For the past seven years I have been making films on recovery without medication from extreme mental states called psychosis or schizophrenia. For the past four years, since I ended my therapy practice, this has been my full-time work—and my passion. I have made four films and have mailed DVDs of them to all corners of the English-speaking world, and I have felt honored to watch their message spread: to mental health consumers, psychiatric survivors, mental health professionals, teachers, family members, journalists, libraries, and universities.
In 2013, thanks to a grant from The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care, I came out with new DVD versions of my first three films—each translated into more than 16 languages. My business quickly became far more international, yet I noticed a trend: that I sold a great majority of my films to the more wealthy countries of the world—and a far minority to the less wealthy countries.
This troubled me, especially since my films were purposefully translated into the languages of many less-than-wealthy places. Having visited many of these places myself, I have seen firsthand how the medical message of psychiatry, often embedded in the translated promotional literature of the drug companies, is all that reaches them.
So, after a lot of anxiety and blunt consideration of my options, I decided to make my films, including all the translated versions, available online for free. My idea was to put them on Youtube, and also put some versions (ie. the three films subtitled in Simplified Chinese) on other video hosting sites in countries that might not allow Youtube (ie. China).
I have found it scary, even terrifying, to come to this decision—because I would lose my income. Some weeks back I spoke about this with a trusted friend, and she said something that really affected me.
“Daniel,” she said, “I remember a few years ago you said you wanted to start a revolution. Well, you don’t start a revolution by focusing on money.”
And when I looked inside and consulted with my deeper self, I realized that she was right. And so, I now offer my films for free—as my contribution to the revolution of consciousness in mental health.
Today they are my gift to the world.
You are a pioneer in the NEW Paradigm. Your willingness to allow the new will not go unrewarded. Thank you for causing REAL transformation by BEing it.
Dear Daniel, I’m an ex psych nurse trained in psychotherapy & crisis intervention in a huge old psych hospital. I read a lot, my consultant supervised me but he left me with my own style. We worked as a team, used very few drugs (the doc was scared of Tardive Dyskenesia) & never used ECT. I had my own problems and never considered myself as `better’ than my patients. I was the 1st nurse to NOT wear a uniform. I left to raise my kids & indulged my creative instincts as an actress, sculptor, novelist, screen writer, designer. I was a professional in all this. In 2000 I fell under the psych bus. A suicidal reaction to Prozac got me a diagnosis of bipolar, 66 ECT in 20 months. That was the treatment for the PTSD I got from involuntary ECT. I lost my future and my past, including the memory of my children growing up. In 2010, after another reaction to Lexopro I had another 20. (87 total & PTSD) I am now drug free, psychiatrist free and an activist.
For a time I’ve been thinking about the ideal of how treatment for ANY psych problems could be better than that of the venal, dishonest establishment docs we have here. They managed to override ALL consensus on our new Mental Health Act without any of the other contributors knowing until it was almost on the table. No age restrictions for ECT for children, the very elderly, pregnant women. No penalties for giving ECT without consent to a capable adult. No disclosure of $ conflict of interests ++. I, like lots of people, has an idea how mental distress can be helped. Exercise, Art, music, work, group & family therapy etc. There is a 13 bed clinic near where I live that seems to have an ethos like mine. . I spoke to the administrator today about Open Dialogue & Soteria House. She is very interested in any alternatives. They don’t do ECT there, though some of the docs send them out. (Of course). I can’t be anywhere near ECT. Can I use your films? I am happy to pay for them because I believe if you do a good job, you should be paid. (Professionalism is a state of mind.) Giving/lending them to this hospital may constitute a commercial use of your intellectual property. In the meantime I’ll tell her to watch them on Youtube. The treatments may not be an absolute match but could perhaps be adapted.
I’m also trying to set up an ECT support/rescue/advocacy/crisis line group. A friend’s brother hanged himself in one of our exalted clinics after/during harassment from his psych to not stop ECT. The bullying, threats, even physical force in private psych hospitals here is appalling. I have a protest in place but don’t expect much from government bodies who protect doctors but not their victims. No matter, I’m going to the media anyway. I too, want to make a doco re the violence in psychiatry, among other things. I used to write comedy a lot, so maybe, with what’s left, I can ridicule some of the more stupid things these people say to defend the huge amount of money they get from ECT. I file it under `silly psych’ & `logic lapses’. I run risks though. With a psych diagnosis, I have few rights in my country, and as a psychologist told me recently, `Be careful, problems can come up when an earnest person had power & an ironic one doesn’t. Anyway, thanks for doing this work. Deirdre Oliver
thank you Deirdre — and wishing you all the best!! -daniel
Thank you for this!
It’s the same in other branches of medicine. There’s a lot of controversies now about the low-fat diet and how it does HARM not good for the heart, brain, reproductive system, etc. I suffered for years of PCOS, insulin resistance, and others. I was supposed to be on medication for LIFE. Now I’m medication free by simply doing my own research and coming to the conclusion that a low carb diet won’t spike my inflammation and insulin. And keep in mind, PCOS is one of the most common endocrine disorders in women, and it’s incredibly poorly treated. Actually, the treatment only masks the symptoms. Same with diabetes, same with heart disease. It took me 6 years of research to find out a way to cure myself. Now I have a cousin who has the same disease and is getting worse and worse. It’s killing me seeing her like this, but I am not a doctor, and even when I point out what the ” science” says, she wouldn’t listen at all because I don’t wear a lab coat. Go to the media, don’t get silenced! We need more people like you! If you can, get VIDEO footage as well!
If you know anything about internet marketing releasing your material for free can lead to more money making than you ever thought possible. Your name and your messages will spread and you will have a much larger group of listeners, readers, fans who you can sell some kind of new product or service. Maybe releasing the documentaries for free will lead to increased sales of physical copies or more donations.
hi Landon. maybe so. i admit, though, that i haven’t been too concerned with the money aspect. more i’m just happy that they’re getting out there to a much bigger audience. that makes me happy!! all the best to you — and thanks. daniel
that’s really cool daniel
i admire u for doing that. and now im gonna watch them all myself haha
if u start feeling poor come help us start our community here in uruguay and have a free place to call home 🙂
or come anyhow 🙂
a year ago, thanks to a psychiatrist friend, Jacob discovered Seikkula and with Daniel. I kept looking, reading, looking around, making things to understand before barely understood my work as a psychologist in mental health. Now I feel better, calmer and my work with me, because I am learning that there are people with visions and understandings that I gratify me. My way is not easy but now I feel less alone. Thank you Daniel and all other
Thank you Daniel!!!
If it is not already set up this way, you could give people the opportunity to donate (perhaps to a non-profit org that you’d establish) to provide monies for future great work!
I am in desperate need of advice direction help of any kind. My mom is 69 and has had a full life, 3 kids, RN for 30+ yrs. since nov 2012 after surgery and recovering from a drug induced psychotic episode she was forced from her home she owned, and still does, by the city code enforcement that boarded it up and left her with no resources. This happened 2 days after she was discharged from the hospital. I was with her the whole time during surgery and I had to go home a day after. Since then she has tried everything to get help and got nowhere. And just before Xmas 2013 she was completely consumed by delusions, and psychotic symptoms. We have no family history of this kind of illness. Her mom did have severe depression and ended up with alztheimers w/dementia and died in a care home at 83. My moms last visit with my grandma left her with a vision of her mom skin and bones in a fetal position talking to her deceased mom. My mom was never willing to admit or consider that she herself may develop it. So nothing legal is in place. On 2/27/14 she was admitted to a medical hospital for wandering and confusion. They did find a UTI treated it and discharged her to us. From that date up until last fri she’s been in 3 medical hospitals and 2 mental health facilities and has no diagnosis. All they have us ‘alztheimers dementia type psychosis nos. They did nothing except throw antipsychotics at her and treat her like a crazy old lady. Now she has been with is since last fri and I have been literally doing everything I can by calling every resource I can find to get help. I will not lock her up again. She steadily declined and refused any treatments they tried because even in this state she knows that they only make it worse and she can’t take them. Now here I am doing everything in my power to help her and I have no support no resources and an unwilling person who won’t and doesn’t know she needs help. I am at my wits end. Literally nobody in our family and any friends she had just say ‘oh I’m so sorry’ and that’s it. Please I am desperate, afraid and completely drained. I know just by the few days with us that there’s a huge chance she will at least come out of it. But without any skills, support or a system that isn’t in anybody’s interest I’m feeling like I’ve lost the person who gave me life and would expect of me and do the same for anyone if they needed it.
sounds absolutely hellish and confusing. i’ll reply backchannel. not sure what i can offer for help, though. ugh. daniel
Yes way more than there is room for here. Anything would help. I said something yesterday that made her reply differently than usual. And normally she responds to counseling but again no resources that are willing to do anything. Is this program in the US?
which program are you referring to? also, did you get my backchannel email?
Wow Daniel – thank you so much for going this next step! Reaching more people with what you have done, and opening up to new ways of making a living (living your making).
I’m wondering if people will still be able to buy the DVD’s from you as before? Call me old-fashioned and not up with the latest technology, but I find that DVD’s can be so much more enjoyable than youtube … good to hold in your hands and pass on in that format to others, and quite possibly taken more seriously than yet another youtube recommendation. xx ela
yes Ela — DVDs are still available for purchase. In some ways I agree with you — people can often take a DVD more seriously than a youtube presentation. And that relates to another of my fears (I have many!!) — that people will take my work LESS seriously because i am now giving it away for free…. But……so be it……..i have felt it’s right to give them away now……
thanks for your kind words—-
By buying dvds people who have already seen your films can support you in proceeding on your path. And it would be a great idea to include some extra footage on dvds,e.g.”behind the scenes” or some extended versions of interviews with people you made your films about etc.
Hi, take a look on YouTube at Amanda Palmer’s Tedtalks video on ‘the Art of Asking’… She started giving all her music away and went through the process you’re in now….very positive, might help x
This is outreach. The need for therapy and for consulting to push back against harmful practice is so great, it cannot be supplied in many places where it is needed. There will be people willing to pay you to help with their challenges, and each helping action you provide moves us closer to a system of appropriate compassion.
Daniel, as everyone here has confirmed, you are an amazing, inspiring, loving, giving, on-fire-in-the-heart-and-mind human being. This is a wondrous act! Gratitude and admiration to you from the depths of my being.
Thank you from Vienna!
I spend my day watching, you’re doing great and important work! Next year I will start to work as a psychologist (having also personal expirience) and the people you interviewed were very inspiring. So I love the revolution movement it can give so much hope
I am touched by your love.
You are a true hero in my world
Lots of love to you dear friend.
I am making a doc ‘bipolar survivors here is the link to some clips
Daniel, this act of giving is simply a reflection of who you are as a human being, just getting brighter…resolve to Revolve. Evolve to revolt? Nah, revolution evolution,
See you soon I hope
Love and hugs
Daniel this is an amazing act of courage and could make such a massive difference to so many people all over the world. I salute you and may the revolution come in my lifetime!!
Daniel this is an amazing act of bravery and could really make a massive difference to so many people all over the world. May the revolution continue!
Big thanks from Poland. I hope this will help me a lot to make your name known here in my country. You are great ! and a beautiful person.
A beautiful action that speaks to your integrity, and may lead the way, I hope, for others to follow your example.
With my respect and friendship – Ron
Thank you, you make the revolution for freedom happen, Daniel Mackler
with a poem
Ella Weeler Wilcox
from Poems of Purpose, 1916
To sin by silence, when we should protest,
Makes cowards out of men. The human race
Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
Against injustice, ignorance and lust,
The Inquisition yet would serve the law,
And guillotines decide our least disputes.
The few who dare, must speak and speak again
To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
No vested power in this great day and land
Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
Loud disapproval of existing ills,
May criticise oppression and condemn
The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
That let the children and child-bearers toil
To purchase ease for idle millionaires.
Therefore do I protest against the boast
Of independence in this mighty land.
Call no chain strong which holds one rusted link,
Call no land free that holds one fettered slave.
Until the manacled, slim wrists of babes
Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
Until the Mother bears no burden save
The precious one beneath her heart, until
God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
And given back to labor, let no man
Call this the land of freedom.
THANK YOU Daniel. This is a true act of noble-mindedness.
A very big hug from Madrid.
Wow, that is really courageous and generous of you! Normally people like you, who stop worrying about money and just follow a purpose in life with passion end up being alright financially anyways because people value their work. It comes from the heart and that makes it special. Wish you all the best Daniel.
Thank you for your generous gift to us all.
I think it is an exciting decision and a frightening one as well because it does affect your ability to earn a living. But maybe this is an idea whose time has come. It wasn’t right before, but it is right now. I also think that there may be other grants out there and the more that people are exposed to your work, the more people who might be helpful to you will have the chance to hear about your work. I would never try to trivialize how important it is to pay your bills. However, a sacrifice for now could possibly lead to more opportunity for the future. Plus, you have the likelihood that your work will spread out more to the people who need it. I will say you gave me two of your films for half price at the Hartford Conference and I really did appreciate the fact that you were willing to share with me that way. Thanks so much. Also, I thank you for getting out there and doing this important work.