Since the release of Unlisted viewers from all over have been sending us their comments. Scroll down to see a small sample of these comments.
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I have never felt a show or documentary have such a personal effect as this did. Our youngest Son is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia… I want to thank you for sharing your story! It has inspired me to put together a journal, or book, or maybe even a video about Ross's life prior to his mental health illness.
Carole W. - Ohio
I just saw your documentary and was blown away…You see I am almost 43 years old and am a co-guardian of a schizophrenic mother… My siblings and I lived in a very stressful home and it brought back so many memories that I had thought I had already dealt with.
Glorisel L. Fenton - Chester, Vermont
I just watched the film on PBS and just wanted to let the author know this film touched my heart in unimaginable ways.
Unlisted........GREAT film. It was enlightening to see how a physician would deal with a family member with mental illness… I now work in a mental health center and find that there is hope for people. We have opened up an assisted living facility for people with severe and persistent mental illness. Now we own an apartment building that will serve more people with mental illness... I appreciate your honesty in this film. Mental illness is still a mystery and talking about it helps solve that mystery.
Dot Stoll - Yankton, South Dakota
…In terms of a film, it was beautifully executed but more than that, a 'story' that needs telling…In watching the film I both found myself drawn to him (your dad) as a quirky but loving man and wary of him because of his neediness and disturbance. It must have been an enormous challenge navigating this. Thank you for sharing this with the public.
Judith Tabb - LCSW (licensed clinical social worker)
My mother is a paranoid schizophrenic…it's like you were telling my story. And because you did, I feel my fiancé and his family have a real understanding of this particular situation after their 6 years of knowing me and watching my struggles. That's powerful communication that most likely otherwise would not have happened.
Leanne Acklin - Erie, Pennsylvania
I was so moved by the film... I appreciated that you brought to light the social vs. individual issues and how politics has played a part through the years in the treatment (or lack there of) of mentally ill individuals… You and your family are so brave to share this with the world - we need more people like all of you. Thank you for allowing us to see your struggles and your pain.
Tina Brand (M.A. Research Psychology, Rutgers University)
Camden, New Jersey
Dr. Delaney Ruston's film focuses on the importance of PADs/ Psychiatric Advance Directives. .. She's promoting Choice, Collaboration, and Communication. She's kindling Relationship and Trust..
Catherine B. Rickerby - Middlebury, Vermont
My son was diagnosed with schizophrenia… I was worried about him watching it but wanted him to watch it at the same time… Two days later, he came and asked me what an advanced directive was and would I help him fill one out. He wanted to be prepared for a possible relapse. You know how much that means. He is no longer furious with me about the past commitments. He understood why. I overheard him telling someone that "my mom didn't send me away because she wanted me gone, she sent me away because she wanted me back"… Your film and more importantly your honest portrayal of mental illness reminds me that I am not alone.
Kathy Avsar (Department of Psychology) - Birmingham, Alabama
“We had an excellent discussion afterward with our panelists: a psychiatrist on the faculty at the UCSF medical school satellite here, our county patients' rights advocate and a county case worker (also family member). The doctor already had your film and believes it to be the best portrayal out there of schizophrenia.”
Helen Siporin (President, Mental Health America of the Central Valley) - Fresno, CA
Although my mom was chronically afflicted with bipolar from her early 30's up
until her death at age 65, our stories are uncannily similar. I could relate first-hand to nearly every scene in your documentary… My wife and I would like to thank you for having the courage to tell your and your Dad's story… Your story and documentary has given your Dad the vindication that he, and so many others, deserve.
Your film hit me hard! My husband passed away last year. We were married 30 years. He suffered from schizophrenia all those years. We had a lot of up and downs… Doctor Ruston, continue speaking out … The more we share just maybe the public will begin to understand this is a terrible illness and that deserves our compassion not our compulsion!
I've been searching for my first social work job… But your documentary reinforced how much I really want to work with people like your father... Thanks so much for a great film. I'm really glad I chanced upon it.
John C. Westropp (MSSA, LSW) - Cleveland, Ohio
I wanted thank you for having the courage to give a voice to the relatives and loved ones of those with mental illness---to the people who suffer in silence… I have not yet found the strength as you have to face my own mother again, but have high hopes of one day doing so. Your documentary lit the dark room that is mental illness; giving hope to those onto which it casts its shadow.
Aubrey Shaw - Brewster, NY
I just wanted to thank you again - not only for participating in the our symposium, but also for so openly telling the story of your relationship with your father…I think we all left with a desire to carry our important work forward.
Your film…was very powerful. That you would share from your very personal experiences about a field of medicine that has been so misunderstood is very appreciated. You bared your soul so that others could learn & obtain hope for their loved ones… I appreciated your honesty in sharing how difficult it is to be a daughter as a youngster being forced into a caregiver's role; and then having to step back into it… The film gives all of us a new perspective on mental illness & why our society is poorly managing it.K Ellis
I just viewed "Unlisted" and wanted to tell you how moving and informative this documentary is and I am so thankful… I never thought I would see a part of my life portrayed in this film. As a sister of a paranoid schizophrenic I have often suffered silently with the same guilt and frustration, feeling helpless and sadness over such a debilitating disease… Thank you for making me feel "not so alone" in this world of dealing with mental illness within my family… Thank you for bringing awareness of this disease and helping to break down the stigma of an illness that so many do not understand.Nicole Kennedy - Columbus, Ohio
I have few words right now but so many I'd love to share some day... I have had similar experiences as my brother has suffered from schizophrenia since he was 18... I share so many similar thoughts/ experiences that are in this film. I'm a lawyer - for many years I have been able to help others more easily than I've been able to help him… I can't believe you put this together. I feel gratitude and appreciation for you both. So much of what he shared reminds me of my brother. Thank you.
…I wanted to thank you so much for making this brave film. It was powerful and, for me, incredibly therapeutic… My dad has paranoid Schizophrenia and has been severely ill since right after my birth... It has been since I was 10 years old since I saw or spoke to him... When I was younger, I felt a great deal of shame and embarrassment when he would act strangely or get paranoid. For the first time in my life, I actually saw on film a story relatively close to my family's. I was starting to think that there was nobody else out there.
VM - Boston, Massachusetts
…I want to thank you for sharing your story about your dad with the world… I pray that some day this world understands that you did not fail your dad, your dad did not fail, but the system failed big time.
Patricia Manson - Yamhill, Oregon
My younger brother is paranoid schizophrenic since he was 20, he is 54 now. As I watched your angst concerning your father, your father's behavior, and what I call the failure of the mental health system to protect the mentally ill, I saw my own story and I cried… What an impact it has had on me!... You have told a story of schizophrenia with such truth and honesty.
Phyllis Hershkowitz - New York City, New York
…I just watched your film "Unlisted.." I was very moved. I work at a State hospital; I'm just a driver; I transport patients to the doctor or if they are being released, so I really have very little contact with them other than the time we spend during the transport. But it's interesting my change of thought before and now. I'm more understanding now. Some of them I wish that I could take home and take care of. Anyway, I was wondering if there were copies available of Richard's book? I would love to read it. Thank you.
…I am ever so impressed with the good you are bringing to the world by sharing your story in a movie. I think a movie is probably the best way to educate mass numbers of people. There are so many aspects of the movie to be discussed and learned from while simultaneously reducing stigma.
Kathy Barnum - Cincinnati, Ohio
What an amazing, poignant, and very important story.
Dr. David Leaman (Chair, Department of Political Science, Northeastern Illinois University) - Chicago, Illinois
Wow, what a powerful show this was... I was so touched by the family side of the paranoid schizophrenic man. My brother Glen was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was in his late 20's. As his sister I know first had about the trouble of finding him places to live and get help.... He was always fighting the fight, looking for somewhere to fit in, running from voices, running from all sorts of imaginary things, but running nonetheless. His fight is over, but my heart breaks for all those still out there looking for answers.... These people have no choice in having these issues, but treated as if it is something they need to "get over"
Barb Stembaugh - Woodstock, Illinois
Thank you for sharing the story… My mother was diagnosed and hospitalized in 1971, when I was 7. She has been living in half-way homes…Sally is now 70 years old and we visit about once a month. Some of the actions and mannerisms I saw from Richard are very similar to my Mother's. Many of the concerns and curiosities Delaney expressed are similar to my own. It is comforting to know I am not the only one who experiences such quandaries. Unlisted helps to bring the topic "out of the closet" for our society. Again, thank you for sharing the story.
Andrew Chisholm - Lincoln, Nebraska
I related so much to your video...Your love for your dad is what life is all about in the end…Thank you for sharing your amazing story.
Nikki Dubose - Miami Florida
This film was like a slap in the face and a hug....we have to do better! Homeless shelters and jails have become the new institutions of yesteryear! People can experience success with supports...where did the money go when the big institutions closed?
Lisa G, Central PA
Thank you Delaney for speaking out and showing others what some families go through. I too hope for more public education and solutions. My daughter is close to turning 18 and we've tried to get a thorough diagnosis for over 12 years. Paranoia is a recent layer to the onion. ,,I loved your father's analogy of the cathedral. It is so true; too many patients become faceless and entombed.,, I wasn't aware of the mental advanced directive! I'm telling everyone I know about getting it completed! Thank you for being letting your bravery win over the shame and guilt. Bless you.
JR, Concard, CA
Can you add the following reactions I just watched Unlisted. What a beautiful, poignant, intimate sharing of your journey with your dad. My heart goes out to you and your family. And my heart goes out to the millions of families struggling with mental illness without the needed support of the community. Your story has dramatically raised the awareness of this need.
Sher Emerick - Washington State
Dear Dr Ruston,
Thank you for your film about your father and his illness. My mother was manic depressive and your grief, described as a "hole in thesoul" by the child psychologist in the film, is a very apt and on goingly accurate description of the life of a child who is never secure, who knows no stability, and is unable to bond.
E.M. - Vancouver, BC
You were so courageous to engage in your relationship with your dad and to let us all into this painful and intimate part of your life. I loved your dad's book and the way you wove it into the film. I also really appreciated him and his struggles.
Cate Potyen, (MA Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist)
-Steamboat Springs, CO
My sister was diagnosed with schizophrenia and manic depression at about the age of fourteen. I also kept my phone number and address unlisted over the years. She died this year…Though she is gone, I haven’t been able to say goodbye. I missed an opportunity to know her.
T.R. - Everett, WA
I felt so much relief watching the film! At the end of the film, is when I realized, I would like to be more involved in my mother's life...And that I should be more involved with mental health community awareness...After watching your film; I started to blog my own journey, more for myself then anyone else. I really cant thank you enough for opening up about your personal story, to share with everyone. You have made a difference in my life .
It was a beautiful film - so well done! I just wanted to say that your Dad said at one point in a poem that what he wanted most was fame (or something close to that) - and you really have given that to him. He was a charming, funny, obviously talented man - very perceptive about you, too! Thanks for sharing - may it reach many people.
Sue Turner - Cambridge, MA
The screening was amazing and everyone in attendance found your movie truly amazing. Congratulations for making such a poignant film.
Michael Ascher (MS) - Chair of the Residents’ Committee for the American Psychiatric Association, NY
Dear Dr. Ruston,
I recently saw your documentary at a NAMI meeting in Cambridge, MA. It was very moving. I was going to suggest to Glenn Close that she get in touch with you, but you seem to have already connected with her. The more publicity we can give to the plight of the mentally ill and the stigma associated with psychiatric illnesses, the sooner we can move toward more constructive solutions.
Deborah Levy, (PhD) - McLean Hospital, Harvard University
I have been a mental health professional for years, and your film was just the best.
Mary Sue Meyerhoven (M.S., M.M.T.) - Eureka Springs, Arkansas
This is the first time in my life I have ever written someone I don't know a letter but how could I not? I was so moved and could so relate to all of your emotions. My mother had the illness and one of the biggest emotions I feel is gulit. She never met any of her grandchildren…you are the first person and filmmaker I have seen with my own story.
KH, North Carolina