Recommended bipolar disorder-Related Audiotapes, Videos and Movies

Following are videos and movies that we highly recommend for people who want to learn more about bipolar disorder, and related issues. For more information on each video, simply click on the Title link. Note, It may take a few seconds before a new web browser window opens on your computer with the video information. Your support in purchasing videos through the links below would be greatly appreciated as it helps cover this web site's operating costs. Please tell friends who might benefit from this list of videos to visit our web site too. For those who don't have computer access, please print out a copy of this page and give it to them - Thank you.

Audiocassettes on bipolar disorder

An audiocassette reading of "The Quiet Room" by Lori Schiller. The second recording is "bipolar disorder" - From the award-winning public radio program The Infinite Mind. What is bipolar disorder? What's it like to experience its symptoms? Dr. Goodwin and several top researchers and advocates discuss the most recent developments in our understanding of bipolar disorder and how to treat it. Psychologist Fred Frese, who himself has bipolar disorder, explains that for the schizophrenic, life can be dreamlike. The ability to determine what is true, to control one's actions, to distinguish between internal and external aspects of one's experience -- all can be altered.

The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness By Lori Schiller, Publisher: Time Warner Audio Books; Abridged edition (June 1994) ISBN: 1570420386

bipolar disorder: Voices of an Illness Publisher: Lichtenstein Creative Media; (May 1, 1994) ISBN: 1888064021

Voices of an Illness radio documentary series has provided millions with an extraordinary window on serious mental illness since the series premiere in 1992. The series was the first to feature people who had recovered from serious mental illness, telling their own stories in their own words. The National Institute of Mental Health hailed the series as having "truly set new standards of creativity and scientific accuracy in broadcast journalism about mental illness."

Educational Films, Videos and DVDs on bipolar disorder (in no particular order)

"People Say I'm Crazy" - During his senior year in college, artist John Cadigan had a psychotic break. He dropped out of school and cycled through a number of drugs and doctors, then decided to film his agonizing battle with bipolar disorder. People Say I'm Crazy is the first documentary ever photographed and directed by someone with bipolar disorder. John invites viewers to tour the inside of his mind, a chaotic and creative universe, where he struggles to know what is real and what is not.

An alumna of Stanford University's graduate program who profiled John in her 1994 thesis film, Out of My Mind [see below], Katie Cadigan reports that shooting People was much easier for her brother - since he controlled what got recorded - than editing." The Cadigans are collaborating on another documentary, about the hysterical and misleading portrayals of bipolar disorder in popular culture. As its title (Wacko) suggests, it's intended to be funny as well as scathing.

More information on "People Say I'm Crazy" -

"Out of My Mind" - a film thesis by Katie Cadigan. Out of My Mind is an award-winning documentary about the onset of mental illness. A young artist's college career comes to a halt by a psychotic episode, signaling the onset of bipolar disorder. The artist teams up with his sister - the filmmaker - to explore the nature of his psychosis, their agonizing search for care, and the family love that sustains him through crisis after crisis. Demystifying the frightening and stigmatized world of severe mental illness, Out of My Mind offers a rare first-person account of a family struggling to come to terms with bipolar disorder. For purchase or rental, contact Filmaker's Library, {phone (212) 808-4980}. "It is one of the best and most useful films I have seen on this subject... especially for teaching and for families of individuals with serious mental illnesses." - E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., author of Surviving bipolar disorder

Before They Fall Off the Cliff - This is an award-winning film is the story of a family where paranoid bipolar disorder took its heavy toll, but also gave it the courage to forgive and to enlighten others about mental illness.

In 1994, Matthew McBride, the youngest son of a suburban St., Louis family was fighting a difficult battle with paranoid bipolar disorder. Imaginary voices convinced him that if he killed his parents, he could prevent World War III. He stabbed his parents to death hours after release from a mental hospital. Matt¹s brother and sister were left to deal with not only the violent death of their beloved parents but the well being of their younger brother who was not responsible for his actions. 60min. Video. Sale $350. Rental $75. - Order from Filmakers Library, 124 East 40th Street, NY, NY 10016, Phone 212-808-4980, fax 212-808-4983

Imaging Robert: My Brother, Madness and Survival - The book, Imagining Robert: My Brother, Madness & Survival, has been made into a one-hour documentary. Jay Neuborgen wrote the story about his brother and their family's experience with bipolar disorder. The film is available for rental through Films for the Humanities & Sciences at or by calling (800) 257-5126. Information about the filmmakers, Larry Hott and Diane Garey, is available at . For more information see the film web site at:

Dark Voices: bipolar disorder - bipolar disorder is a neurological brain disorder that affects 2.2 million Americans today. This program seeks to understand how bipolar disorder touches the lives of patients and their family members while examining the disease’s etiology and pathology. Although there is currently no cure, bipolar disorder is a highly manageable disorder—in fact, its treatment success rate is comparable to the success rate associated with heart disease. A Discovery Channel Production. (53 minutes, color). List Price: $129.95, Rental Price: $75.00, To Order this film:

Drug/Alcohol Addiction and bipolar disorder - Many people who are mentally ill are also addicted to drugs and alcohol. These are separate problems that require separate treatments, yet few people have been diagnosed correctly for both conditions. This program from The Doctor Is In profiles a woman who is manic-depressive and alcoholic, and a man with bipolar disorder who is also alcoholic. Dr. Fred Goodwin, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, explains ongoing research that may help identify and treat adolescents before they begin to experience problems. A Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center production. (28 minutes, color). List Price: $149.95, Rental Price: $75.00, To Order this film:

The Torment of bipolar disorder - (2000) Although one out of every hundred people in the world will likely wrestle with bipolar disorder, the disease remains one of psychiatry’s greatest therapeutic challenges. Enhanced by computer animations of the brain, this poignant program uses several case studies and expert commentary to promote a better understanding of bipolar disorder: its causes and warning signs, current treatments, and how it affects the lives of those who have it. The phases of a psychotic attack are described, and positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms are defined. In addition, approaches to mainstreaming patients are addressed. (53 minutes, color), List Price: $129.95, Rental Price: $75.00, To Order this film:

Preventing Relapse in bipolar disorder - As of now, there is no cure for bipolar disorder, but with a combination of proper medication, therapy, and group support, patients can gain more control over their lives. In this program, two psychiatric experts discuss the elusive nature of this devastating disorder, as well as various treatments available to prevent relapse. Both the benefits and side effects of antipsychotic drugs are weighed by doctors. bipolar disorder patients offer personal insights into how they avoid relapse and how a growing variety of treatment options are helping them lead more normal lives. (21 minutes, color), List Price: $129.95, Rental Price: $75.00, To Order this film:

bipolar disorder - This specially adapted Phil Donahue program is widely regarded as a very helpful program on bipolar disorder addressed to non-specialist audiences. The program offers basic information about this psychotic illness that affects nearly one million Americans, usually striking 17- to 25-year-olds. Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, author of Surviving bipolar disorder: A Family Manual, reviews the suspected causes, the symptoms, the prognosis for recovery, and the steps to be taken by supportive family members. (28 minutes, color), List Price: $89.95, Rental Price: $75.00, To Order this film:

bipolar disorder and Depression - Mental illness, its forms, and the progress being made in its treatment are the focus of this program. First, Dr. David Pickar, of the National Institute of Mental Health, provides information on bipolar disorder and its treatment. A patient with bipolar disorder who has a history of suicide attempts and has benefited from drug therapies is profiled. Then, Dr. Frederick Goodwin, formerly of the NIMH, shares his knowledge of depression, an illness that affects millions of American adults. Of this group, most could benefit from medication, but only a fraction actually seek treatment. The program also explores the temporary chemical changes in the brain during winter, which can lead to seasonal affective disorder. (23 minutes, color), List Price: $99.95, Rental Price: $75.00, To Order this film:

bipolar disorder: New Definitions, New Therapies - (1998) Using interviews with medical authorities including neuropsychiatrist Richard Petty, of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, and outstanding computer animation of the brain, this program provides an update on the causes and treatments of bipolar disorder. NewsHour correspondent Susan Dentzer focuses on a young Philadelphia man trying desperately to control this devastating disorder. Although new atypical antipsychotic drugs such as Olanzapine, Risperidone, and Quetiapine are proving helpful—to those who can afford them—experts agree that a strong community support program is also essential to achieve lasting recovery. (29 minutes, color), List Price: $89.95, Rental Price: $75.00, To Order this film:

bipolar disorder Videos Recommended by Dr. E. Fuller Torrey

A Mother's Search (1996)
A mother's extraordinary journey to rescue her son, Mark, who has bipolar disorder, is homeless and is in need of medical attention. The issues of medication non-compliance and involuntary treatment are addressed. Designed especially for families, professionals and law enforcement officers.

To Order: CBS Video: "48 Hours" 10-24-96. CBS, P.O. Box 2284, So. Burlington, VT 05407, Phone: 800-542-5621. 45 minute video tape. $29.95 + $7.13 shipping = $38.08.

Annick Holister's Story (1997)
Annick's story is about living with bipolar disorder. Determined to face mental illness and overcome the obstacles to recovery, Annick and members of her family relate their experiences. A heartwarming video to inspire and encourage other consumers and families to seek help. The importance of research is emphasized.

To Order: CBS "60 Minutes" segment, 5-18-97. CBS, P.O. Box 2284, So. Burlington, VT 05407, Phone: 800-542-5621. (sM70518C) video tape. $29.95 + $7.13 shipping = $38.08.

Critical Conections (1997)
From the perspective of individuals who have bipolar disorder, the viewer learns that treatment is not just a matter of medications; the individual must take control and build relationships of trust with others. The message the video conveys is: "see the individual first, then the illness." Video cites progress in science and medications with fewer side-effects. Suitable for families, consumers, mental health professionals, and concerned citizens.

To Order Your Free Copy: American Psychiatric Association, Public Affairs, 1400 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005, 28-min videotape, Call 202-682-6325 to obtain a free copy.

Familes Coping with Mental Illness (1996)
Families convey stories about their struggles and successes. A provocative tape that stimulates exellent discussions. Families will get a perspective that will help them cope more effectively. This is a powerful learning tool for social workers and other mental health professionals to use in training and when attempting to help families cope with mental disease.

To Order: Bonnie Tapes. Mental Illness Education Project, 22-D Hollywood Avenue, Hohokus, NJ 07423. Phone: 201-652-1989. 22 minute or 43 minute videotape, $29.95 + $9 shipping = $38.95

I'm Still Here. The Truth About bipolar disorder; A Non-Fiction Film (1996)
Real and compelling stories told by individuals struggling with bipolar disorder, but who are able to lead lives of extraordinary courage and accomplishment. College Students, mental health professionals, and family members view this tape as moving and remarkable testimony.

To Order: Direct Cinema, PO Box 10003, Santa Monica, CA 90410. Phone: 1-800-525-0000 or 310-636-8200. 67-min videotape, $20.95 (includes shipping).

In a World Alone: Living with bipolar disorder (1997)
William M. Glazer, MD and Peter M. Weiden, MD., discuss the history of deinstitutionalization, the history of treatment methods, and the advances in medications used today. The viewer is reminded that "stigma is caused by disease that cannot be precisely measured." Consumers express belief in recovery and cite importance of staying on medications.

To Order: Lisa Rosas, WLIW Health Chronicles, 1790 Broadway, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10019, Phone: 212-974-2121 Ext. 3825. or 1-800-847-7793. 26 min videotape, $24.95 + $3.00 shipping = $27.95

Madness (Part 7, "The Brain" series) (1984)
An excellent, detailed, informative and interesting introduction to bipolar disorder used extensively by college students, professionals, and families to better understand bipolar disorder.

To Order: Produced by PBS. Annenberg CPB Project, P.O. Box 2345, South Burlington, VT 05407, Phone: 800-LEARNER, fax: 802-864-9846. 60 minute videotape, $29.95 + $2.40 shipping = $32.35.

Mental Illness: Unraveling the Myths (1990)
An impressive and provocative panel discussion explores the origins of the stigma surrounding people with serious mental illness. Host is Rutgers professor Richard Heffner; panelists are Alexander D. Brooks, law professor; Patricia Deegan, psychologist; Joanne Verbanic, founder of Schizophrenics Anonymous; Phyllis Vine, author; and Otto Wahl, psychology professor.

To Order: Rutgers University, New Jersey, Electronic Communications, 6 Berrue Circle, Piscataway, NJ 08854. Phone: 732-445-3710, ext. 129. 60 min videotape, $35.00 + $5.00 Shipping = $40.00

No More Shame: Understanding bipolar disorder (1995)
Videotape presents current findings and thinking in the area of research on bipolar disorder. Symptoms of the illness and treatment options are brought to the forefront. Use of graphics and computer animations help to assist viewer to better understand the brain, the neurotransmitters, and what actually happens at the level of the neuron. Schools, colleges, families, and professionals will learn from and enjoy this videotape.

To Order: Films for Humanities and Sciences, P.O. Box 2053, Princeton, NJ 08543, Catalog Number 5827, Phone: 800-257-5126, 20 min. videotape. $89.95 + $5.95 shipping = $95.90

The film "Nor More Shame" is also available from

bipolar disorder (1996) - A Three-part series enjoyed by families and useful as teaching tools

635.1 - Causation
Discusses the epidemiology of bipolar disorder and presents theories regarding the cause of this biologically-based disorder. Includes a discussion of genetic and environmental factors, as well as structural and functional changes in the brain, including biochemistry. Also discusses neurologic signs and information-processing deficits.
1995, 28 min., $280, 2-CE

635.2 - Symptomatology
Discusses both positive and negative symptoms of bipolar disorder and assists helpers in determining whether or not an individual has such symptoms. Also assists helpers interacting with individuals who are symptomatic and increases awareness of situations in which violence might occur. Discusses the DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder.
1995, 31 min., $280, 2-CE

635.3 - The Community's Response
Describes the deinstitutionalization movement and its impact. Discusses the community's response from several viewpoints including that of clients, parents, medical and nursing professionals, law enforcement personnel, psychiatric personnel in the penal system, and outreach workers. Examines issues such as importance of the family, adherence to medication regimens, stigmatization, dangerousness, and need for community outreach and support. Commentary by E. Fuller Torrey.
1995, 41 min., $280, 2-CE

To Order: Concept Media, P.O. Box 19542, Irvine, CA 92623-9542, Tel (949) 660-0727, Fax: (949) 660-0206, Toll-Free 800-233-7078,

"bipolar disorder: Surving in the World of Normals", and

"A Love Story: Living with Someone with bipolar disorder" (1991)
Frederick J. Frese, a psychologist and consumer, and his wife, Penny Frese, speak candidly about schizoprenia. Dr. Frese offers and insider's perspective and practicle approaches to the problems surrounding the illness; Penny Frese speaks from the perspective of a spouse. An iimpressive and inspiring model for "openness" about mental illness. A favorite among consumers and families, college students and professionals.

To Order: Wellness Reproductions, 23945 Mercantile Road, Beachwood, OH 44122-5924, Phone: 216-831-9209, 120 minute videotape, $49.95 + $5.95 shipping = $55.90

PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) Videos

West 47th Street
Mental illness is a topic rife with stereotypes and misunderstanding. Made with depth and compassion, "West 47th Street" is an intimate cinema verite portrait of four people struggling to recover from serious mental illness. They've all come to Fountain House, a renowned rehabilitation center in New York City's Hell's Kitchen. Over three years, the film follows its subjects as they deal with drug regimens, health issues, group homes and work programs with courage and humor. Epic in scope, "West 47th Street" offers an unprecedented window onto the lives of people who are often feared and ignored, but seldom understood. An Active Voice Selection. Price: $49.98 for DVD, $39.98 for Video

A Brilliant Madness - The Story of John Nash
John Nash was an eccentric mathematical genius whose sudden youthful plunge into bipolar disorder could have ended in obscurity or tragedy. Instead, his 30-year battle against crippling mental disease ended in triumph--and winning the 1994 Nobel Prize in economics, as recounted in the blockbuster 2001 film, A Beautiful Mind. This documentary features interviews with Nash, wife Alicia, friends, and colleagues. DVD Special Features include bonus interview with John Nash; out-takes of bipolar disorder; Price: $14.95 Video, $19.95 DVD.

Secret Life of the Brain: Part 3: The Teenage Brain: A World of Their Own
This episode offers potential comfort to parents who believe teenagers are different from the rest of humanity by demonstrating that it's literally true. During puberty the brain is a work in progress, teeming with hormones, while the areas that direct reasoning and impulse control are still in development. Adolescence is also a period during which people are especially susceptible to bipolar disorder and addiction, two areas currently under intensive study and benefiting from increased understanding of brain function. Price: $14.95 for Video.

Other Documentary-type films related to bipolar disorder

"Managing Depression", "Depression and Relationships", "Treating Depression" and "Understanding Depression" from Glaxo Wellcome Inc, Pharmaceuticals Research, Triangle Park, N.C. 27709.

"Negative Symptoms in bipolar disorder", 1995, Nancy Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D., University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Contact NAMI for 60 minute video,
Notes from Video "Negative Symptoms of bipolar disorder (4 page PDF file)

"Promise". Hallmark Hall of Fame, 1986. (Story of two brothers, one schizophrenic). 60 minutes.

"Uncertain Journey." Dept. Of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Box 3173, Durham, N.C. 27710. (919) 684-3332, 50 minutes. $25.00.

"Understanding and Communicating With a Person Who Is Experiencing Mania",
"Understanding and Communicating With a Person Who is Hallucinating",
"Understanding Relapse: Managing the Symptoms of bipolar disorder".
Nurseminars, Inc., P.O. Box 540616, Omaha, NE, 68154-0616, (402) 496-2245. Each: 60 minutes, $89.00

"When the Music Stops: The Reality of Serious Mental Illness", The DuPont Co., 1987, NAMI, 200 N. Glebe Road, Suite 1015, Arlington, VA 22203-3754, (703) 524-7600. 20 minutes, $20.


Recent Movies on bipolar disorder

Revolution #9 - VHS Version, Starring: Michael Risley, Adrienne Shelly, Director: Tim McCann, Format: Color, NTSC, Rated: NR, Studio: Wellspring Media, Inc.

Revolution #9 - DVD Version, Starring: Michael Risley, Adrienne Shelly, Director: Tim McCann, Format: Color, NTSC, Rated: NR, Studio: Wellspring Media, Inc.

Revolution #9 is an award-winning fictional movie that realistically documents a young man's descent into bipolar disorder. Just as everything seems to be going right for Jackson and his girlfriend Kim, a shadow falls across their lives. Suddenly, Jackson begins to suspect that Kim's young nephew is sending him sinister messages over the Internet. Next, he becomes convinced a television commercial for a perfume called Revolution #9 is part of a systematic sensory attack by corporate media. Diagnosed as schizophrenic by his doctor, Jackson refuses to take his medication and rejects everyone around him, believing they are all part of a conspiracy against him. More information on Revolution #9. If you're looking for a realistic depiction of bipolar disorder from a recent Hollywood production, Revolution #9 is perhaps a more accurate and representative movie than "A Beautiful Mind".

A Beautiful Mind (The Awards Edition) VHS-Version, Starring: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Director: Ron Howard, ASIN: B00005JKQZ

A Beautiful Mind (Widescreen Awards Edition) DVD-Version, Starring: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Director: Ron Howard, ASIN: B00005JKQZ

Older Movies that involve people who have bipolar disorder (as reviewed by Ian Chovil)

Benny & Joon is a happy film about romance, independence and bipolar disorder. Movie Information: Starring: Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik, Format: Color, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Studio: Mgm/Ua Studio, Video Release Date: April 1, 1997

The Saint of Fort Washington is a sad (but well-done) movie about homelessness and bipolar disorder. Click here for another person's review of the movie

Through a Glass Darkly won an Academy award, "Best Foreign film", back in the sixties, very early for any film to mention bipolar disorder by name. It is an Igmar Bergman film shot in black and white, a bit stark really about a young woman and some pretty strange family dynamics.

Angel Baby (VHS) is a relatively recent Australian film about a young couple in love who both have bipolar disorder. It's a very sad and brutally honest film. It is a little too realistic for comfort for people who have experience with bipolar disorder. Movie Details: Starring: Michael Rymer, John Lync, Director: Michael Rymer, Format: Color, NTSC, Rated: R - Not for sale to persons under age 18.

The Gingerbread Man is a bad movie. It has a central character with bipolar disorder but his role is to illustrate our fear of people with bipolar disorder. Rated: R - Not for sale to persons under age 18.

Donnie Darko was recommended by several of my visitors. It's a film about adolescents, and the main character is being treated with medication for a mental illness. This film you're never too sure what is real and what are delusions. And in the same way the ending is inconclusive because you're not sure if what you're seeing is real or just what Donnie believes is real. Rated: R - Not for sale to persons under age 18.

Advanced Science/Biology of bipolar disorder Videos - We have a lot of advanced Internet-based videos on bipolar disorder at this link.



Disclaimer: The Bipolar Focus website provides information about bipolar disorder to interested viewers. This information is not a guide for patient treatment, nor is it meant to provide a substitute for professional advice about medical treatment of the disorder by a licensed physician or clinician. No medical advice is given, nor is any provided on or distributed from this website. Users interested in medical advice or treatment must consult a licensed practitioner. No doctor-patient relationship is created through the use of this web site.    

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