That’s Crazy: Powerful Documentary on the Coercive Nature of Psychiatry
By Giannakali BeyondMeds.com May 2, 2012
The producer of this film, Lise Zumwalt, is looking for funding to continue making it. See here.
Powerful commentary and documentation on the coercive nature of psychiatry.
If you’re not aware of just how brutal and coercive psychiatry can be, you should really watch this. This 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.
CLINICAL SUMMARY: THAT’S CRAZY is the story of Eric and two others who are on the frontlines of a revolution in mental health. They are part of a new phenomenon – a growing number of people who say we need to rethink mental illness. The critics are the patients.
STATUS: Eric, a genetics major, and his father, a doctor living in Madison, Wisconsin never thought 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 and mental health activists triggers a series of personal, medical and legal battles that are captured with Iphones, Flip and Hi Def cameras by everybody involved as the events take place in real time.
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.