

 

Bring Back Black Box!!

ABC 2014 TV Series starring Kelly Reilly (from Heaven is for Real) plays Catherine Black a neurologist who has full blown Bipolar Disorder!! 

(online on iTunes)

Catherine Black plays a beautiful, brilliant neurologist who uncovers the mysteries of the brain. But, get this!! She has full blown Bipolar Disorder!! For me, her performance/character was captivating because it proved that mental illness has no limits. It showed that every case is different and should be treated with care. This role gave Kelly depth in her acting abilities and me the courage to be myself and hold on to the ones I love!!

As a doctor Catherine’s treatment was coming from some place real, reaching far beyond science and anything you could ever learn in a book. As the series progresses Dr. Black is torn between two love affairs, keeping secrets from her family and co-workers and struggling to manage an unpredictable illness. I was so sad to see this show end after one season. But, it definitely draws you in and is certainly worth binge watching.

Sorry, I don’t do spoilers!!

But, you can check the show out for free on *Daily Motion* (or pay $34.99 on iTunes) and be sure to come back to post your episode-by-episode commentary if you are so lead!!


Also, check out the NBC 2013 TV Series Do No Harm

(Online on YouTube, iTunes and Google Play)

DO NO HARM — Season Pilot — Pictured: Steven Pasquale as Dr. Jason Cole/Ian Price — Respected neurosurgeon Dr. Jason Cole has it all: a great job, a winning personality — and a dangerous alternate personality. For years Jason has been able to keep his other self — a devious, borderline sociopath who goes by the name of Ian — in a chemical prison with a powerful sedative, but his body has developed a resistance, allowing Ian to escape. And Ian is angry about the time he has lost. With so much to lose, Jason must find a way to stop Ian from destroying everything that Jason has worked so hard to build.

My take on “THE ACT.”

the-act

When my daughters finally convinced me to watch this show on Hulu, I was skeptical at best and slightly bored with the way they described it. Its a true story. I had heard of people who manipulated the system to get what they wanted so I thought it was pretty typical. Of course, I told them, “NO SPOILERS” and got to watch them squirm in their seats as things slowly began to unfold..

First of all, I was in shock because it all took place so close to where I live and I had never heard of the story. Secondly, the 1st episode was may more than I expected!! As I sat and stared at the scene where the mother opened the cabinet where all her daughters’ medicine was stored. I was literally sitting there with my mouth hanging open trying to wrap my mind around what kind of mental illness would cause this type of behavior on this level?? But, it was a familiar feeling and very uncomfortable. I had the same response when  I watched Hoarders for the 1st time. I mean I knew people were sick (me included) but this was sick on a whole other level!! If you haven’t heard about the story by now, don’t feel bad.. I was lost too. It stars Patricia Arquette (CSI: Cyber) playing the mother and Joey King (Ramona and Beezus) as Gipsy the daughter. For decades, the single mother (Dee Dee) suffered from Munchausen by Proxy and learned how to manipulate the system and gain sympathy from people, doctors and hospitals all over the world to keep her daughter sick, broken and dependent on her. Ultimately, Gipsy gains her freedom through one unspeakable “act” that forever changes the trajectory of her life. (Trying not to give too many spoilers lol.)

thO3P5HILCContrary to popular opinion, we all judge when it comes to things we don’t understand and mental illness is no exception. We may not like to admit it. But, every mental illness is different and usually shocking to people who don’t struggle with it and even more shocking for people who do. We tell ourselves “at least my issues aren’t that bad” or “Thank God I will never struggle on that level.” We put ourselves on these pedestals and that’s why we can’t relate when we hear about a mental illness that is outside of the “norm.” Hopefully, Gipsy’s story will shed new light on Munchausen and other people will get help for it before its too late.

My heart broke for Gipsy and I initially felt a deep rage and anger toward her mother.

At first..

Then I got to see just how sick she actually was and I felt an incredible sadness for her as well. She gave me a inside look at how far a mentally ill person would go to ease the pain and suffering she was feeling inside. I could only imagine the mother’s childhood and the things she went through before she had Gipsy. At one point, I had even more sympathy for her. Dee Dee used Gipsy as her security blanket. Just as a baby uses one for comfort. Gipsy loved and adored her mom and never wanted to do anything to hurt or upset her so she went along with her mother’s “act” even when she could sense something was wrong. How many of us have felt that way?? Before our diagnoses?? After?? I remember growing up and pacifying my mother’s behavior. I remember overlooking all the dysfunction just to feel some type of genuine love in my heart. Dee Dee was Gipsy’s world and I didn’t blame her for protecting her mother.

So overall, once I got over all the shock I could see a lot of their behavior in countless stories I have heard over the years and even in a little bit of my own story. So my take away was that we need to allow people to use their voices and share their story, Especially, when it comes to criminal justice!! Not everyone is just “acting.”

Girl, Interrupted – A Review

Woman, Interpreted

Entertainment Feature
Susanna Kaysen saw her troubled past re-created by Winona Ryder in Girl, Interrupted
By Sarah Saffian
Us, February 2000

girlint

WHEN WINONA RYDER FINALLY MET Susanna Kaysen, the writer she would be playing in Girl, Interrupted, the movie star was very nearly speechless. “She said. ‘lt’s you … I’m you … you’re me… I’m me!'” recalls Kaysen, who wrote the best-selling 1993 memoir on which the film is based. Like the movie, the book begins in 1967 when Kaysen, then 18, was diagnosed as having borderline personality disorder after she swallowed 50 aspirin. In the wake of this suicide attempt, Kaysen was whisked off to McLean Hospital, near Cambridge, Mass., where she spent two years in a ward for teenage girls. “Of course, I was sad and puzzled,” Kaysen writes. “I was 18, it was spring, and I was behind bars.”

But Kaysen wasn’t sure if she was insane or simply suffering from a bad case of late-teen angst, symptoms of which include a fragile self image, moodiness and uncertainty about the future. All in all, it’s a situation to which Ryder could relate. Six years ago, when the actress first read Kaysen’s book, she was reminded of a similar breakdown in her own late teens: After having chronic anxiety attacks, depression and insomnia, she checked herself into a psychiatric hospital for a week and began working with a therapist. The experience, though troubling, eventually helped Ryder bring depth and resonance to the character of Susanna.

“Winona’s own memory of what it’s like to feel alienation added gravity and a sense of purpose to her work in the film,” says Girl’s screenwriter-director James Mangold, 36. “Significant aspects of her personality–her sensitivity, the way she is so affected by things–fused well with aspects of Susanna’s. The movie is about who Winona is as much as it’s about who Susanna is.”

Still, Kaysen, now 51, was initially skeptical about the movie. When producer Douglas Wick approached the writer about buying the film rights to her memoir, “I thought he was crazy,” says Kaysen. “It’s not a narrative. It’s rather static and intellectual, and it has no obvious story line. How could they make a movie from this? I figured they would have to do radical things to it; otherwise, it’s just a bunch of girls sitting on the floor smoking cigarettes.”

Indeed, in adapting the book for the screen, Mangold decided to craft a cohesive, chronological narrative and to intensify the relationships between the characters. Most crucially, he fleshed out Susanna’s friendship with Lisa, a charismatic sociopath (played by Angelina Jolie) who serves as a symbol of rebellion and escape from the cares of the adult world. “In facing adulthood, Susanna can go two ways,” Mangold explains. “One is the way of the pod people in her parents world, marching off to war or college or family life; the other is Lisa’s way of seductive freedom.” Kaysen didn’t mind the changes. “If someone had told me what to do in my book, I would’ve killed thern,” she says. “But the movie is another endeavor, a variation on a theme. They can’t change what I wrote or my experiences in my life.”

Those experiences have been, by and large, internal. Kaysen has lived a fairly sedentary existence, as perhaps befits a writer. She has lived in Cambridge most of her life, including a brief stay on a commune. Although her father, Carl Kaysen, was an Ivy League economics professor, Kaysen resolutely avoided college, drifting instead from job to job, making a living as a copy editor and writing all the time. In 1987, she published her first novel, Asa, As I Knew Him, about a woman imagining her old flame’s youth, and followed it up with 1990’s Far AfieId, about an anthropologist doing research in the North Atlantic’s Faroe Islands. According to Kaysen the genesis of her memoir actually stemmed from her work on the latter novel: “There were paralels between being dropped into a foreign country and being dropped into the loony bin,” she says. These days, Kaysen still lives in Cambridge and suffers from depression, but says she has made peace with her demons, periodically seeing a psychologist, whom she calls her “tuneup woman.” She has also made peace with being alone. Although she was briefly married in her 20s, she has been single for most of her life. “I’ve been looking for a date for 10 years,” she admits, a fact that success hasn’t changed. “Fame, she says, “doesn’t bring a woman in America a date.”

SARAH SAFFIAN

http://www.saffian.com/womaninterpreted.htm