Monday, January 16, 2012

Side Trip - Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry is a British actor & comedian whose work I have enjoyed over a number of years. When the ABC here in Australia ran a two-part documentary called 'Steven Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive' I had no idea what to expect. What I got was an insight into the effects of bi-polar disorder on the sufferer & those around them.

Manic depression is a disease that's little talked about and little understood. This programme, presented by Stephen Fry, explores the highs and the lows, and the causes and the treatments of a condition that may affect as many as 2% of the population. Motivated by his own personal battle, the programme follows Stephen Fry on an emotional but entertaining journey that takes him into the homes of stars such as Carrie Fisher, Richard Dreyfuss and Rick Stein; into the lives of ordinary people who juggle this illness with their working lives; and into the surgeries of psychiatrists and the labs of researchers who are trying to help control the condition. In candid interviews, we hear tales of mood swings and extremes of behaviour that can leave a sufferer living like Jekyll and Hyde; with reckless aggression, crazy sex, wild decisions and criminal impulses all thrown in. And we hear about the lows that make you wonder how they survive.

I highly recommend this documentary to anyone who wants to learn more about bi-polar, its effects & treatments. Stephens website ( is an interesting place to visit and you will find a forum dedicated to this documentary & mental heath issues in general.


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