Bipolar Lessons From The New Movie Rendition

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How’s it going?

Hope you had a good weekend.

Well today I wanted to email you some
lessons on bipolar disorder that I took
away from the movie Rendition.

What’s Rendition?

Here is a description I found from imdb on what
Rendition is:

“Rendition presents a very topical matter
in the form of a very tense thriller. It’s a
gripping, and not a preaching, movie. Seeing
it in an Arab country with a mixture of Arabian
and European audience gave it an extra level of
atmosphere. The audience was totally gripped by
the film and gave it a loud applause afterwards.

The story of an Egyptian, married to an American,
picked up on the suspicion of links to terrorist
organizations and shipped to a friendly (with US)
Arab country for “enhanced interrogation
(as Meryl Streep’s character states in the film:
“we have no torture in the US”) seems to be from
the front page of todays news.

There is a very neat link between the various
of the film never drops. The movies’ message seems
to be (as stated by Jake Gyllenhal’s character in
the film) that by abducting and torturing suspects
you create many more terrorists. The acting is
uniformly excellent with Streep and Reese Witherspoon
the stand outs. Not to be missed.”

The movie was really, really good but kind
of disturbing. Basically a guy in America
is “taken” to some prison and is tortured
over and over again because he would not

Lynn on my blog wrote the other day:

Lynn said…
Hi. I saw ‘Rendition’ w/some A.A. friends,
last evening. I didn’t really know anything
about it x that it was something about espionage (sp).
It was a little difficult to watch in some places,
but it was very well, very realistically, very
believably done, and I would highly recommend it.
Certainly gives you alot to think about, and talk
about w/your friends! Ooh, by the way, I HAVE

Anyway, I was thinking about something related
to bipolar disorder and it’s a super important

Basically in the movie an American person
is taken without going to any kind of court.
In the movie you assume that something
like this can’t happen in America and
that people are treated right and put
through the court system. This isn’t
true in the USA any more. Rendition
is a real thing you can run a search
in the search engines and see.

Anyway with that said, it reminds me
of the huge mistake bipolar supporters
make with loved ones with bipolar disorder.

I have talked about this mistake as
TOBC (total outsourced bipolar care).

This is when a bipolar supporter kind of
drops off a person into some part of the mental
health system and doesn’t do any kind of
watching or checking in on what’s going on.

They think, “well all I have to do is
just get my loved one to the doctor
or hospital and they will take it from there
and I am all done.”

People like this assume: all doctors
are good, family support is not necessary
or important, all therapists are good, people
are treated okay in hospitals, group homes,
out patient programs, etc.

I am here to tell you, this is NOT true.

Today there are many great doctors,
therapists, hospitals, group homes, outpatient
programs but there are some that are not and
there are people that are in good places that
are bad and do bad things.

Over the last couple of years, I have heard
many horror stories of how people with bipolar
disorder have been treated. Many of these stories
came from bipolar supporters not the people with
the disorder–just in case your thinking that the
story my have been made up by someone with bipolar
disorder in an episode. However some have come from
bipolar survivors and I totally believe them.

I interviewed one day that said his brother
was chained to a wall, attacked, hit, abused,
not really fed and made fun of in a hospital
many years ago. Another person with bipolar
disorder told me he was chained to a wall for many
days in a hospital in the 1960s that is now shut

A girl that I knew told me she went to a place
that had animals and one of the cages was donated
from a psychiatric hospital when decades ago
they used the cages for “difficult” and/or “bad

A person I interviewed the other day told me
she was sexually assaulted under care. She also
told me here doctor fell asleep during visits
with him.

My mom has told me her old doctor fell asleep
while she was talking to him numerous times.
I didn’t believe her until I met
him. Like my special reports say, he was totally
“clueless.” He couldn’t fall asleep with me because
I turned the heat up on him BIG TIME 🙂

A furniture sales person told me 15 to 20 years ago
he worked at a program for the mentally ill and the person
who ran it had a scam that basically took all the people’s
money from them to him.

Today it appears that things are not as bad.

I think with the advent of the News and media those
bad places can’t do these extreme things anymore. BUT
there was a story recently of a person in jail with a mental
illness that was mistreated and died in prison because he
didn’t get the right treatment plan. You may have seen
this on TV.

I do hear over and over of cases where the system doesn’t
help someone, medication is not given, people are not
listened to, doctors don’t show up for appointments with
serious situations, patients are given two different
medications that conflict, etc.

The list goes on and on. In all these cases, there was
no one to watch over and check out what was going on.

The lesson that I took away from the movie Rendition
is that bad things can happen to good people and that
things that you think can never happen in “this day
and age” can especially in mental health. Because many
times the system unfortunately doesn’t always treat
those dealing with mental health whether supporters
or survivors fairly or well.

So if you have a loved one in the mental health system,
I strongly advice you to follow all my rules of making
your loved one a 5 percenter and getting him/her
the best care.

In my courses/systems below:




I talk about how to do this at length. I talk
about the phone calls you need to make, checking
in, “drive bys”, “check ins”, the concept of
Mrs. C. etc. There is a whole list of things
that need to be done to make sure a loved one
with bipolar disorder not only is not mistreated
but gets the absolute best care they can possibly

I found this out way early on that most of the
time the system needed “positive pressure” from

You should NOT, and I repeat should NOT assume
that a person will get great care because that’s
what a doctor, therapist, hospital, etc. is suppose
to do.

When I spoke to someone at the movie Rendition, he said,
“You’d never think something like that would ever happen
but I guess it does.” He got me to thinking of all
the bipolar supporters that come to me after the system
has run them over and I give them a plan on how to
run the system over and I point out how the
system really works and people are amazed. They always
say, “I can’t believe it works like this, it shouldn’t.”

NOTE-This is not a slam against doctors, therapists
and hospitals I am just pointing out reality. I write
about the truth and reality not theory. If you are
offended I am sorry but what I say is the total

Well I have to take off. I will catch you tomorrow.
Have a great day. And I do recommend that movie Rendition.

Your Friend,


P.S. Don’t forget to take a look through the
different programs I’ve put together… each one is designed
to help you with a different area of bipolar disorder whether
you have it or you are supporting someone with it.
You can see them all and get the details by visiting:

P.P.S. Check out my F.ree blog with copies of emails
that I have sent in the past and lots of great
information for you:

P.P.P.S Check out my F.ree podcast. Hear me give
mini seminars designed to teach you information
you can’t learn anywhere else.

  1. Speaking of movies, I highly recommend the movie Canvas. NAMI has been promoting it vigorously. It has limited engagements. If enough people go see it, there will be a wider distribution. It shows a very accurate representation of what it’s like living with schizophrenia for both the patient and family members. My daughter has bipolar disorder and there were parts that had her and I sobbing, along with other members in the audience…so bring some Kleenex.

  2. Dear David,
    I need to know how to help my daughter admit she needs help. I bought your info. and can not see any thing in the info to help her get in for help. Its that course you had on sale a few weeks ago, but there is nothing on how to get help for her. There is good stuff on how to help but nothing on how to get her in for help. Do you give false promises? I talked to a bp person and thats what they told me they said that a book that helped the bp person is The Bipolar Survival Guide. Thank you if you can help. Lorraine

  3. Dear Lorraine,

    I have had BP since I can remember not knowing it though. However with the severe mood swings and incessant tantrums I was scared someone would lock me away in a mental institution and therefore I did not seek treatment or talk about it with others. My grandmother raised me and called them spells, and my husband of 18 years just took it all in stride. I wish I sought help before my third child was born. It was worse than ever before and it forced me to get help. I started with therapists and then I sought a psychiatrist when I realized I needed medication. The medication was not always my friend though. Through trial and error and I do mean a lot of trial and error I was finally medicated properly. You must monitor the medications very closely. I was on some that put me in the hospital and caused me to quit my state job. Then I had a doctor that when I would tell him one medicine wasn’t working he would keep adding more medicine rather than taking me off of one to try the other. You have to be real patient and understand that it can take a couple of years before you get the right medication. One thing I found was that Antidepressants made me worse instead of better. I tried at least six different ones. Lamictal which is equivelant to Lithium except with out the major side effects has been a god send for me. But just because some meds were not right for me doesn’t mean it is not right for another. I am not 100% cured, but I’d say I am 90% better. Daily self hypnosis and meditation is helpful in bringing self confidence, esteem, and an overall sense of well being for BP’s who struggle with thinking they are worthless and a burden. Once the person starts to feel normal again they will be tempted to stop taking the meds because they feel they are cured, explain that many others have made this terrible mistake and have been locked away in jail as a result because they slip back into a severe mania. BP’s must take meds for the rest of their life and accept it, which is not easy for anyone. I had to look at it as I am lucky I could have diabetes and have to take insulin shots everyday and restrict myself from all the food I love. Thank God I’m only a little crazy, lol.


  4. This is in response to the current mistreatment of patients. I have diagnoses of Depression and Anxiety. Last month my psychiatrist put me on Paxil and although I was very depressed at the time, I started feeling more suicidal than I have ever felt. I was scared and I went to him and explained how I was feeling and that the little pharmaceutical sheet said Paxil might escalate such feeling and you should let your doctor know right away. So that was why I was there and I was wondering if we could make a change. His “nurse” (an oncology specialist) was in the room as well. His nurse weighs about 400 lbs and is really a nice guy. I suggested some other possible antidepressants I’d been researching, and suddenly the doctor just got furious. He said, “Get her out of her and take her to a hopital.” The reply was “there are no hospitals,” which would have devastated me more than ever. So he then said, “Well, just get her out of here, now!” I was in shock. I had come for help. Then I felt the both of them lifting me up out of the chair and carrying me down the hall and out front where they stood me in the gutter leaning against my car with my purse and stuff left on the hood. Then they just left. I was crying and really dazed and confused that any human being could do that to another person. I could not find my keys for 15 minutes and was just left until I found them and somehow drove home. I called several friends and told them what had happened. They were all horrified. The doctor left town for a month. I was almost out of paxil and I was afraid to continue it anyway. The next Monday I finally got up the courage to call the Nurse and ask if that really happened to me. He was very solemn and said, “Yes, it did.” The doctor left no Rx alternatives and in fact had told the Nurse to lock up in his file cabinet the sample bottle of Cymbalta I was previously going to try. Finally the Nurse and I found a refill on a Celexa Rx from many months prior from my regular physician, which was stopped due to weight gain. But it was the only possible choice I had….we have no other psychiatrist in our town and my regular physcian had agreed to leave such Rx’s up to the psychiatrist. The nurse and my therapist recommended I find another psychiatrist, but I would have travel at least 120 miles to the next biggest town. I just don’t feel comfortable driving that far now. The withdrawal and change were brutal. I told my therapist what happened and she said that the doctor and nurse said I was just very confused and there were too many other patients waiting. The Nurse then denied ever picking me up and he said I walked out on my own — why was he with me if that were the case? They said I had said, “Get me out of here.” Why would I would to leave if I’d come because I was suicidal? Now I doubt myself, and my regular physician believes what they said and you can tell he is reluctant to see now as well. Mental Health just faxed my regular physcian and said he should order an MRI. That kind of ticked off my physcian and he is leaving it up to his Physcian’s
    Asst. So I apologized to the psychiatrist and said maybe I was somewhat confused that day and I was sorry for whatever I had done to have the incident occur; that I didn’t understand, and maybe he could help me understand what I did. He said, “Don’t worry about it. It wasn’t your fault, and there were a lot of patients waiting.” And he increased the Celexa by 20 mg.
    It hasn’t really helped. I feel like a ping pong ball, rather than a patient that is cared about. I don’t know what to do from here. I am so thankful for my friends who have been so supportive.

    Your information has been helpful. But I wanted to confirm that some doctors do not provide the care one would think. I am just not strong enough to really change things and I have no family that can help. Be thankful for your loved ones. I still have hope but I know I can’t make it without the help of others….


  5. David,
    I’ve no doubt you have learnt to predict your mother’s moods and associated issues.
    I’m sure she is very lucky to have you to care for her and it does you great credit as a humanitarian.

    But …
    I don’t understand how your limited experience with a limited number of cases qualifies you to suggest remedies suitable for the many variations of Bipolar disorder.

    You send material out – but from whom do you listen and learn.
    Bare in mind, a large number of Bipolar people (including myself) would not want to be without their condition. Yet, you imply it is an ailment.

    “Predicting the future” implies magic, which is a dishonest way of trying to extract money from a group of people who might not be worldly-wise enough to see you coming.

    I think your stories are made up.
    In short, I reckon you’re a cheap con-artist.

  6. GOOD FOR YOU!!! Tell it like it is. I myself have had good bipolar care BUT only because my parents and family MADE SURE I was getting only the best of care. They were the caregivers the doctors were really the second helpers. The health care system can be like a stapler. Do I need a stapler? Yes. But I am still the one that has to push it down.

  7. oli, he isnt getting paid to give out advice. he also is in no danger of getting our personal information. ALSO, there is no way that his advice could harm anyone.

    what is your point?

  8. I don’t know if things have changed very much in 30 years, but when I was a patient in a University Psychiatric Ward, the patients weren’t monitored, and I was sexually assaulted by another “inmate.” At the time, we both thought it was consensual. The doctors blamed ME, and put me in the “quiet room” (a small, bathroom-sized, padded room, with a mattress on the floor), for over a week. I had to beg to have a cigarette and to go to the bathroom (sometimes they ALMOST waited tooo long). Sometimes, though rarely, other patients came to the tiny window and offered some comfort. One told me that the way to get out was to set the mattress on fire; they slipped me a book of matches, but I was caught just as I tried to light the match!

    Also, the resident assigned to me, was never around – I called him, “Shitty Sheehan” – and when he was, he overmedicated me to the point that I was not eating and weighed 78 pounds (I am 5’9″)! There were times when I was not allowed to see my Mother; they were sad times…

    As Christmas rolled around, they were trying to get rid of a lot of the patients so the staff wouldn’t have so many to deal with over the Holidays. I was sooo bad off, that the doctor told my Mother to pick somewhere that I could go to DIE! Fortunately, she chose the State Mental Hospital that was just over the mountain from where she lived, so that she could see me (other places were in MD or NC).

    Christmas came and went on the ward, and I wasn’t doing so hot, so they sent me to the Medical Center. There, a doctor from the Philippines diagnosed me with pernicious anemia, and started giving me daily doses of injections of Vitamin B-12, megavitamins, and “power shakes” twice a day. I was released four months later weighing 100 pounds!

    I assume there are similar abuses in mental hospitals and wards to this day. I remember one girl told me she was in a “quiet room” at a private psychiatric hospital, and when she asked to go to the bathroom, they DIDN’T let her, and she soiled her room, leading to a massive infection that almost killed her.

    I HIGHLY recommend that supporters and loved ones of bipolar survivors stay on TOP of their treatment, even going so far as to question their shrinks if they even THINK something is out of the ordinary. We can’t leave our treatment up to the staffs of hospitals and clinics alone – our supporters need to be PROACTIVE in our recovery. Our lack of judgment while in a manic episode leads us to exhibit behavior that is NOT normal. We NEED our supporters to “go to bat” for us; make sure we’re taking our meds, seeing to it that we get enough sleep, go to our appointments, and follow a treatment plan.

    PLEASE try to recognize that our very LIVES are in your hands. We CAN’T do it ourselves. Some of us are highly functional and can lead a fairly “normal” life – it’s those times when we’re on the cusp of an episode that we need your help.

    BIG HUGS to all bipolars and the ones who love them. God loves you, and so do I.

  9. Dave, It looks like I have a movie to go see now!!! I am thinking about doctors and therapists. Some are good, and some are not. Like teachers, sales people, waiters, repair people. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to go through bad ones to find the ones are really good. I went to 3 different pharmacys before I found one that treated me with the family like friendliness the one I used to go to closed.

  10. Dave’s remarks about the variable quality of ‘system’ care of the mentally ill are true, I think, and something we all need to be reminded of on a regular basis. My lover has BP and in the early days following initial diagnosis had a psychiatrist who still subscribed to a century old idea of ‘hysteria’ when it came to dealing with his female patients. Fortunately, my loved one is trained in psychology and persisted in getting herself reassigned to a clinical mentor who had more commonsense. Too many of us tend to trust clinicians unless we’ve had a bad experience with them and we can forget that not everybody who takes up medicine does so because their hearts are full of the milk of human kindness.

  11. I have had depression for most of my life. I was outsourced to a mental institution at the age of 5 for a year and a half. (I have spent the remainder of my life trying to forget the experience.) My parents thought being there would magically make me better and became angry at me when it didn’t. They are still angry.

    I wasn’t diagnosed with depression until I was 22 years old.

    Now my current psychiatrist won’t treat my depression unless I get off painkillers that I take for chronic pain. He’s got “issues” because I am taking morphine for “non-cancer pain” as he calls it.

    I have multiple red flags from depression checklist and have constant thoughts of suicide. I have horrible nightmares every time I fall asleep.

    My family lives 5 hours away by car and can’t be my supporters. I’ve got no one to make sure I become a “5 percenter”. I am also physically disabled and we do not have a “Canadian with Disabilities” Act.

    I am suffering immensely and the friends I do have do not realize I am in trouble and trying to plead for help. I am an excellent writer and can describe my suffering eloquently.

    Why have I been left holding the bag? I have had bad experiences with surgery meant to help me physically. I am now terrified of hospitals.

    I am not asking for magic words, but I am afraid that I am not going to make it. I wish I knew what to do. I wish you had a course for depression for my life has been ruined and my family relationships ruined by it just as much as a bipolar survivor’s life and relationships have been ruined by her disease.

    I am tired and I just want my pain to end. I have one person far away who is pulling for me, but he doesn’t know what to do.

    I know I need help, but most of my friends are in the dark, I have full blown depression and my current psychiatrist just doesn’t seem to care. My physician and some friends are trying to find a replacement for my current psychiatrist, but there are waiting lists.

    I am scared to go to sleep tonight, because of the nightmares. I wish I knew what to do.

  12. I was diagonosed with BP about 5 yrs ago. I’ve had counselors who just told me “to suck it up. That there is more to life. That other people have made it through tougher times than what I was going through and have made it through.” They didn’t care that I was suicidal.

    State Facilities are real bad about having workers who don’t care.They have to many patients and not enough time for each one. I’m suppose to be having an hour long session with my counselor every two weeks according to the Dr. and I’m only receiving 30 minutes a month. Those of us without insurance, receive worse care with the state facilities.

    I have friends who when I need to talk always listen. They check in on me everyday to see how I’m doing. But no one to help me with my BP care. It’s all on me. Which is sometimes, overwhelming.

    I have found your information very helpful in my situation. I want to thank you for giving me the hope that I can do this on my own and be a “normal” person, without so many episodes and know how and what to do when I do have one.

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