THAT’S CRAZY: powerful documentary on the coercive nature of psychiatry


crazyA very important film at a very important time in the history of mental health legislation.

I’ve been in touch with the producer of this film, Lise Zumwalt, who continues to seek funding. It’s also well on it’s way to being made. Support will help it be completed in as timely a fashion as possible as well as getting it out to as large an audience as possible. See here and donate please, even a small amount.

Powerful commentary and documentation on the coercive nature of psychiatry. 

If you’re not aware of just how brutal and coercive psychiatry can be, this film will help enlighten you and others. What is depicted in this film may seem extreme to those who’ve not seen it happening but it’s very common and the bottom line is psychiatry, in general, at best, is subtly coercive. Drugs are generally presented as necessary rather than one, often far less than ideal, possibility for treatment.

THAT’S CRAZY follows Eric, (with a diagnosis) of schizophrenia, as he refuses court ordered medication and pursues his own path to wellness. Eric’s decision triggers a series of personal, medical and legal battles providing a window into the conflicting issues raised by mental illness.

Excerpts from parents, scientists, doctors and legislators portray the public discussion on dangerousness, constitutional rights and public safety and the search for effective treatment. With commentary by mental health rights leader David W. Oaks and award winning medical journalist, Robert Whitaker.

A trailer:

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.

The website for the film is here.

Update: the film is now available for sale at the website.

See also: Coercion, subtle or otherwise, is the rule in psychiatric care…

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*it is potentially dangerous to come off medications without careful planning. Please be sure to be well educated before undertaking any sort of discontinuation of medications. If your MD agrees to help you do so, do not assume they know how to do it well even if they claim to have experience. They are generally not trained in discontinuation and may not know how to recognize withdrawal issues. A lot of withdrawal issues are misdiagnosed to be psychiatric problems. This is why it’s good to educate oneself and find a doctor who is willing to learn with you as your partner in care.  Really all doctors should always be willing to do this as we are all individuals and need to be treated as such. See: Psychiatric drug withdrawal and protracted withdrawal syndrome round-up

It’s become clear to me that whenever it’s possible that it’s helpful for folks who’ve not begun withdrawal and have the time to consider a carefully thought out plan to attempt to bring greater well-being to your body before starting the withdrawal. That means learning how to profoundly nourish your body/mind and spirit prior to beginning a withdrawal. For suggestions on how to go about doing that check the drop-down menus on this blog for ideas. Anything that helps you learn how to live well can be part of your plan. That plan will look different for everyone as we learn to follow our hearts and find our own unique paths in the world. Things to begin considering are diet, exercise and movement, meditation/contemplation etc. Paying attention to all these things as you do them helps too. The body will start letting us know what it needs as we learn to pay attention. 

For a multitude of ideas about how to create a life filled with safe alternatives to psychiatric drugs visit the drop-down menus at the top of this page or scroll down the homepage for more recent postings. 

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About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters