Four Lives: Portraits
in Manic Depression (available as a replacement
to participating public libraries ONLY)
Four Lives sensitively portrays
the predicament of those who suffer from manic depression. This brain
disorder causes erratic mood swings in nearly three million Americans.
When depressed they experience debilitating anxiety, sadness, and hopelessness.
When manic, they may become incessantly talkative, dangerously extravagant,
and socially uninhibited. If untreated, one in six may commit suicide.
This film intimately profiles four persons from the Dallas area who are
being treated for this disease. The viewer obtains a rare glimpse of how
these patients and their families cope with this affliction. Two psychiatrists
thoughtfully discuss each patient and the treatment possibilities, including
lithium and electroconvulsive therapy. Scenes at a support group emphasize
the beneficial effect of human understanding. Four Lives is a superb
piece of candid, informative, and dramatic filmmaking.