STATEMENTS

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT:

Stress, anxiety, deep sorrow. Are they normal human emotions or something we should treat as a disorder? I never thought much about this before meeting Ross. In the film, I question whether as a society we are overreacting to daily pressures. As I filmed Ross, it made me think about other people I know in similar situations. Their stories may be less dramatic than Ross’ but still far too common.

As the fog dissipated for Ross, we started to unmask the pain he had been harbouring for years – past hurts that affected his ability to function in every day life. I captured Ross’ healing process through a mix of stylistic reenactments, video diaries and interviews. Following Ross’ journey was a journey in itself but it was encouraging one. I witnessed the transformation of Ross through the making of the film. It took a lot work and determination for him to stay on course. It was painful to cut through the feelings trapped inside him for so long and then channel those feelings in a healthy, productive manner.The first step in dealing with a mental health issue is to talk about it, to speak out loudly, instead of hushed whispers. The film is not meant to provoke but to question. It invites people to question their diagnosis, and more important, question their prescribed course of treatment. Ultimately this documentary asks you to learn from Ross’ experience tackling the root cause and getting to that seemingly elusive state that gives you the chance to heal, one challenge at a time.

– Rita Kotzia

 

 

 

ROSS MCKENZIE’S STATEMENT:

During my struggle with mental health symptoms, and the label of bipolar, I never gave up hope that I would get to the root cause of my symptoms. What became apparent to me in 2010, as I officially detoxed lithium, was that humanity is in a serious crisis and global mental health epidemic.

I was informed from concerned MD’s and psychiatrists throughout the world, that mistakes made within the system are contributing to this growing mental health crisis. As a result, millions of people around the world are being diagnosed with mental health disorders and being prescribed powerful cocktails of psychotropic medication; in many cases causing much more harm than good.

I learned through my 20-year personal healing journey that if one decides to release mental health symptoms, the whole person and all layers of one’s health, must be addressed. By choosing to investigate mental, physical, emotional and spiritual root causes of one’s mental health symptoms one can create a healthy, vibrant, creative life, free from mental health disease.

The process of making this film, and recreating the challenging aspects of my past, was an extremely cathartic experience that has lead to profound healing. My number one desire was to create awareness so that younger generations would not have to suffer through years of pain and heartache that I endured. It is my sincere wish moving forward that this film start a new conversation about how we look at and treat individuals experiencing mental health symptoms.