Thoughts On New Bipolar Drama, ‘Black Box’

Tonight I finally had a date with my DVR and the pilot episode of the new ABC series, ‘Black Box’.

The show is about Dr. Catherine Black, a neuroscientist who works at The Center for Neurological Research and Treatment. This world famous doctor has bipolar disorder. She hides it from some, while others can’t escape from it.

Catherine, played by Kelly Reilly, has a non-compliance issue with taking her meds, which the show made prevalent when she decided to come off of them. Her mania was triggered, and she experienced symptoms such as delusions of grandeur, hypersexuality, hallucinations, increased energy, rapid speech, and grandiosity. She ended up hurting her boyfriend/(sort of fiance), and she almost messed things up at work. The show features Vanessa Redgrave as her psychiatrist, and shows them meeting often to discuss Catherine’s mental state and returning her to stability.

My Thoughts
I really liked it! I had been obsessing about watching it for weeks before it premiered. So far, I can absolutely relate to Catherine, in terms of bipolar, and I can even say I idolized her a little bit. Yes, her actions made me think about my own non-compliance issues and I suddenly felt a desire to cut the drugs and free myself into a colorful mania of my own. I may or may not have made a comment about this, and my wife, who was watching it with me, gave me one of her famous “I don’t think so” looks. We have a deal that if I can’t stay on meds, she (and the baby) can’t stay with me. Okay, well that’s more of an ultimatum than a deal, but for the most part it works.

Anyway, I think that bipolar disorder was represented very well (except maybe the rapidness of the episode onset), and Dr. Catherine Black’s character was portrayed beautifully. I, personally, feel the symptoms are accurate and I have had most all of them myself. I think ‘Black Box’ is groundbreaking in the sense that bipolar disorder has never been seen before in this light. We have all dealt with such an incredible stigma due to our illness and this show expresses the rawness and truth of what manic and depressive episodes can be like. It is a very vulnerable and necessary place to be.

8 thoughts on “Thoughts On New Bipolar Drama, ‘Black Box’

  1. I agree with what you said. I do not know if I have Bipolar Disorder, but I have some of the symptoms. I think that this show is groundbreaking for everyone with any type of mental illness not just Bipolar people. It opens up a whole new playing field and makes me personally feel a little more appreciated because my mental state is finally being considered rather than just perfectly healthy peoples mental state. I talk about Black Box in some of my posts on my blog. It is like my inspiration for my blog. 🙂 It is such a great and exciting show!

    • Yes, it is time that folks with mental illness are represented. I’m interested to see how the show plays out. Apparently the reviews are not as good as they had hoped for. As long as they don’t sensationalize bipolar disorder, and portray an accurate display of the symptoms, I will continue to watch. So far, it’s pretty good 🙂

  2. I liked the show too although I am not bipolar, I have depression and when I stop the meds, my creativity comes out along with all the demons of the past and the free flowing of tears. Good luck to you!

    • It’s always such a battle, isn’t it? We tend to love our creative side, but then we deal with the bad that comes along with it, resulting in needing stability provided by our meds. Crazy cycle. Glad you enjoyed the show! I’m excited to see how it develops. Thanks for your feedback 🙂

    • It definitely is interesting so far. The brain is such an interesting mystery and the show looks at it from different angles. Check it out for sure. Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

    • I agree that mental illness it typically portrayed very poorly. This show was pretty accurate, symptom-wise, in my opinion. I think how quickly the episodes came on was what would be questionable, but then I remember it’s tv and they have to put a lot into a tight slot. I do recommend it so far. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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