Manic Depression (03:08)
Ten years ago, Stephen Fry created a documentary series about his bipolar disorder. Fry and others from the series revisit the issue to gauge their progress and determine if advances have been made in the past decade. (Credits)
Fry's Struggle (03:06)
After interviewing a homophobic minister in Uganda, Fry attempted to commit suicide. He returned to the United Kingdom and met with a psychiatrist. Dr. William Shanahan admitted him to the hospital.
At the age of 56 Fry was diagnosed with a mood disorder that causes disturbing behavior. When Cordelia first met Fry in 2006, she was afraid she would never write again, because of the overwhelming depression.
Cordelia- Ten Years Later (02:01)
Cordelia wrote a novel and blogs to monitor her emotions. She calls her depression "the panther" and struggles daily with it. Cordelia reads excerpts of her blog.
Living a Restricted Life (02:09)
Cordelia's friend Naomi discusses her disease and how it has changed in the past decade. Naomi does not think Cordelia recognizes how much she has overcome. Cordelia's mother describes how her disease restricts her social life.
Physical Illness (03:21)
Cordelia was diagnosed with breast cancer that spread to her skin and lungs— she is terminally ill. She and her mother visit the zoo daily to help keep her calm. Cordelia's cycle is five months of manic behavior followed by depression for three.
Recent Erratic Behavior (03:48)
Fry meets with Shanahan to review recent manic episodes. The doctor changes his diagnosis from cyclothymia to bipolar disorder type one. Fry struggles to come to terms with his new diagnosis and medication.
Manic Episodes in Public (02:33)
In 2012, Alika Agidi-Jeff's manic episode was recorded and uploaded to YouTube— it received over two million hits. Alika fell into a deep depression after reading negative comments.
Suicide Attempt (02:44)
Alika's brother called the police. Alika spent four months in the hospital and was diagnosed with bipolar type one disorder. Today, he advocates for others whose mental illness makes them a target of abuse.
Racist and Inhumane Comments (02:00)
Alika teaches students empathy on the internet. One of the reasons he recovered from his mental illness, is because he found purpose in advocating for others.
Travel May Cause Issues (03:23)
Shanahan speaks to Fry about risk factors that may undermine his recovery, cautioning him to not use drugs and alcohol. Sleeplessness, inactivity, poor diet, and not taking care all exacerbate mood disorders.
Scott Martin believes Annie Lennox's songs were written just for him. His wife told him to get help. His employer describes how friends will not speak to Martin any longer because of outbursts.
Struggling With Family Life (02:48)
Because of Martin's anxiety, he will remain in the car instead of venturing outdoors with his family. His wife gave him an ultimatum to seek treatment. Martin meets with Dr. Jha to discuss drug therapy and potential side effects.
Living With Side Effects (03:03)
Usually, Martin ceases taking medication after a month because he feels like a zombie or he is gaining weight. Six weeks later, Martin is still taking his medication and meets Jha for a follow-up appointment.
Anticipating Effects of Dosage Change (02:48)
Martin tells his wife that he needs to double his daily dose because his level of lithium is not high enough. The family travels to town. Martin's wife expects that manic depression will be a life long struggle.
Suicide of Robin Williams (02:02)
Shanahan describes how exhausting it is pretending to be the life of the party. Fry understands that he will never be cured, but hopes the medication helps him cope with the disease. The interval between manic episodes tends to shorten as one ages.
Teenager Discovering Bipolar (03:17)
On a college trip to Amsterdam Rachel Edwards thought she could control the weather— her parents took her home to London. That night she got dressed up and thought the helicopters in the sky were there to witness her ability to fly. She jumped off the balcony and fell to the ground.
Wanting to Fly Again (02:28)
Rachel broke her back and spent months in the hospital— she is paralyzed from the waist down. On average, it takes between 7 to 8 years to be diagnosed as bipolar. Her friends noticed manic behavior prior to her next attempt.
Still Suffering from Mood Swings (03:18)
Rachel meets with her mental health counselor who wants her to agree to a guardianship. She decides to write a blog about her experiences with manic depression to raise awareness.
Going Public (03:36)
Rachel trained to become a peer support worker to help others afflicted. Three months later, she is employed. Fry is encouraged by the positive changes implemented in the past ten years on behalf of the mentally ill, but feels more can be accomplished.
Credits: The Not So Secret Life of the Manic Depressive - 10 Years On (00:38)
Credits: The Not So Secret Life of the Manic Depressive - 10 Years On
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