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Just Say No 

Conventional wisdom says psychiatric drugs save lives, but for some San Franciscans the pills are a prescription for disaster

Wednesday, May 23 2007
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Page 6 of 6

On stage behind the microphone, she struggled to keep up with her own thoughts. ("Welcome to the movie screening of Ibéria, an Eddy by ... I mean a movie by Eddy, not an Eddy by movie!") She shared her personal story, and rattled off a list of things Icarus hopes to do soon — a bipolar art show, speaker panels, workshops about medication reduction and holistic living. Someone in the audience shouted, "Don't say you want to do it, say you're going to do it!" Not missing a beat, Michelle replied to the cheering crowd, "We're going to do it, we are!" The benefit raised $500.

The hour-long movie began and Michelle finally settled in. She'd been looking forward to seeing this for a long time. It's an experimental pastiche that Falconer assembled over years of his own struggle with bipolar, intermittently on and off a litany of medications. It's a collection of scenes, some serious and some farcical, many of which seem tenuously, if at all, connected to the central thread about a delusional emperor. To the non-bipolar mind, it's entertaining but makes little conventional sense. When it ended, the lights went up to more cheers.

"That movie made me feel sane," Michelle whispered.

About The Author

Amy Goldwitz

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