Two junior NHS workers are in the middle of a night shift and dealing with it in different ways. Satinda is tired and put upon while Amir is seemingly cheerful and helps pick her up. However Amir is also depressed and using drugs and self harm to help him get by. Eventually they both have to decide how to deal with their stressful lives and to live with the consequences.
The BAFTA award-winning Shadowscan (Channel 4, 18/12/2001) is director Tinge Krishnan‘s third short film. A surreal portrait of the Accident and Emergency department of a city hospital, Shadowscan is partly based on Tinge’s own experience as a junior doctor.
Director: Tinge Krishnan
Production Company: Disruptive
Producers: Gary A. Holding, Justine Leahy
Script: Tinge Krishnan
Director of Photography: Robbie Ryan
Robert Murphy was in the prime of his career as an anthropologist when he felt the first symptom of a malady that would ultimately take him on an odyssey stranger than any field trip to the Amazon: a tumor of the spinal cord that progressed slowly and irreversibly into quadriplegia. In this gripping account, Murphy explores society’s fears, myths, and misunderstandings about disability, and the damage they inflict. He reports how paralysis like all disabilities assaults people’s identity, social standing, and ties with others, while at the same time making the love of life burn even more fiercely.
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company;
“The Wall is a concept album and explores themes of abandonment and personal isolation. The album is a rock opera that follows Pink, a character whom Waters modelled after himself and the band‘s original leader, Syd Barrett. Pink’s life begins with the loss of his father during the Second World War and continues with abuse from his schoolteachers, an overprotective mother, and the breakdown of his marriage; all contribute to his eventual self-imposed isolation from society, represented by a metaphorical wall. Waters conceived the album during Pink Floyd’s 1977 In the Flesh Tour, when his frustration with the audience became so acute that he imagined a wall between the audience and the stage.”
Plenty of different tracks to enjoy – but impossible in an education establishment (even a student-focused one) not to worry about that ‘dark sarcasm’ and ‘thought control’ – Hey teacher…
“Animated Minds was conceived in 2003 as an attempt to communicate the subjective experience of mental health problems to a wider audience. The idea was simple: to take the testimony of a variety of people who have experienced mental distress, and then to try to animate their experience. The result, it was hoped, would be a series of engaging short films which would give a general audience a greater understanding of what it feels like to live with various mental difficulties.”
Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.
Clara Batchelor is twenty-two. Her brief, doomed marriage to Archie over, she returns to live with her parents in the home of her childhood. She hopes for comfort but the devoutly Catholic household confines her and forms a dangerous glass wall of guilt and repression between Clara and the outside world. Clara both longs for and fears what lies beyond, and when she escapes into an exhilarating and passionate love affair her fragile identity cracks.
Beyond the Glass completes the trilogy sequel to Frost in May, which began with The Lost Traveller and The Sugar House. Although each is a complete novel in itself, together they form a brilliant portrait of a young girl’s journey to adulthood.
From the corner of a darkened room Joy Stone watches herself. As memories of the deaths of her lover and mother surface unbidden, life for Joy narrows – to negotiating each day, each encounter, each second; to finding the trick to keep living. Told with shattering clarity and wry wit, this is a Scottish classic fit for our time.
There are many different breeds of Black Dog affecting millions of people from all walks of life. The Black Dog is an equal opportunity mongrel. It was Winston Churchill who popularized the phrase Black Dog to describe the bouts of depression he experienced for much of his life. Matthew Johnstone, a sufferer himself, has written and illustrated this moving and uplifting insight into what it is like to have a Black Dog as a companion and how he learned to tame it and bring it to heel.
‘The Golden Notebook’, the landmark novel by Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing, is a powerful account of a woman searching for her personal, political and professional identity amid the trauma of emotional rejection and sexual betrayal.
In 1950s London, novelist Anna Wulf struggles with writer’s block. Divorced with a young child, and fearful of going mad, Anna records her experiences in four coloured notebooks: black for her writing life, red for political views, yellow for emotions, blue for everyday events. But it is a fifth notebook – the golden notebook – that finally pulls these wayward strands of her life together.
The film follows Schmidt as he retires from his pedestrian job, followed by the death of his wife for whom he had lost affection. He goes on a road trip in order to attend the wedding of his only daughter to a man and into a family he does not particularly like, compelling him to reflect on his life throughout the film.
Producers: Michael Besman, Harry Gittes, Rachael Horovitz
Director: Alexander Payne
Writer: Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor
This novel is semi-autobiographical with the names of places and people changed. It is often regarded as a roman à clef, with the protagonist’s descent into mental illness paralleling Plath’s own experiences with what may have been either bipolar disorder or clinical depression.
Publisher: Faber and Faber
In the last year of the old millennium, Richard Mabey, Britain’s foremost nature writer, fell into a severe depression. For two years, he did little more than lie in bed with his face to a wall. He could neither work nor play. His money ran out. Worst of all, the natural world – which since childhood had been a source of joy and inspiration for him – became meaningless. Then, cared for by friends, he gradually recovered. He fell in love. Out of necessity as much as choice he moved to East Anglia. And he started to write again.This remarkable book is an account of that first year of a new life.
Lewis Wolpert is Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine at University College, London. Several years ago he had a severe depressive episode and could think only of suicide. His erudite and informative Malignant Sadness: The Anatomy of Depression is therefore written with the empathy of someone with real knowledge of the mood disorder, but also with scientific cynicism.
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Janine Henderson HYMS: “Perhaps one of the most miserable books I have ever read, but gripping nonetheless! Deals with human frailty really, guilt, grief, depression and finally suicide (and a mother with “locked-in syndrome” in the centre of the unfolding plot.”
This work is a personal testimony from Kay Redfield Jamison: the revelation of her struggle with manic depression since adolescence, and how it has shaped her life. The book follows her through college, a love affair, her battle with the illness, bouts of madness, violence and attempted suicide.