I got rather excited when I saw a TV programme called ‘Don’t Call Me Crazy’ being advertised and I really wanted to take to twitter and post on here saying you should all spare an hour of your time to go and watch it. However, I wasn’t all that impressed. If you have the time and the inclination then do go watch it because it is something you probably won’t have seen before but read this first! ( I won’t spoil the stories – I promise.)
‘Don’t Call Me Crazy’ is a documentary (shown on BBC3) about an adolescent mental health ward of a hospital in Greater Manchester. Some of the patients have been sectioned under the Mental Health Act and some are just there at their own free will because they’ve realised they’ve got a problem. Understandably,due to the circumstances that the patients are in the centre for the programme isn’t light hearted and it certainly isn’t a reflection of mental health problems as a whole. These are extreme problems where it’s not safe for the patient to be out in the world, this is normally for their own safety but sometimes other’s safety too.
As the introduction begins there are several clips of screaming, alarms ringing and teenagers fighting and being detained. My heart sunk a little. Not only did I feel a lot of sympathy towards the people within the centre for having the problems they have but also because they’ll have massive television cameras pointing at them! Having personally gone through mental health problems myself I can tell you that I couldn’t think of anything worse than having a camera anywhere near me, so I’m sure that some if not all of the patients felt the same. To make matters even worse one of the girls you are introduced to on the programme has an eating disorder. There are no full length mirrors in the centre so why a camera filming a documentary that is to be put on the TV for 60 million people to watch was deemed a good idea is beyond me. I really hoped that certain patients had agreed to be filmed and that was how they had managed to complete this programme, however there are only 15 patients on the ward at a time and I am almost certain I saw all of them at some point! However, as I am no mental health expert and have no idea what it takes to treat somebody with those problems, I will just assume that it was carefully thought through by the medical experts – or at least hope it was.
There are three main patients in this episode all with different problems. As I said I wouldn’t spoil any stories I won’t tell you much about them but one has an eating disorder, one is suicidal and the third has OCD which caused depression. None of these are things that I have talked about on my blog (as of yet) because these are mental health problems that people are far less likely to come across compared to something like Anxiety and Depression. These are problems I couldn’t really do justice on a blog post because I have never experienced them.
Overall, the narrative is very sympathetic towards the patients without the patronising undertone which would have been very easy to put in, so I’m very glad that’s not there! Also the programme is hard hitting and it shows things that you never think would happen. The first of the series has been shown and there are two more to come in the following weeks. It is worth a watch if you have the time but whatever you do don’t judge all mental health problems on this programme because many of these people have been sectioned so their problems are extreme and also every single mental health problem on every single person is different. Completely different.