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September 23, 2011 10:57 AM   Subscribe

Metafilter Favorite Stephen Fry announces that he is now the president of mental health charity MIND, in part because of his 2006 documentary: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive.

On the film previously.
MIND previously.
Part 1b
Part1c
Part1d
Part2a
Part2b
Part2c
Part 2d

More Stephen Fry on Manic Depression
posted by Potomac Avenue (24 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
Stephen Fry is unremittingly awesome.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:04 AM on September 23, 2011


I love that man. Stephen Fry is such an amazing person.
posted by strixus at 11:05 AM on September 23, 2011


I think he's got this bit wrong:
It also gave me great pleasure when this coalition government, for all that it is not my idea of the political dream team of the century (but which government ever was?) made good strides towards placing the issue of stigma front and centre with their initiative Shift.
The Shift initiative was launched in 2004 under the previous government, and ceased operations in March of this year. Sure he'll get up to speed once he starts his new role in earnest.
posted by Abiezer at 11:12 AM on September 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


In Britain there has been a tiresomely predictable and predictably irrational backlash against Fry for the last year or so. To which I say bollocks. The man is a gem, a mensch, a wit, a star, and in my top five list of people I would love to have a drink with.
posted by Decani at 11:13 AM on September 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


In Britain there has been a tiresomely predictable and predictably irrational backlash against Fry for the last year or so.

Seems like that problem would be solved easily enough by his writing six or seven more autobiographies.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:27 AM on September 23, 2011


Decani: "In Britain there has been a tiresomely predictable and predictably irrational backlash against Fry for the last year or so. To which I say bollocks."

I'm not part of any backlash movement but I've soured on him lately, for Reasons. This is a great thing that he did and I have no wish to derail this thread; anyone who wants to know why can memail me.

posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:30 AM on September 23, 2011


Seems like that problem would be solved easily enough by his writing six or seven more autobiographies.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:27 PM on September 23


I have to admit the second volume wasn't very good. But that isn't enough reason to dislike the man. No, I fear the Fry backlash has more to do with something I truly loathe about my compatriots, which can be summed up like this: "Okay, I think we've liked this person long enough. Now we'd better rip the piss out of him".
posted by Decani at 11:35 AM on September 23, 2011


"If you've walked with angels, all the pain and suffering is well worthwhile."

This is really good.
posted by runehog at 11:41 AM on September 23, 2011


The conclusion I've come to with regards to Stephen Fry is that he seems like an interesting guy who plays the "learned professor" role well, but is in fact really self-conscious and defencive about any area in which he doesn't know more than others.

It's interesting to watch him on QI when a panelist is (at least in Fry's perception) out-witting him by knowing more about a subject. He tends to get pretty mean when that happens - but particularly with Alan Davies when Alan isn't playing the role he's meant to (the idiot).

But I really appreciated his openness in making that documentary. It's a difficult thing about which to speak publicly and he deserves credit for putting bipolar on the radar and starting to destigmatise it for more people.

And honestly, I still really enjoy the programs he hosts/makes, so obviously he doesn't bother me all that much.
posted by guster4lovers at 11:45 AM on September 23, 2011


Seems like that problem would be solved easily enough by his writing six or seven more autobiographies.

Indeed. It's also a good job we're all legally obliged to read everything Mr Fry publishes even if it doesn't interest, else this comment would seem somewhat irrelevant.
posted by howfar at 12:20 PM on September 23, 2011


I've met Mr Fry and he is just as awesome as he appears.
Thanks for directing me to his documentary - I didn't see any of this when it aired on TV (due to living in the wrong country) and it's fascinating.
posted by w0mbat at 12:26 PM on September 23, 2011


I like Fry quite a bit, and I guess I haven't seen anything I found objectionable enough to get bothered by him, which makes me happy.

My only real complaint is that there doesn't seem to be an American analog. We could use one.
posted by quin at 12:55 PM on September 23, 2011


I somehow had the impression that most people who deal with this illness strongly prefer the term "bipolar disorder." Is "manic depressive" still considered acceptable? Is this a USA/Britain thing?
posted by straight at 12:56 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kay Redfield Jamison likes the term 'manic depressive illness' I believe.
posted by jpziller at 12:59 PM on September 23, 2011


I think I'd feel a little backlashy myself if I was listening to Stephen Fry selling Anchor Butter, Tesco, Dairylea, Kenco, Coca Cola, Trebor Mints and UK Online, Alliance and Leicester, the Digital Radio Scrappage Scheme, Marks and Spencer, Twinings, Kenco, Vauxhall, Direct Line, Calpol, Heineken, After Eights, Panama cigars and Orange Mobile, instead just listening to him being charmingly condescending on QI.

I mean the guy has to make a living fair enough, but that doesn't mean there isn't such a thing as 'overexposure'.
posted by Grimgrin at 1:02 PM on September 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah overexposure is a horrible thing. For example, I'm a big Louis CK fan, but he is so ubiquitous right now that I'm getting bored of seeing him, even though his work is better than ever.
posted by w0mbat at 1:18 PM on September 23, 2011


I think I'd feel a little backlashy myself if I was listening to Stephen Fry selling Anchor Butter, Tesco, Dairylea, Kenco, Coca Cola, Trebor Mints and UK Online, Alliance and Leicester, the Digital Radio Scrappage Scheme, Marks and Spencer, Twinings, Kenco, Vauxhall, Direct Line, Calpol, Heineken, After Eights, Panama cigars and Orange Mobile,

Walker's Crisps, Honda, Whitbread, Biactol...
posted by Sys Rq at 1:43 PM on September 23, 2011


Ah, that might be it. I never see any adverts with him, so that aspect of his life doesn't get much play over here.
posted by quin at 2:04 PM on September 23, 2011


"If you've walked with angels, all the pain and suffering is well worthwhile."

I believe he's walked with angels. Does that mean I'm mentally ill too?
posted by Obscure Reference at 2:22 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Okay, I think we've liked this person long enough. Now we'd better rip the piss out of him".
See, that's one of my favourite things about being British. Plus you get to pretend it's due to envy or lack of ambition which annoys the shit out of the Tory fucks who can't function without some god/father/leader figure to look up to.

(I'm not saying you're a Tory fuck Decani, but I keyed your Rolls just in case)
posted by fullerine at 2:40 PM on September 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Stephen Fry got me into Class A drugs. I had read his autobiography and noticed we had a lot in common, the social stuff mostly, and then he went on Chris Evans' programme and said how he took E and it was a revelation. I'm totally going to thank him in person one day.
posted by fraac at 3:54 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I somehow had the impression that most people who deal with this illness strongly prefer the term "bipolar disorder." Is "manic depressive" still considered acceptable? Is this a USA/Britain thing?

My understanding is that "manic depressive" is considered a bit inaccurate or misleading, because someone can be diagnosed with bipolar disorder without ever having had a full-on manic episode.

But I don't think anyone considers the term "manic depressive" to be, like, offensive or cruel or socially unacceptable or whatever. As far as I'm aware this is basically an "apatosaurus" vs. "brontosaurus" type issue and not a "handicapped" vs. "crippled" type issue.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:25 PM on September 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this a USA/Britain thing?

I think it's a DSM-III/DSM-IV thing. Someone of Fry's (and my) age cohort is more likely to have received a diagnosis of manic depression (in my case a differential diagnosis), but the younger generation is hearing the term less and less.
posted by dhartung at 11:12 PM on September 23, 2011


Just to say that the Fry documentary has had a shocking impact within a certain social group that didn't used to seek help.

I know 2 people very well that credit the program with saving their lives.

I also know a CBT practitioner who said that within 6 months of the program airing approx 30% of her new referrals mentioned the program as being the key reason they went to their doctors. She is a fairly understated person and said that within the "educated classes" Fry's documentary was the single biggest leap in depression treatment in her career.

Extraordinary.

So yes, I think its fitting that he has taken this position.
posted by samworm at 2:46 PM on September 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


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