Yesterday at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting in San Francisco, we presented a one hour version of Sylvia the Wood Nymph - a documentary film co-directed by Sharpen founders, Tim Farrell and Robyn Hussa Farrell about the true story of a woman who suffered unimaginable childhood trauma and the compassionate psychiatrist who helped her heal. It was not only an honor to finally share the film, but to get honest feedback. It was also a chance to celebrate the moment with Sharpen friends and collaborators, Timothy Brewerton and Therese Killeen PhD.
Audiences were moved, tearful, and remained in the room at least 30+ minutes after the session had ended. The 75 psychiatrists in the audience shared that they felt they could come together and finally speak about something that they had to keep hidden or private for so many years -- treating patients with DID (dissociative identity disorder).
- One person said it was the best presentation at the entire conference. - One medical student said that they have little to no training on this topic (or on the topic of trauma) in medical school.
- Another psychiatrist said to us that she currently has a patient suffering from DID but her supervisor insists it doesn't exist.
If we want to begin the process of getting ahead of the many mental disorders facing our kids, families and friends -- we absolutely must get ahead of the stigma that is paralyzing us from progressing forward. It keeps people's hands and minds tied to old ways of thinking and limits innovation.
Here's to the possibilities of ending that shame ... one film at a time. One conference at a time. One human at a time.
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