The Other Half (2017)


I watched this movie last night and I really liked it. There are two main characters, Emily and Nickie. They fall in love. Throughout the movie they seemed very connected. But the road is a rocky as Emily has bipolar disorder. Nickie is grieving, but I’m going to focus on Emily. She is seen both manic and depressed. She sometimes takes her medication, and sometimes she doesn’t. Her parents try to help her. Nickie is unsure if he will be able to take of her. Towards the end of the movie, she is severely depressed. She uses poor judgment after Nickie calls her parents for help without telling her and gets hit by a car. She survives.

I like this film because the couple’s relationship in addition to the portrayal of a woman suffering from bipolar disorder was excellent. That’s what I thought when I watched it. This looks real. Very believable. Emily exhibited nearly all the typical features of bipolar disorder. Then as I watched her family and Nickie hurt for her, I remember all the parents/spouses/significant others that I have interacted with as a psychiatrist. Having supportive family changes the outcome for people with bipolar disorder. There are many emotions felt when your loved one is ill. In this movie, Nickie seemed scared and sad. Emily’s parents seemed sad and at times angry or frustrated.

There is another part in the story where Emily is quite depressed, and Nickie asks her to please start taking her medications again. Only, Emily is taking them has been. But her depression is severe despite this. This is challenging because a person’s changing mood is a moving target. Medication that helps a person’s mood must change too in order to keep being helpful.

If you have a friend or relative suffering from Bipolar Disorder, there are many resources to draw on. You are not alone. Resources include a psychiatrist and therapist (either separate people who collaborate or the same people), (National Alliance on Mental Illness), knowing the law in your state for holding your loved one against their will in order to prevent them from killing themselves, who to call for a mental health emergency in your area (although 911 is always a great backup), and getting support for yourself. For some people with bipolar disorder, having the same clinician (psychiatrist + psychotherapist) can really benefit the patient. The prescribing clinician has a deeper understanding of the patient and is more tune with his/her emotions when they do the therapy as well. They can tell when someone’s mood changes in a small way and then discuss possible medication adjustments with the patient immediately.

Wrapping up, this was a very dramatic movie about a romantic relationship, where one partner has bipolar disorder. It was a great example of showing various aspects of bipolar and how it affects others. In the end, it looks like the couple gets another chance at life. There is hope.

#bipolar #otherhalf #parents #love #couple #medication #depression #depressed #manic #resources

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