Against prejudice and stigma: a film project on depression

Leipzig, Germany

Against prejudice and stigma: a film project on depression

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The film project “The Middle of the Night is the Start of the Day” is supposed to reduce prejudice and serves as a mean to increase awareness and sympathy in those who are affected, their relatives and the general public.

I. Heinz from Deutsches Bündnis gegen Depression e.V.Write a message

Even for relatives and close friends it is difficult to empathize with the burden of someone who is affected by depression. The dimension of hopelessness and the diversity of symptoms such as shame, self-reproaches and motivation loss are hardly understandable. Depression is a severe disease, which affects not only the patient’s life, but also those of his family members who are more and more taken to the end of their tether. Only few patients receive the care they need despite the availability of effective treatment options. They have to deal with prejudice and stigma, as depression is still associated with personal failure and a weak character. “Pull yourself together!” and “Everyone has good and bad days.” are common statements, which make help-seeking even harder for the patient. Due to a lack of knowledge, the general public, patients and relatives underestimate the severity of depression as a real disease that needs to be treated. The film project “The Middle of the Night is the Start of the Day” is supposed to reduce prejudice and serves as a mean to increase awareness and sympathy in those who are affected, their relatives and the general public. The idea of the dark night being followed by a brighter day is the quintessence meaning that depression can be treated in various and individual ways. The project consists of three interconnected modules: the documentary supports affected people nationwide to get rid of their feelings of deep sadness and emptiness. They fight depression as patients and show us the “petrified world” they are caught in. The film provides two different perspectives on their personal stories: the protagonists give us the chance to participate in their lives and share their thoughts over a longer period of time. At the same time they take active parts in creating the film and video diaries. This subjective view enables the audience to experience the complex construct of depression and the different ways to cope with it. A complementary, informational film consists of questions and answers concerning depression and expert statements. Public relations are a very important part of our work. Therefore we will make use of media and channels to reach as many people as possible with the topic of depression. Social media and interactive websites make active participation possible and affected and interested individuals can hand in testimonials in order to foster open handling with the disease. Furthermore, web links for help services, interviews with experts and interviews with filmmakers are provided. In the context of a nationwide film tour, the documentary will be shown in local cinemas and places of cultural interest throughout 2016.