Bipolar disorder

9 movies about bipolar disorder you should watch

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This is a reblog from the Page bipolar hope.

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There are many worthy films about mental illness that inspire, inform, and entertain. Here, we narrow down the list to 9 movies featuring a lead character with bipolar disorder that you don’t want to miss!

Maurice Benard The Ghost and The Whale Movie Photo - 9 Must See Movies About Bipolar Disorder

#1 The Ghost and the Whale (2016)

Maurice Benard (Sonny of General Hospital) stars as Joseph Hawthorne, a man whose wife was lost overboard when they were sailing. The mystery of what really happened divides his town, makes enemies of his wife’s family, and draws the attention of a journalist. Joseph’s untreated bipolar leads to mania, melancholia, and discussions on the beach with a gray whale (voiced by Jonathan Pryce). Benard and his wife, Paula, produced the thriller. [click here to watch the trailer]


#2 Touched with Fire (2015)

Two people, each having bipolar (expertly played by Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby), meet in a psychiatric hospital and fall in love. Directed by Paul Dalio and produced by Spike Lee, Touched with Fire captures the intensity of their romance and the ebb and flow of beautiful highs and tormented lows.  [click here to watch the trailer]


#3 Infinitely Polar Bear (2014)

Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana play a mixed-race couple raising two daughters in 1970s Boston. The father doesn’t work because of his bipolar disorder, so the mother decides to accept a scholarship to graduate school in New York City so she can make more money for the family. The kids are left with their dad, who gives them lots of love but doesn’t always make the best parenting decisions. Writer and director Maya Forbes based the story on her own childhood. [click here to watch the trailer]


#4 Repentance (2013)

Forest Whitaker plays to stereotype in this psychological thriller. His character, a family man who also has bipolar disorder, is thrown off balance after his mother’s sudden death and he fixates on a self-help guru (played by Anthony Mackie) who has secrets in his past. Whitaker, who produced the violent drama, has said he was trying to explore loss, pain, healing, and the core of humanity in tortured souls. [click here to watch the trailer]


#5 Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

This romantic drama-comedy puts a sympathetic character with bipolar front and center—and surrounds him with other characters grappling with their own disorders. Bradley Cooper plays Pat Solitano, who is trying to get his life back together after a court-ordered psychiatric hospitalization. The main plotline concerns Pat’s efforts to win back his ex-wife by agreeing to enter a dance competition (it’s complicated). His dance partner, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is a widow whose grief led to sex addiction. And his father, played by Robert De Niro, has obsessive-compulsive tendencies and a gambling problem that drives a lot of the action. Director David O. Russell says he was attracted to the project because his son has bipolar. [click here to watch the trailer]


#6 The Informant! (2009)

The Informant! is based on the saga of real-life corporate whistleblower Mark Whitacre, played by Matt Damon. Whitacre was involved in a price-fixing scheme at the agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland. He agreed to tape his colleagues for the FBI— part of his own grandiose scheme to win promotion. The stress of his undercover ordeal worsened Whitacre’s bipolar disorder, which was later diagnosed and treated. [click here to watch the trailer]


#7 Michael Clayton (2007)

George Clooney takes center stage as the title character, a “fixer” for a New York law firm, but an attorney having a bipolar episode triggers the action in this thriller. When Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson) rants in court against the huge corporation his firm is defending in a class-action suit, the firm sends Clayton to handle the situation. Clayton knows Edens has bipolar and has stopped taking his medications. When Edens later says his phone is being tapped, Clayton dismisses it as paranoia. After Edens is found dead, Clayton’s suspicions grow and he begins to investigate the corporate cover-up. [click here to watch the trailer]


#8 Mad Love (1995)

A somewhat sensationalized depiction of the highs and lows of bipolar, with Drew Barrymore playing a high-school student who has been hospitalized. Her boyfriend (Chris O’Donnell) helps her escape and tries to cope with her increasingly intense emotions and actions as they head toward Mexico. In the end, they return to Seattle, where she is readmitted to the psychiatric hospital and ultimately gets better. [click here to watch the trailer]


#9 Mr. Jones (1993)

A surprisingly insightful portrait of euphoria, mania, and depression as experienced by the main character, played by Richard Gere. Most of the movie involves his hospitalization and treatment by a psychiatrist (Lena Olin) who begins an unethical romantic relationship with him. There was a disconnect between the film’s sensitivity and its marketing tagline, though: “Everything that makes him dangerous makes her love him more.” [click here to watch the trailer]

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The bipolar super power

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Before I start this post I would like to emphasize the importance of remaining on bipolar medication and seeking help when you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope with life. This post is not about trying to romanticize bipolar disorder but rather about encouraging those suffering from bipolar to not only see the bad but also to embrace the positive.

I know there are many negatives associated with bipolar disorder, but little attention is paid to the ‘super power’ that comes with bipolar.

First off, here’s a list of well-known bipolar sufferers;-

  • Demi Lovato
  • Carrie Fisher
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Claude Van Damme
  • Russell Brand
  • Mel Gibson
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Amy Winehouse
  • Vivien Leigh (|Gone with the Wind)
  • Frank Sinatra
  • Edgar Allan Poe (Writer)
  • Richard Dreyfuss
  • Axl Rose
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Mike Tyson
  • Virginia Wolf
  • Ernst Hemmingway
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Any many, many more

What is interesting is that the names on the list are artistes who have been able to tap into a deep source of creativity and experience.

I honestly believe that with the highs and lows of bipolar comes a profound understanding of emotions and the effect they have on lives. Accompanying this is the ability to acknowledge these emotions and inhabit the very soul of them.van-gogh-698329__340

Having read many of the bipolar blogs on WordPress (and other sources), I am astounded at the power with which bipolar writers portray emotions and feelings. There seems to be an intense connection between the writer, the feeling and concept.  Certainly some of the greatest creators of our times are ‘credited’ with having intense mood swings vacillating between heights and depths.  How could this not acquaint them with the entire spectrum of human moods?

If you have been diagnosed with bipolar I pretty sure that you have become familiar with ;-

  • Gut wrenching sadness
  • Feelings of loathing and hate
  • Extreme inexplicable joy
  • Crazy thoughts
  • Wildness
  • Depths of despair
  • Profound anxiety
  • Absolute desperation
  • Boundless energy
  • Pangs of regret
  • Deep darkness
  • Brilliant light
  • Coldness and searing heat
  • Bursts of creative genius
  • Racing and then barely moving
  • Embracing and discarding
  • Winning and losing
  • Crashing and flying

All the emotions of a life time will have found their way into your journey and stayed with you for differing lengths of time. You know them, you recognise, you feel them over and over and over again.

This is your super power.


It enables work to be borne out of a spherical place with intense raw emotion. It is able to unite souls and feelings and words. It is able to explore places that ‘bipolar-less’ people can’t. It is able to draw solutions from bare lifelessness . It is able to feel deeply and all consumingly. It is able to connect every fibre of the mortal man.

It is unique to the bipolar world and its yours if you own it and claim it.

Of course there will be many times where these emotions disable you and hold you captive, but in between the bad spaces there is an opportunity to create something heart-felt and compelling.

Yes, stigmas still abound around mental illness, but I think its time that bipolar gets the creative credit it deserves.

For me, this sums it all up; –

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul

Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free

They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of china blue

Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free

They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now

For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night

You took your life, as lovers often do
But I could’ve told you Vincent
This world was never meant for
One as beautiful as you

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frame-less heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget

Like the strangers that you’ve met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
The silver thorn of bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow

Now I think I know
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free

They would not listen, they’re not listening still
Perhaps they never will




Protected: Close to the edge

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The sound of an unquiet mind

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I recommend the book “an unquiet mind” by Jamison.

There are different opinions on the book. A lot praise it, and some find it`s not nuanced enough.

“I don’t consider you an authority on bipolar or mental illness or it’s treatments. You are certainly not an expert on my suffering nor the treatments I used to cure it. You’ve spent your whole post graduate life informing others of what mental illness is and how it’s supposed to be treated. Blissfully unaware that your preferred treatment drove me to within an inch of taking my own life. Yes, you read that correctly. Lithium made me want to kill myself—because of how awful it was”

 “Until reading this book, I didn’t truly comprehend the complexity of the condition. It’s hard for anyone who hasn’t experienced the true highs of mania and the utterly despairing lows of depression to get it, I think at least. And when we do see or hear about someone experiencing bipolar, it’s often on television or the radio and it’s often sensationalized. I think Silver Linings Playbook did a pretty good job, but not a perfect one.” AnUnquiet Mind, A Memoir of Moods & Madness

Protected: Narrative: Culture of madness

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