Ways This Film Can Help
The response to People Say I'm Crazy has been positive and overwhelming! John and the filmmakers are very grateful that the film has resonated with so many individuals and families.
After receiving a great many personal messages and stories, we believe People Say I'm Crazy can aid schizophrenia sufferers and their families in four important ways:
- By furthering people's understanding of schizophrenia
- By fostering compassion for those with mental illness
- By providing inspiration & hope
- By helping reduce the stigma of mental illness
1) By furthering people's understanding of schizophrenia
An appropriate way to begin to combat an illness is to understand it. People Say I'm Crazy is a definitive first-person account of living with schizophrenia. In the film, John Cadigan provides an unfiltered and unsentimental look at the reality of schizophrenia and its symptoms.
In fact, part of the reason John decided to start filming himself in the first place was to help himself understand his condition. People Say I'm Crazy reveals the truth of schizophrenia in a powerful, unique, and valuable way.
"I've been looking for years for a film like yours that tells the story of what it's really like to live with schizophrenia. Yours is the ONLY one that addresses the subject from a first person perspective. You've done those of us who work to help people understand mental illness a huge service!"
- a director of mental health ministries
"Well done! …I can't think of any other film that is as effective at helping people understand both the problems and the possibilities of schizophrenia."
- a psychiatrist in Canada
People Say I'm Crazy just taught me more about what schizophrenia is than all my years in medical school. I'm about to start my first residency, and I'll be bringing everything you just taught me to my patients."
- Harvard medical student
"I found the film to be very moving, honest, and courageous as well as beautifully composed and edited. It will go a very long way in enhancing people's understanding of the disease."
- a neuropsychologist
"I've been a nurse manager on a locked ward for over 25 years. The film completely changed my understanding of our sickest patients. I will never treat them the same way again."
- a nurse manager in Chicago
2) By fostering compassion for those with mental illness
John Cadigan and the filmmakers of People Say I'm Crazy have put a uniquely human face on mental illness and particularly schizophrenia. Sometimes it is hard to relate to a friend or family member burdened with the cognitive and emotional difficulties associated with schizophrenia. With its intimate and first-hand portrayal, People Say I'm Crazy helps people better relate to anyone struggling with the disease.
"I have just seen your film and I cried. I cried not because I pity you or feel sorry for you but because you taught me something years of education never did."
"I am a mental health case manager and the people I work with everyday have persistent and severe mental illnesses. I think you are brave, intelligent and extremely talented. I am going to have the people at the clinic where I work watch the film and read the information you have put on your website."
"I cannot thank you enough for putting your life and the many obstacles you have overcome out in the public eye for us all to see. Again, you have taught me so much I cannot thank you enough!"
- a case manager in New York City
"Thank you for creating such a film. I am studying to be a psychologist and will be starting an internship soon at a residential treatment facility, working with adults suffering from schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder I will definitely take the inspiration and insight from the film into my new job. So thank you. Thank you for being so honest, despite the vulnerability. And thank you for giving me hope! Your art is beautiful."
- a graduate student
"Thank you for reaching out and being vulnerable with your pain and joy. People need to know the human side of suffering and overcoming thought and mood disorders. I found so many moments where I could relate to what John has gone through. And, some of my clients have uttered word for word the same feelings and experiences that were documented in John's story."
- an employment services provider
"It's truly a wonderful, beautiful, expressive, thoughtful, provoking, challenging film! John's compassion for himself and others really shines through . . . he helped me care about everyone in the film – his family and friends and those he encounters at the Food Bank . The music gave me an audible sense of what schizophrenia is like for John. And of course, the stunning visuals of John's art -- so rich with symbols, so expressive of the place words can't take us..."
- an MSW working with homeless clients
3) By providing inspiration and hope
While People Say I'm Crazy doesn't "pull any punches" in its portrayal of mental illness, the film offers a decidedly optimistic outlook for individuals living with mental illnesses and their families. John goes on to have a great life, with his illness managed by medication an therapy, and his symptoms greaty subsided and managed through tools he's learned from therapy. We believe this message of hope can apply to everyone watching the film who is affected by mental illness.
"I work with severely mentally ill (mostly schizophrenic) individuals. Your film has given me some very important hope to take back to my patients."
- a case manager
"Having just retired from nursing after more than 45 years and working in mental health for more than 25 of those years, I found the film most inspiring, as well as educational."
- a retired nurse-manager
"I currently work at a mental health agency, and the film People Say I'm Crazy is doing more than most of our counseling to benefit our consumers, to give them hope!"
- a peer counselor in Detroit
"We love your film and show it whenever we can to people who come through our doors. You've inspired our consumers to have an art show. And they want to let you know that they got the city art council to help so it will get a lot of attention."
- case manager in upstate New York
4) By helping reduce the stigma of mental illness
Schizophrenia is a disease that carries with it several untrue myths and misconceptions. It's extremely unfortunate that sufferers of schizophrenia have to deal with not only the disease, but the social stigma attached to it. An important goal for John and the producers of People Say I'm Crazy is to dispel some unfortunate myths and present the truth about schizophrenia and its symptoms.
"The whole world needs to see this film."
- an employment counselor
"We use your film to help reduce stigma as well as give hope to those who feel they have no chance to become a member of society again and feel their illness has consumed their life to a point of hopelessness. Thank you."
- a psychiatric survivors group
"I LOVED the movie. I work in a facility in with 287 mentally ill adults. The best part for me was that John made the movie. It was so touching when he made his speech; my eyes started to tear up. Most importantly, thank goodness for your film to educate and work towards erasing the stigma."
- a nurse manager
"I am a Social Worker and have worked in the field of mental health for a long, long time. It's so nice to see something that paints someone with schizophrenia in a more positive light. Congrats on the making of this film."
- therapist in San Francisco
"I can't think of any other (film) that is as effective at helping many people understand both the problems and the possibilities of schizophrenia."
- a psychiatrist in Canada