Blurry Beating (short film on Agoraphobia)
I saw this today and was crying by the end of it. I have had panic disorder with agoraphobia/depression since age 17 (the most severe strain of agoraphobia took hold at UCLA, kind of ironic that I reached my goal only to be unable to enjoy the campus). It isn’t something you get over, and it most certainly (if you truly have it) is not “all in your head.” At best, you try to handle it, but no matter what it is there. It doesn’t, as with any mental illness, simply go away. You can go to therapy, take your medicine, practice meditation/yoga/qigong (all of which I have done or am still doing), but it will be a part of you no matter what. If it is anything like I’ve experienced, it can derail your entire life, taking you from a fully functioning individual to a shell of a person who cannot walk 3 ft out of your home. It’s your brain’s neural reaction, and it is something neuroscientists still aren’t clear of the true cause, but all signs seem to lead in many ways to biochemistry in the mind (specifically with panic disorder as severe as mine, which causes the agoraphobia rather than agoraphobia being a stand-alone disorder like it is for some). This is a short film that is indie directed, and honestly if you have struggled with similar problems, you’ll get it. Is it totally accurate for every type of agoraphobia (i.e. agoraphobia as a symptom vs. agoraphobia as the illness itself)? No. However, it is difficult to translate physical symptoms that people have never felt into film art, especially since so many different illnesses can cause agoraphobia. I dedicate this to anyone who suffers, either in silence or out in the open, with mental illness. It is a cornerstone of my life, and I have accepted that, and I talk about it to let society know that I’m no less human than anyone else. I take it day to day, and some days are as bad as the protagonist has in this film.