People Say I'm Crazy

John Cadigan is an artist. Cadigan also has schizophrenia, which makes life infinitely more difficult for him. People Say I'm Crazy is a firsthand look at how somebody with schizophrenia lives. Cadigan and his sister Katie (Out of My Mind) co-directed the film, which turns the camera on John to show what he experiences on a daily basis. The result is moving and enlightening. Schizophrenia is a disorder that causes its victims to lose touch with reality. Cadigan has paranoid schizophrenia, which means he also has constant feelings of persecution.

Cadigan developed the disorder while in college. He bounced around from doctor to doctor, each giving different diagnoses. He later underwent electro-convulsive therapy and started taking Clorazil. As a result, his personality changed (like in the film Tarnation) and he gained 150 pounds. The beginning of the film finds him living in a group home, working on his art. The simplest things are extremely difficult, as Cadigan is prone to bouts of depression. It's tough watching him lash out at Katie, thinking delusionally that she is trying to use his condition in order to further her film career. The next day he realizes that this was wrong, but the fact that he thinks like this seriously troubles him.

One constant in Cadigan's life is his family. He has two sisters and his parents are divorced, by at the onset of his condition, everybody came together in order to support him. His family is extremely loving and there for him at every step. Cadigan, like anybody else, wants to be able to care for himself. He realizes that this is extremely difficult, but doing so would be a huge step for him. A later portion of the film deals with his attempts to obtain his own apartment.

Cadigan mentions that his sister began filming him when his condition started. However, People Say I'm Crazy begins as he is nearly his thirtieth birthday. This missing footage would prove extremely enlightening. Cadigan frequently alludes to the fact that his condition was much worse earlier. Seeing this would show both his improvement and provide more insight on how debilitating schizophrenia is. Without this footage, the film is still a testament to Cadigan. He is an accomplished woodcutter, and one of his goals was to finish a large piece before his thirtieth birthday. Cadigan takes things one step at a time, and continues pressing forward despite all the odds stacked against him. People Say I'm Crazy is an inspiring story, if not a tad overly long.

Mongoose Rates It: Not Bad.
1 hour, 24 minutes, Not Rated but contains some language, would be a PG-13 or possibly an R.

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