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My Response to Out of Darkness

I was very satisfied with the movie, to me it was a realistic experience. However, we must remember that the movie took place 15 years ago, and medications and other treatments have tremendously improved.

Diana Ross does an excellent job portraying Pauline Cooper, a 42 year old woman with schizophrenia. "It's like she has a terminal illness, but she never dies," Pauline's mother said. The movie shows the emotional burden on the family. Pauline endured 43 hospitalizations because she didn't like taking her medicine because of the side effects (tardive dyskinesia). Tardive dyskinesia makes a person have irregular movements of the tongue, hands, feet, or lips. I didn't like taking my medication as well, because it gave me akathisia. Akathisia is constant movement. I couldn't sleep, I had to continuously stay in motion. Fortunately, I was able to change medications and try a newer drug called Abilify that does not have the same side effects.

"I'm not sick, your sick," Pauline told the health professional. At first, I didn't believe nurses when they told me I was sick. However, when I was stable on medication and the doctor sat me down and told me I have schizophrenia, I believed him. The saddest part of the movie, for me, was when Pauline's mother locked the door because Pauline was a potential threat to her and her granddaughter, and Pauline saw this. Another sad moment was when her boyfriend stopped seeing her after he discovered she has a mental illness. This particular situation concerned me, however, my boyfriend does not let it ruin our relationship. There were a lot of sad moments in the movie, however, I do not want to recall them all because I would be ruining the movie for other viewers who have not watched this movie yet.

When I saw the scene with the nurses holding Pauline down to give her a shot, this reminds me of my own experience with forced medication. Another scene that reminds me of my own background with schizophrenia was while Pauline was hearing voices in the car and freaking out. When I heard voices I freaked out too, I couldn't get the voices to stop. I also could relate to Pauline when she describes the experience as a 'dream you cannot wake up from...' In addition to that, I describe it more as a nightmare that you cannot wake up from. Overall, I think the movie did a very good job of portraying how scary it is to hear voices and to adjust to recovery.

Fortunately, Pauline took a drug called Clozapine to recover. Clozapine does not cause tardive dyskinesia, however, it does reduce white blood cells to fight disease. This drug requires consistent monitoring. Pauline had to give weekly blood samples.

The only disappointment I have with the movie is that it cut out the part where Diana Ross steps out of character to address the audience about schizophrenia and how to get help. That was one of the most important parts of the movie!

Do you think that Pauline stayed on her medication? Do you think that her daughter should have lived with her? What do you think Pauline was thinking when she saw the homeless woman at the end of the movie?


Anonymous said…
I think that because her madness resolved. I think that Pauline stays on her meds to avoid her voices thoughts and wild craziness! She stays with her daughter and shows her daughter that she can be a great mom with schizophrenia or none.
Courtney Morgan said…
I’m so appreciative for this type of platform, it gives us all opportunity to openly share our experiences without fear of shame. It is no longer a news that there is permanent cure to schizophrenia with CONSUMMO. I would like to share our daughter's experiences with schizophrenia so that others experiencing the same thing can read the blog and find comfort knowing they are not alone, and possibly hope and faith in knowing that they can also be cure someday using CONSUMMO. Every family that has a mentally ill child needs help. And the only way to do this is to create awareness. My daughter was diagnosed of schizophrenia 15 years ago. Her first noticeable symptoms was at 18. It wasn’t an easy trip. She was labelled as having persecurtory delusions, auditory hallucinations and negative symptoms. She normally hear commands being unbearably loud, telling her to harm herself including me and other people. Most violence committed by the severely mentally ill is committed against themselves. Suddenly she had no friends, she was neglected badly and sectioned as a danger to self. She is a very kind and compassionate girl but schizophrenia wouldn't just let her function normally. We tried to help, took her to different psychiatrist, change her med. with no difference, some work with severe complications. Over the previous of four years I had spent more time in hospital than out of hospital. We were told about Consummo 4years ago but my daughter wouldn't just agree to take any medicine. It's been difficult and humbling, but we're proud that we've done it all to save her.I wouldn't have given up my daughter if she had leukemia. So why would I give up custody for mental illness? There is no bounds to my love for her. After much persuasion, she sign herself into using CONSUMMO treatment. I find it to be a very effective medication. Within months of using it, she could think more clearly. Through it all, Dr Justin has been our rock, encouraging me that it will work out. It been 8months now since my daughter is well. She has grown as a person in all facets of life. She more compassionate, intelligent, wise, sociable, and actionable! She now run her own business! It’s great.

I will advice you to visit this blog, And if you have used this medicine I will advice you create an awareness to help others, don't give up yet. Thank you.

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