Bipolarized: Rethinking Mental Illness

About This Project

Millions of Americans every year are diagnosed with a serious mental illness and prescribed drugs as the standard treatment. But are these diagnoses always correct? And are drugs the only or best way to treat their symptoms?

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Ross McKenzie’s psychiatrist told him he would have to take lithium to control his symptoms for the rest of his life. But the daily dose of the drug felt like a chemical lobotomy to Ross, leaving him in a foggy haze.

Ross believed there had to be a better way and even wondered if the diagnosis was correct.  He detoxed off lithium and sought to uncover the root causes of his mental breakdown and pursue alternative treatments.

BIPOLARIZED follows Ross’ troubled personal journey, while telling a larger story about mental illness and conventional drug treatments. The film questions whether many people are incorrectly diagnosed, and challenges whether toxic psychotropic drugs are the only way to treat mental illness.

Weaving together Ross’ raw, heartfelt experiences with commentary from psychiatrists and mental health activists, the film recounts the alternative path Ross used to regain his mental, emotional and physical health.

Ross is now healthy, living a full life, without the debilitating side effects of psychotropic drugs. His experience is not unique, as the film reveals.  Many are now questioning the standard diagnosis and treatment of mental illness, and finding that by choosing to discover the varied root causes of mental health symptoms, it may be possible for many to create a vibrant life, free from mental health disease, without the use of drugs.

Film Information

Running Time: 76 minutes
A Film by Rita Kotzia
Featuring Ross McKenzie
Scene Selection • Closed Captioned
Grades - College to Adult

Project Slate 2018