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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars if only this had been made earlier...
I lost my brother to manic depression several years ago. I caught a couple of episodes of Stephen's documentary when it was originally broadcast but missed much of it as I live abroad. My mother had never seen it and we decided to get the DVD for her as a stocking-filler.

Stephen Fry tackles this little-known and often misunderstood illness with remarkable...
Published on 6 Jan 2011 by Gus

versus
21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity to do something amazing
First things first. I love Stephen Fry, and I have a severe depressive illness. Thought I'd declare that at the start - y'know, declare my interests. I thought this DVD would be both interesting and informative, but it left me feeling more than a little let down.

I watched the programmes when they were first shown by the BBC, and while I found them...
Published on 8 Aug 2010 by mouse


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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN great insight into living with Bi-Polar, 9 April 2010
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This review is from: Stephen Fry's The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I have been waiting for this to be released on DVD since it first aired, i'm not sure why it took so long but it was worth the wait.

Having Bi-polar disorder myself i found that once viewing this programme people were a lot more understanding about what it is like both to live with the condition yourself and also the impact it has upon those around you.

Hurray for Stephen Fry for shining a light upon the previously taboo world of mental disorders.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I HAVE BI-POLAR TOO, 4 Jan 2013
This review is from: Stephen Fry's The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Stephen Fry is a SAINT, this DVD Is a HONEST take on Bi-Polar Disorder. IT CAN AFFECT ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE, FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE. My Bi-Polar AFFECTS me about 4 to 7 times almost every year. And YES I NORMALLY ALWAYS END UP IN A HOSPITAL. I will tell you this, for all the hurt and upset. The EXTREME MASSIVE HIGH'S, Are TOTALLY OUT OF THIS WORLD..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stephen Fry Talks Openly, 2 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Stephen Fry's The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This was a very interesting an informative DVD about depression by someone who has seen the roughest side of this horrible illness. He talks openly about it and with professionals who see it everyday. I had to admire him for doing this dvd. More light needs to shed on this illness as it is still not given the care and consideration that other illnesses get. If depression was any other illness sympathy and help and conversation about it would be more acceptable but for some unknown reason it is often spoken about in whispers and people can be ashamed although there is no reason at all for it to be like that.Stephen sheds light and gives it a visibility that was badly needed. Now if only more people in the public eye could do that it would really help those who suffer from it. It was very brave and honest of him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great buy, 18 July 2011
This review is from: Stephen Fry's The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This dvd is both informative and moving. I bought this dvd as part of a research project and found it one of the most helpful tools i could have. Stephen Fry is very honest, and gives a very personal insight into his struggles with the condition and in the 2-parts of the dvd, focus' first on the impact and then on treatments. The use of other peoples personal stories is very effective and moving and present a mixture of more positive and negative attitudes towards the condition. I would highly recommend this to anyone as it's informative, reliable, personal and in some parts very emotive. The dvd covers a large area incudling early diagnosis in children, the impact of having a bipolar parent and living with the condition. overall Very good.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Purchased this for another member of the family who enjoyed it. However I thought that all the bi ..., 6 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Stephen Fry's The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Purchased this for another member of the family who enjoyed it. However I thought that all the bi polar sufferers interviewed by Stephen Fry were all financially well heeled so to speak, and we're able to receive good support. It needs a more in depth research to show how the many sufferers who are not so fortunate have to get by on a day by day basis within a National Health Service which is woefully lacking when it comes to mental health illnesses. For example, in my home town there are approx 20 GPs, but only one psychiatrist! So therefore those without their own funds and resources have to make do!
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A missed opportunity to do something amazing, 8 Aug 2010
This review is from: Stephen Fry's The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
First things first. I love Stephen Fry, and I have a severe depressive illness. Thought I'd declare that at the start - y'know, declare my interests. I thought this DVD would be both interesting and informative, but it left me feeling more than a little let down.

I watched the programmes when they were first shown by the BBC, and while I found them reasonable viewing, I got the sense that they were not particularly well researched and at times bordering on inaccurate. But I enjoyed watching Stephen none the less, and I found the inclusion of people who were successfully managing their condition quite reassuring. I particularly liked the inclusion of the surgeon with bipolar (though her advocation of using oily fish instead of meds was slightly alarming), and the beautiful girl who was studying creative writing - I also thought the general emphasis on reducing expectations and stress levels, was sensible.

Unfortunately there were several points where I just felt that sweeping statements were made (based on Stephen's opinions, and regarding serious areas such as ECT and medication), which were either missing detail or not related to facts/evidence. I think it just needed to be a little more careful with the details, and maybe the whole thing just needed a better structure to it (rather than just wandering aimlessly between different topics and people).

Overall, I think I'd give the films a rating of 3 stars out of 5... I've only dropped it down to 2 stars as there are also issues with quality of the DVD editing. I ordered this DVD about a week before the BBC re-showed the film as part of the Headroom season in 2010. When I received and watched the DVD, there were a couple of bits of the film that I thought were missing - so when it was shown on TV a couple of days later, I watched it, and there were several bits of conversations which had been edited out on the DVD version. I cannot understand why they did this, as the BBC were still showing the full version. Also, the edits on the DVD have been made very clumsily, so even if you hadn't watched the original version you'd still feel like they'd cut random chunks out of it.

Within 12 hours of buying this DVD, I had put it back up for sale on Amazon (I very nearly made a profit).

If you're a student hoping to use it as research, there is absolutely nothing you will learn from this DVD (unless you're a media student writing about the careless/exploitative treatment of mental illness by TV shows - in which case I recommend you just order it from your college library).

If you've got bipolar/unipolar/whatever, and you want to hear other people's experiences of mental illness, I recommend you read/listen to a good solid memoir. My favorite (partly for its length, partly for its accurate depiction/style) is probably Darkness Visible by William Styron. Or maybe watch/read An Angel At My Table.

Overall, not good. Sorry Stephen.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative documentary, 4 Jan 2012
This review is from: Stephen Fry's The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Very informative documentary for sufferers and relations/friends of sufferers. This looks at the ways in which manic depression affects life at all ends of the spectrum, interviewing celebrities and your average Joe, adults and children, those severely affected and those mildly affected. It manages to do this whilst telling the story of a sufferer and his understanding of the illness. I highly recommend.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough, 25 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Stephen Fry's The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
I was hoping I would be able to use this DVD to indicate to my friends and family "Look, this is what it is like to be Manic Depressive." Unfortunately it doesn't really demonstrate the agonies of the ups and downs.
Sure, it touches on them but not enough for anyone outside MD to understand how it affects your relationships, your unpredictable line of thinking, your job, physical incapability, your reactions etc.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative, 5 April 2011
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CLW "Claire" (Glasgow,Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Stephen Fry's The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
As a bipolar sufferer myself it was interesting to see what somebody elses experiences were. However, I found Stephen Fry's experience (and the others he interviewed) to have much more serious symptoms. Very interesting though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Series on Bi-Polar Disorder (previously know as Manic Depression), 6 April 2014
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This review is from: Stephen Fry's The Secret Life Of The Manic Depressive [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Classic Series on Bi-Polar Disorder (previously know as Manic Depression.)

Stephen Fry has an unimitable style and the series is interesting and engaging, as well as very useful.

Very good value for such a long series.
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