First, if you have not read the brilliant Rob Roberge’s essay, Crazy, go do that. I’m going to keep promoting it until everyone does.
Last days of crowdfunding to cover the post-production costs: an extra day of shooting and those crew members, insurance, camera rental, editing, color correcting, titles, score, film festival entry fees, etc. You may have noticed I have fallen down on the job a bit. Things like getting rear-ended and having to deal with reams of paperwork took up way too much time. Gah! Back to my point…. The anniversary of Robin Williams’ suicide is coming up in a week. Last year, it changed my life. I have been in and out of therapy most of my life. Turns out I have dysthymia, also known as persistent depressive disorder. So you see THE GREEN BENCH isn’t just some bit a fiction I wrote. It isn’t only about other people. I have a stake in this. Given the statistics, we all do really. I’m writing a memoir about it, particularly about its origins, but more on that another time.
Heather Gordon Young has a good piece about Cecil the Lion and her brother Jimmy’s mental struggles and why not only do we need to reduce stigma, but why we need all of us, including those of us who struggle with mental illness and depression. We grow poorer when we lose people like Jimmy or Robin Williams to suicide. I will say this much now about my own depression: I used the same reasoning Robin Williams did – I would never do anything to harm myself once I had children. I have two. He had three. And it didn’t matter. That woke me up and I went to a psychiatrist for the first time. I’m a textbook case. I told her what was going on and she read it right back to me out of the DSM. 2 of the 6 need to be present for diagnosis:
- Poor appetite or overeating
- Insomnia or hypersomnia
- Low energy or fatigue
- Low self-esteem
- Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
- Feelings of hopelessness
I had all 6 including poor appetite, insomnia, and both poor concentration and difficulty making decisions. I thought that was me, but what a difference with an anti-depressant. Old obsessions melted away, I can sleep, I rarely skip meals any more, I don’t always feel hopeless and when it hits, I can fight it off and have healthy self-esteem for the first time.
If you want to celebrate my coming out of the mental illness closet, help us get to $12,000 by Thursday. Your donation is tax deductible. We have a ways to go, but I know there is a patron out there somewhere, an angel who will help this project get out to the festivals, then into the hands of the mental health community. Let’s stop the stigma.