Take your best day...and your darkest moment...and multiply by a million. OF TWO MINDS is an award-winning feature documentary from the creative team behind WORDPLAY, IOUSA, SUPERHEROES and THESE AMAZING SHADOWS that explores the extraordinary lives, struggles and successes of a few of the over five million Americans living with bipolar disorder. Personal stories of harrowing events, medical mazes, discrimination and the effects of social stigma blend together to create a compelling look at a generation coming out of the "bipolar closet". OF TWO MINDS puts an authentic human face on bipolar disorder, providing an intimate, sometimes painful, sometimes painfully funny look at those who live in its shadows...our parents and children, our friends and lovers...and ourselves.
Mad. Insane. Nuts. Crazy. How often have you heard these terms used casually to define people stricken with mental illness?
The truth is much more complicated than these simple labels suggest. Many people who live with the condition now known as bipolar disorder experience a life of explosive highs and debilitating lows. Bipolar takes its sufferers on a chaotic journey from exquisite feelings of grandiosity and invincibility to depths that descend far past mere sadness to inconceivable numbness and apathy. When in the throes of these depressive episodes, suicidal thoughts and hopes that tomorrow simply won't come are the norm. Navigating this roller coaster is made even more overwhelming because of the societal stigma attached to mental illness. With our film OF TWO MINDS we hope to put a human face on bipolar disorder, providing an intimate look at the illness and the daily struggles facing those who live in its shadows.
Our passion to make this film traces back to co-director Lisa Klein's sister Tina, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in the early 1990s. Manic shopping sprees, elaborate vacations and a larger-than-life sense of indomitability gave way to enervating depressions and a fatal abuse of alcohol. She died in 1994 at the age of 42. As a licensed therapist and social worker, Tina was acutely aware of the stigma attached to those suffering from mental illness. She struggled with the shame and discrimination that accompanied her diagnosis and ultimately felt both defined by, and erased by, her disorder. Tina's suffering was as real as that of any patient fighting a chronic illness, yet the understanding and compassion toward that suffering was nearly absent. Knowing what Tina faced in her struggle has motivated us to see how far we all have, and haven’t, come since her death. We feel that a film that intimately follows the lives of people diagnosed bipolar can truly reduce the misconceptions and outdated thinking about this condition.