Depression film club.

Tuesday August 12, 2014

I have danced with depression for most of my life, but have somehow always been able to make my excuses and exit the dance floor before its grip became too strong.

This year however, at the age of 34, something changed. To put it mildly everything changed all at once, leaving my life resembling a twister spinning erratically and relentlessly. I waited for the natural calm to restore order. But for the first time, it was nowhere to be seen. The panic attacks started and my local Starbucks staff eyed me warily as I burst into tears yet again while sipping my vanilla latte.

Desperate for the despair and panic to stop I found solace in the little pockets of escape that watching my favourite films gave me. Little did I realise that the eclectic group of films would serve as a wonderful metaphor for my then mindset, giving me comfort, relief and a glimmer of positivity for the future.

So sit back, draw the curtains and take what you will from the first instalment of the depression film club.

Drop Dead Fred

Starring one of my favourite comics of all time, the late Rik Mayall, Drop Dead Fred is the story of Lizzie, who returns to her overbearing mother following the end of her marriage to the smarmy and equally controlling Charles.

From her dowdy clothes and Alice bands Lizzie looks like a lost child, until the return of her childhood imaginary friend, Drop Dead Fred.

Fred is loud, fun and rebellious (and no one else can see him). It becomes clear that these were qualities Lizzie also possessed as a child until her mother stifled her through fear and manipulation.

After many ridiculous scenarios including breakages, a house boat disaster and dog poo, Fred releases Lizzie from her mental child-hood prison, enabling her to stand alone as a confident, independent woman.

One of the final scenes of this film shows Lizzie enter a dream like state where she finally releases her childhood self who is shackled to her bed with sellotape. The perfect metaphor for self acceptance and letting go of the past.

Summary - When life comes crashing around you, it can mean the eventual start of a new life armed with skills and strengths that can only be found by fully experiencing and facing your pain (and maybe smashing a few things).

A Moodscope member.


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