Directed by: Evan Viera
Through the eyes of a young girl suffering from mental illness, CALDERA glimpses into a world of psychosis and explores a world of ambiguous reality and the nature of life and death.
CALDERA is inspired by my father’s struggle with schizoaffective disorder. In states of delusion, my father has danced on the rings of Saturn, spoken with angels, and fled from his demons. He has lived both a fantastical and haunting life, but one that’s invisible to the most of us. In our differing understanding of reality, we blindly mandate his medication, assimilate him to our marginalizing culture, and entirely misinterpret him for all he is worth. CALDERA aims to not only venerate my father, but all brilliant minds forged in the haunted depths of psychosis.
(Above text is from Vimeo)
Watch the video: http://vimeo.com/evanviera/caldera
INTERMITTENT ATTACKS OF PSYCHOTIC EPISODES
Please say YES or NO
I have had beliefs that have not been shared by others YES
I think that people don’t like me and are against me NO
People say I misinterpret their behaviour YES
1. Have you experienced any other symptoms of psychosis that have not been mentioned above?
I have never experienced psychosis. I take great issue with the above 3 yes or no questions. To say that I have beliefs that others do not share is just a fact of life and as humans we are sometimes guilty of misinterpretation. This shouldn’t mean psychosis. I do feel that the author of this workbook means “strange” beliefs and “very far off” misinterpretations of behaviour but you would not know this by the wording of the questions.
2. Would you say you have ever experienced paranoid ideation?
No I haven’t.
3. Have you ever felt a bit ‘out of it’ like you are daydreaming or felt like you are just going through the motions or ‘running on automatic’?
Not often. When it does happen it feels very numbing and that’s when I know I’ve reached my max and I need to find a way to calm down.
IMPULSIVE ACTION PATTERNS
Please say YES or NO
I binge eat NO
I have sped fast in cars NO
I have misused illicit drugs YES
I have misused alcohol YES
I have had many casual sexual relationships YES
I overspend and have huge debts NO
I have gambled a lot of money NO
4. Are there any other impulsive behaviours not mentioned that you have experienced?
I used to steal when I wanted something. I don’t know….I don’t really see it as being impulsive. These are all things that I don’t to do, I don’t feel bad for doing and majority was at its peak during my teens. Sex was the “worst” for me and one that I could easily slip back into but I don’t. I think that by having casual sex in the category is impulsive self destructive behaviours is to not acknowledge that sex can be fun and enjoyable with whoever you want, as much as you want.
5. How do these above behaviours help you cope?
Take your mind off things. The drugs and alcohol usually put you in a “fun” atmosphere and changes your brain so you just don’t care (sometimes it doesn’t work or makes it worse). The sex for me was too feel better about myself, so I knew I was worth it but, fuck, just have fun!
Most people are able to control their impulses and delay immediate gratification because they are aware of long term consequences for example:
- weight gain
- unplanned pregnancies
- sexually transmitted diseases
- motor car accidents
- physical fights
- physical conditions, for example, liver problems
- debt collectors
- criminal record
6. Have you suffered from some of the above consequences due to your impulsive behaviour?
Overall I just got in trouble with my parents or friends.
Next: Session 3 Activities Part 4
Session 3 Activities
What are the symptoms of BPD?
“The term Borderline Personality Disorder was originally used in 1938 by Adolf Stern, a
psychoanalyst who described his patients as being ‘on the borderline between neurosis and
1. What have you heard about the term ‘neurosis’?
I really haven’t bothered to learn what this term means.
The dictionary defines neurosis as ‘a mental disorder which is characterised by exaggerated
anxiety and tension’ (Bailliere, 1997).
2. Do you know of any other abnormal fears that someone might experience if they suffered from neurosis?
3. What have you heard about the term ‘psychosis’?
I have heard that it’s dangerous. You are not really yourself. I don’t know much though.
4. Do you know of any symptoms that someone might experience if they suffered from psychosis?
Voices, intrusive thoughts, seeing things that are not there?
(Thought: why don’t they give me a definition of psychosis like they did for neurosis?)
One way of attempting to describe the symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder is by
mnemonically I DESPAIR:
I Identity disturbance
D Dysregulated emotion
S Suicidal behaviour
P Paranoid ideation
5. Which of the mnemonic I DESPAIR would describe your symptoms?
D, S, A, R (what a cheesy mnemonic)
Next: Session 3 Activities Part 2
One of my amazing friends and fellow Madvocate has written about her hateful experiences while attending Canada’s top theatre school. No words I say can describe the stupidity of what Flossie experienced but she does it amazingly and will make you laugh while enraging you! Although these people ended her theatre career she will not let that stop her! She still acts in Canadian film, tv shows and commercials and is looking to change how theatre is taught to aspiring actors!
Read her part 1 of her story “Downtown Famous”