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Out of the Shadow: an excellent documentary

Posted Feb 02 2009 11:16pm
I recently purchased the film, Out of the Shadow, which is directed by Susan Smiley, an advocate whose mother has Schizophrenia. The film chronicles her mother's life within the Illinois mental health system, and the various places she lives or stays in (hospitals, etc.) over a six-year period. Her mother, Millie, does not have insight into her disease, and is not aware she is sick or needs medication, so she only takes medication reluctantly, and she frequently stops taking them. For those of us who do have insight into our illnesses, this is the tale that, "but for the grace of...." go we. Millie has a difficult life, and her daughters, with their then-undiagnosed mother, had a very difficult childhood. But this film, unlike any Hollywood rendition of mental illness, is accurate, honest in its portrayals, and informative for those who do not understand this illness. For those who have experience with the illness, this film offers a reassuring affirmation that our work to combat stigma is not happening in vein, and that there are people like us who understand and relate to our struggles.

I recommend that you visit the website of Out of the Shadow, and, if you can, purchase the film. If you purchase it through NAMI, twenty percent of the cost of the DVD will be donated to NAMI, which is, of course, an excellent organization always in need of funds.
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