Angels and Demons
What does it feel like to lose your mind and can you get it back again? In seeking to answer these questions, Andrew Denton journeys into the world of mental illness, a world that's often-invisible because - in our fear - we choose to look away.
Starting at the 2007 Annual Mental Health Services Conference in Melbourne, Andrew meets people from many walks of life who have struggled with severe mental illness. The stories of these 'ghosts in our midst' are frank, surprising and deeply moving. Amongst them are:
Sandy Jeffs - billed as Australia's most famous mad woman, Sandy's business card reads 'poet, lunatic and insanity consultant'. For 30 years the voices in Sandy's head have tormented her, but - using a combination of humour, honesty and hockey - she refuses to let them destroy her life.
Arana Pearson - has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and through his 'hearing voices' workshop, demonstrates to Andrew what it is like to have voices inside your head - day in, day out, year in, year out.
Heidi Everett - a young woman and songwriter who struggles every day just to stay in the world. Heidi's angels and demons are, to her, very real and, often, terrifying. As she describes a psychotic episode with devastating clarity, Heidi takes us inside a world where it's often hard to know what is real.
Angels and Demons provides a rare insight into the experiences of those with mental illness. Himself deeply confronted, Andrew also finds the possibility of a better life for people often dismissed as beyond hope.
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