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That’s crazy: powerful documentary on the coercive nature of psychiatry

 

The director, Lise Zumwalt, has a successful track record http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1754571/

 

Watch the trailer here: http://www.witnessdocfilms.com

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/452770034/thats-crazy

 

THE STORY...

 

There’s a revolution going on in mental health and it’s being led by "the patients." Thousands of people diagnosed with mental illnesses are rejecting standard concepts of illness, treatment and recovery. THAT’S CRAZY is a documentary feature about Eric and 3 others who are on the front lines of this revolt.

 

Eric, a genetics major, and his father, a doctor living in Madison, Wisconsin never imagined they would challenge the mental health system. But when Eric, diagnosed as schizophrenic, decided to refuse his medications because they made him feel worse, the county issued a set of court orders that allowed police to pick him up and take him to a local hospital to be force medicated. Eric’s decision to refuse involuntary treatment with the help of his family triggers a series of personal, medical and legal battles that are captured by everybody involved as the events take place in real time. Eric's goal - to try a talking based treatment that has the highest success rate for psychosis in the world. Leading mental health activists and allies such as David Oaks and Robert Whitaker explore the science and the ideas behind the movement that believes people like Eric have a right to a voice and a choice in their treatment. Stylized verite reveals the story - animation by Em Cooper illustrates the inner experience.

 

"When I talk to family members of people with psych diagnoses who support coercion, I know it's a well meaning love. They see this upset family member perhaps disrupting their home environment, frequently ending up locked up, in the street so I have total compassion; what do you do at that point.The thing I don't get is why not have a dialogue with people who have reached full recovery. Where’s the curiosity about full recovery? We have people in our movement who have been institutionalized repeatedly, homeless, revolving door for decades, multiple suicide attempts and yet they've somehow found this way for the human spirit to come back in a lot of diverse ways. So where’s the curiosity about how folks got better?" David Oaks, Psych Survivor Human Rights Activist, Executive Director, MindFreedom International

 

PROJECT STATUS

 

We're in production and have shot about 35 hours of footage. We’re looking to raise 15,000 to pay for our next two shoots – one to Madison, so we can continue to cover Eric’s story and one to Philadelphia to cover a Boycott Normal protest at the American Psychiatric Association. Both shoots are scheduled in May, so it’s critical we raise the money now. Funds raised pay for crew, gear and travel expenses. If you think this film is important, please contribute!

 

WHY WE’RE DOING IT

 

Madness is a profound, deeply human and common experience. One in five Americans or 60 million of us will “experience a diagnosable mental illness” in any given year. Yet despite the prevalence of sadness, anxiety, and fire in the brain, there’s an important part of the discussion that’s occurring off the radar and that’s what the people who are diagnosed have to say. THAT’S CRAZY presents the experience of the people who have been through the fire and back again. We are committed to this film because we think what they're saying is eventually going to effect everybody.

 

How do we know when someone is too shy? Grieves too much? Needs medication for anxiety? Many people with a mental health history challenge the idea that their experiences are pathological – or the result of a chemical imbalance in their brains. They claim the right to choose the treatment that works best for them – above all they insist that when they are in charge, full recovery is possible. They say that the key to recovery is not compliance with meds, but living with purpose and autonomy. They point to scientific evidence that shows that antipsychotics, the primary treatment for mental illness, work for some but not all and that for most, recovery rates are higher without psych drugs. They believe that forced commitments and forced treatments, which are standard for millions of Americans violate their constitutional and human rights. In their view, they're not crazy – the system is. Welcome to the revolution that wants to redefine normal.

Also see http://beyondmeds.com/2012/05/02/thats-crazy/

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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Thanks for sharing. I watched the trailer.

 

Couple things struck me: Eric's is lucky to have the dad he does; it's a worthwhile project, hope somebody sees it someday.

 

Alex

"Well my ship's been split to splinters and it's sinking fast
I'm drowning in the poison, got no future, got no past
But my heart is not weary, it's light and it's free
I've got nothing but affection for all those who sailed with me.

Everybody's moving, if they ain't already there
Everybody's got to move somewhere
Stick with me baby, stick with me anyhow
Things should start to get interesting right about now."

- Zimmerman

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I am so sad for Eric; these drugs are absolutely terrifying! I can totally relate to Eric in that these meds make you feel worse!

Thank God he has a loving and supportive father.

Rosie

2009 Efexor 75mg tapered twice

November 2011 Pristiq 50 mg

January 2012 Pristiq 100 mg, became very dizzy and anxious with a lot negative thinking! Ear aches, eye pain, headaches, bruxism, night sweats.

Currently on 30 mg of compounded Pristiq

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