To Dare Life

How does it feel to be in a psychosis? Psychosis is so tough on the brain that most sufferers can’t remember what they’ve been through afterwards. Linda Mokko is a 35 year old Finnish woman who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in her early twenties. Linda is rare in that she remembers everything she has experienced in psychosis and can describe it. Yet she has a severe form of the disease since she has been hospitalised for psychosis four times. In the film she describes her psychoses and what it is like to manage balancing her life with the disease.

But Linda is doing good now. She has a job and she has recently married. The wedding was in the fall, since Linda couldn’t risk experiencing such excitement in spring; the seasons affect her brain chemistry too.

Linda’s dream is to have children and together with her husband they are planning how it could be done. Since she cannot risk the imbalance that sleep deprivation would entail, the father would have to act as the mommy during the early months, getting up at night to bottle feed, allowing Linda to sleep. Breast feeding isn’t an option anyway as she needs to be on her medication.

Having experienced four psychoses Linda dreads the onslaught of a fifth. Recouperating from a psychosis is slow work and the periods of depression that follow seem to become longer and longer. Yet, Linda is a woman who has a lust for life, a great sense of humour and a love of adventure. Planning life for safety is important, but frustrating too. Most of all Linda hopes to regain the courage to dare to take small risks again, since that is, in her own words, what finally makes life just that: Life.

Directed by: Emma Fogelholm and Janna Thorström. Cinematographer: Marita Hällfors. Editing: Emma Fogelholm, Janna Thorström and Klaus Grabber. Music: Ville Tanttu. Pink Orbit Production, 2014.

Tammisaari Film Festival (Finland) 17.1.2015.
On YleFem 3.4. 2015, 4.4.2015.

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