Dos and Don’ts was nominated for a Mind Mental Health Media Award. Hooray!

Cheers, MHM!

Leading mental health charity Mind today announces the shortlist for this year’s Mental Health Media Awards, sponsored by Comic Relief and Shift.Terry Pratchett, Fiona Phillips and Alastair Campbell are among those competing for the full length television documentary prize, and the BBC and Channel 4 go head to head in many of the categories, with top rated soaps Eastenders and Hollyoaks battling it out for the soaps and continuing TV drama award.

This is the first year the prestigious event, which celebrates the best portrayals of mental distress and reporting of mental health in broadcast media, will be managed by Mind following its merger with Mental Health Media earlier this year.

Radio Drama

  • (BBC Radio 4)
  • Dos and Don’ts for the Mentally Interesting
    Uplifting factual drama based on 23-year old Seaneen Molloy’s acclaimed blog about learning to live – and love – with bipolar disorder.


I am proud, though feel somewhat fraudulent (and I do find it tricky listening because of this) as the play was partly based on a relationship with Rob that is no longer (though it’s no-longer-ness does not negate its loveliness and immensely life changing importance when it was an is.  And he is still my much loved friend).  But!- it’s very very lovely that people consider the play to have raised awareness of mental illness.  I hope it did in some way. I never really know what to say about it because its existence at all is highly surreal! But I was very happy and proud to be involved.

So, well done to the lovely Louise Ramsden, who adapted the play, and Fiona Kelcher, the equally lovely  producer!  (And squeak! Jimmy McGovern is one of the judges!  Quake!)  I have no idea if we’ll win anything but it’s still rather nice to be nominated for something (last prize I ever got a plastic parrot that had been wronged by nature).

Also on the shortlist:

EastEnders (BBC One)
One of EastEnders’ most loved characters, Stacey Branning comes to terms with the prospect that she may have bipolar disorder, the same condition that her mother has had for many years.

Eastenders fans, what do you make of this portrayal?  A spiteful text was sent to Robert about it about the episode in which she was diagnosed. Watch it! I hadn’t watched it in years, but the texter clearly thought such a portrayal would, er, somehow unmask my own monstrosity and his lunacy at being with someone like me.  (You can read Robert’s not-entirely-serious ramblings at The Trap Box and decide who is the real lunatic. The answer is, as usual, neither).

What from I’ve seen, it’s been handled rather well.  The discussion with the psychiatrist raised both a wry smile and inspired a somewhat uncomfortable shifting in the chair from me.  TV drama tends to go a little overboard when trying to convey bipolar disorder.  The characters are usually jumping up and down and waving their arms frantically, or leaden with depressive paralysis.  But Stacey was agitated- that skin crawling, can’t sit still, can’t hold a coherent thought agitation that’s very familiar to me.  And her terror, having seen her mother go through it, and her denial, was quite an important point to get across.  Now she’s descending into psychosis.

I was a little bit pissed that the histrionic, “promiscuous” (I hate that word, I hate what it implies, I don’t believe in it, but it’s what Eastenders were scripting her as) character was the one who became mentally ill, and thought it might have been more effective if someone less stereotypically “mental” became so, but I guess it did illustrate the descent, the gradient, the tremors.

Anyway, what are your thoughts?

I’d like MHM to introduce a web category for outstanding websites and blogs about mental health.  I imagine it would be a somewhat impossible task to be representative, but a cursory look over —————–> shows that there’s more than enough to warrant such a thing.  (And on a side note, how pissed off does the woman on the banner look?  GERROF MY WEBSITE!)

And to say I have bloggers’ block right now is an understatement.  I might join the ranks of the uber-Web2.0 Facepeople and do a video post next time, providing I can somehow brush my hair over my face and talk from beneath the curtains like the Wizard of Oz.  I may be struggling with writing, but christ, I can talk. (Though cannot promise to be coherent or interesting since I have slept not-much of late and I am a tiny bit high and have been admittedly somewhat unstable lately.  I am managing though, just not very good at concentrating for long, or short, periods of time! So, er, probably not a video but I can try).

(P.S:  I got an indefinite award from DLA, which I’m guessing is due to the, well, obvious.  It’s been three years since my diagnosis and here I still am. Anyway, no sooner had I found out the happy news of not having to do the renewal form in two years, I discover that they’re thinking of scrapping the fecking thing! You gits!)

(P.P.S:  The Mentally Interesting community still lives at Ning! Go frolic! Or as best you can do on antipsychotics! Go forth and stumble!)

19 Responses

  1. Congratulations on the nomination. You really do deserve to win it :).

    I look forward to your video blog.

  2. Congrats!

    Eastenders is doing fairly well. The hypersexuality is a bit OTT – but the character did tend toward having a lively sex life before hand. A small portion of the procedural stuff has been inaccurate. Also, some people think that Jeans somewhat annoying voice/tendancies are typical for manic depressives.

    What was/is(!) good is the “Doctors” portrayl of BDD. Although doctors can be absolutely dire, this storyline was extremely well thought out and acted.

  3. But wasn’t the play broadcast last year?

  4. – Congrats on the nomination.
    – Glad the DLA thing got sorted!


  5. With DLA they throw money at you and leave you to rot.

    Moaning Myrtle

  6. YES Very well done . I enjoyed the play and regard it as a true portrayal of how the illness can affect all peoples lives.
    I did not like the soaps rendering of the illness but I know it can effect people and their friends in different ways. But this was so un like my own knowledge of the illness it did not appear true.

  7. Good luck 🙂

  8. Well done – congrates

  9. Seaneen – very, very many congratulations on nomination: as one of the few blogs that manages to combine humour with mental interestingness, you deserve as much light being shone on you as possible!

  10. Brilliant work on the nomination for your play – it was an excellent piece of work in its own right and it is great to see it acknoledged. So well done!

  11. I’ve already congratulated you on the nomination, but it still stands true. Do you get to go to a glitzy ceremony?

    Also – I haven’t seen the Eastenders portrayal but I’m intrigued. May have to ask my mum and sister what they thought as they’re both soap addicts.

  12. Congratulations Seaneen!

  13. Fantastic news Seaneen. Take a step back for a minute and look at the bigger picture, to hell with guilt , it’s an expensive emotion and will only take from what should be your moment. Give yourself the pat on the back you deserve – despite all the day to day struggles you deal with – the horrendous depressions which we your readers understand soooo well , you have achieved something very big here. Enjoy it . I’m so jealous and happy for you at the same time!

    It must be very difficult for the actress who plays Stacey Slater to carry off these scenes. I think she does well in that I can see which kind of episode she is experiencing etc . . but there is something not right with it too. I just wanna run into the studios and say ‘look do it this way’ .Maybe I am being harsh it’s a tough one. Really you have to experience these episodes to understand and portray them.

    With the exception of the annoying voice I think I am turning into Jean Slater, the jumpiness , never ending residual symptoms, auditory sensitivity oh the joy ! Anyone else find their hearing becomes more sensitive over time – sometimes I feel like I might burst if I hear one more sound.

    Well done again Seaneen !

  14. I think the writers and the actress playing Stacey Slater are doing brilliantly. I have been worried for years by the portrayal of mental health issues by Jean the mother. She seemed to flap around from silly to hysterical and I never worked out what her illness was supposed to be.

    But Stacey is wonderful. And we really need this kind of opening in to the reality of mental illness with this kind of coverage. Until you meet mental health problems in your own life in this society you mostly have no idea what it is. The last taboo. It needs all the publicity it can get.

    We are campaigning at carerWatch against the new Welfare Reforms which are coming up for the final reading next week. You can see our campaign blog on the Carerwatch site. We are appalled by ESA and the way people with serious and enduring mental health problems will be bullied and sanctioned under ‘conditionality’. We want people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bi polar put straight in to the ESA ‘support’ group where they can have all the back to work help in a voluntary way without the threat of sanctions and losing benefit.

    Our main problem is that nobody we approach understands any thing about mental illness or ESA. Any one who wants to help us is very welcome. Or come and tell us we are wrong. At the moment we are a lone voice crying in the wind.

  15. […] Interesting: The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive has been nominated for an award for her radio play Do’s and Don’ts for the Mentally Interesting. I am proud, though […]

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