RKS Film: The Documentary Film Reviewer and the Psychiatrist

Yes Mr. Stephen you have told me a jarring story of watching too many documentaries with a less than uplifting and joyous content.

You have mentioned a recurring theme in documentaries that have been causing you emotional difficulties.

You have mentioned countless documentaries dealing with.

  • Victims of war
  • Genocide
  • Climate change
  • Pedophilia
  • Drug abuse
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Rogue mining
  • Illegal poaching of endangered species
  • Political violence
  • Overflowing pools of pig waste
  • Homelessness
  • The destructive force of global tourism
  • The threat of genetic engineering
  • Corruption
  • Human rights abuses
  • The threats of artificial intelligence

You have indicated several factors that concern me and your Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) indicates borderline depression. Additionally your flashbacks to horrific scenes in these documentaries constantly plays out in your head and this may be Post Documentary Stress Disorder (PDSD).

Based on our conversations and your BDI you are on the verge of a major depressive disorder called Documentariaphobia. It is a newly discovered psychiatric disease and dealt with in our DSM Manual. The good thing is that it is rarely suicidal. I recommend that you:

  • Stop watching documentaries
  • Take a two-week vacation
  • Increase your Vitamin C intake to 5,000 mgs a day
  • Take a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course (MBSR)
  • Accept the pain that documentary film makers have caused you and exercise self compassion
  • Join a self-help group for documentary film makers with your disorder. There is only one such group in North America at the Will Smith Centre for Non-Violence for The Film Industry in Carmel California.

I will see you in two weeks and we can discuss what choices you have made. I will write a prescription of a steady dose of Harlequin romance films and hours you must watch Fox News for comic relief. No documentaries for two weeks. You and I will work to stem the tsunami of negativity. Perhaps through therapy we can reach a conclusion that this glumness is educative and not destructive.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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