The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive [DVD] 
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Stephen Fry presents this documentary exploring the disease of manic depression; a little understood but potentially devastating condition affecting an estimated two percent of the population. Stephen embarks on an emotional journey to meet fellow sufferers, and discuss the literal highs and lows of being bi-polar. Celebrities such as Carrie Fisher and Richard Dreyfuss invite the comedian into their home to relate their stories. Plus Stephen looks into the lives of ordinary people trying to deal with the illness at work and home, and of course to the people studying manic depression in an effort to better control it. A fascinating, moving and ultimately very entertaining Emmy Award-winning programme.
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Stephen Fry tackles this little-known and often misunderstood illness with remarkable sensitivity and careful humour. The series is both entertaining and informative as Stephen seeks to better understand his own bi-polar illness. He talks with people from all walks of life, with doctors, mega-stars of stage and screen and "ordinary" people who suffer from or work with sufferers of this illness every day and his honesty about his own condition and his sincerity in seeking to draw others to be equally open about theirs makes this a very moving piece of work.For many people, diagnosis of their bi-polar manic depression comes after they have suffered for many years and have made at least one suicide attempt, for my brother his diagnosis came too late. I watched the DVD with my mother and we both had tears in our eyes at the end - she turned to me and said "That was your brother - if only we had known all this when he was still alive". I have a much better understanding of this dreadful illness now and when I think back to certain episodes with my brother I can see that it was his illness that was driving his life along such a self-destructive path. Thank you Stephen Fry for this piece of work, I can only recommend it most highly to anyone who suffers from or who knows someone who suffers from 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.
My only problem with the video is that aside from Lithium (which I tried once but it made me more suicidal) there is a lack of information about other choices, and there are many. The video does mention that there are other treatments but not enough about what those are. The combination of anti-depressants and mood stabilizers to mention just one, is a common treatment these days but I'd love to have learned the name of these drugs such as Prozac (anti-depressant) and valporic acid (a mood stabilizer) amongst others.
I am glad I purchased the video and believe that it is a must see for anyone suffering with, related to or friends with sufferers of this illness. For those who do not have the illness but have dealings with someone who does it helps to explain the bizarre behaviour we exhibit and only have minimal control over.
Businesses also, could learn a lot about why not only employees but customers might be annoying or difficult to deal with at times. Someone who is in the throes of mania might be excited, loud, complaining, or ordering much more than normal, amongst other things. This person may be embarrassed later and never order from you again. You might not understand and blame yourself or an employee or spend hours looking for where you went wrong and how you lost the customer never realizing that it is not that you or your firm did something wrong but the illness caused the loss of the customer.
My wanting to expose others to knowledge about Manic Depression is also selfish insofar as I hope that if more people understand this illness there might finally be more research on better treatments than those available now.
Again, I believe this is a must see for anyone having any association with this disease.
If you,like myself are Bipolar/Manic Depressive then this is defaintly worth a watch it gives you a good insight in to other suffers life's thus showing it's not just you.
The information given within the programme was clear, concise, easy to understand & with no jargon. Great for ANYONE to watch who wishes to understand more about bi-polar disorder!!!
A BIG THANKYOU to Stephen Fry, Richard Dreyfuss, Carrie Fisher and the many others who so openly shared their experiences and contributed to the making of this fantastic programme !!!
Further useful Literature :
Mood Mapping: Plot your way to emotional health and happiness
An Unquiet Mind
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