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Mr. Jones

Richard Gere, Lena Olin, Anne Bancroft, Tom Irwin (II)
amobarbital | Amytal | haloperidol | Haldol | lithium | Sigmund Freud
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A study in the psychopathology and treatment challenges of Bipolar Disorder. Please do not assume the psychiatrist's boundary problems go with the territory.

Manic depressive (bipolar) carpenter Mr. Jones, exhibiting euphoric mood and grandiose thinking, makes an expansive gesture with his hammer. Tapping into his fantasies of flying, an airplane passing overhead distracts him as he stands on a roof. (0:03)

After demonstrating near psychic powers of intuition Jones gives away money to his new carpenter friend Howard. (0:05)

Even more precariously perched on the roof Jones says, "We're gonna fly." (0:07)

Psychiatrists Libbie and Patrick, making rounds in a psychiatric hospital, mention auditory hallucinations, Paranoid Schizophrenia, and Haldol as they discuss Jones, assess his level of orientation and decide to sedate him. (0:10)

In a session with Libbie her patient Amanda talks rapidly before breaking into tears. (0:14)

We see more patients, including a distraught woman and a man who produces apparently delusional talk about the Pentagon, communications from CBS news, and poison. (0:15)

Mr. Jones exhibits flight of ideas as he talks to Libbie before he leaves the hospital. In a staff meeting Libbie tells Patrick and senior psychiatrist Dr. Holland she believes Mr. Jones was misdiagnosed: "He was psychotic, but not schizophrenic. He was expansive, intrusive, inappropriate, euphoric. I think he's manic." (0:18)

Mr. Jones appears euphoric with increased energy as he sings, "I Feel Good." (0:19)

Mr. Jones withdraws all his money from the bank and pays $100 for a few hot dogs. (0:20)

Libbie with another female patient in session. (0:24)

During a performance of Beethoven's ninth symphony Jones, oblivious the inappropriateness of his behavior, walks onto the stage and begins conducting. (0:26)

Back in the hospital, Jones, now in restraints, rapidly recites numbers while Libbie and Patrick watch. Libby tells Jones, "You have a disease, manic depressive disorder. It's like having diabetes." Patrick tells him, "It's a highly treatable chemical imbalance." Jones responds, "I do not have a disease. This is who I am." When Libby tells him she wants to give him something to help him rest, he says, "Forget the Haldol." She tells him it is Amytal, "just a sedative." He accepts, and after a nurse injects him he rapidly calms. (0:27)

At a "competency hearing" Libby testifies that Jones is "suffering from bipolar manic depressive disorder. I believe that he is currently in the manic cycle... I think that his judgment is impaired and that he is a danger to himself... The manic state is usually followed by depression [with] hopelessness, despair, the inability to experience pleasure, the inability to function." (0:31)

On the witness stand Jones tells the court, "I could've done a better job conducting that Beethoven piece." I believe he means better than the conductor. (0:34)

Libbie tells Jones, "Next time you're in trouble don't ask for me." (0:35) Is this the first sign of dissolving boundaries?

Libbie asks Jones, "Do you crash? Do you get suicidal." He shows her his bottle of lithium. She screams at him to "shut up," then apologizes and gives him a ride in her car. She attempts to find out more about his past history, but Jones accuses her of rudeness. (0:36)

Jones asks Libbie to feed him. She buys him dinner. (0:38)

Jones touches Libbie then massages her neck. She tosses him the forgotten bottle of medication, and he promptly discards it. (0:44)

Jones' develops psychomotor retardation as he appears to enter a Major Depressive Episode. (0:47)

Jones' movements continue to slow, and he exhibits signs of self neglect such as failure to shave. He looks sad as he wanders aimlessly in front of traffic, apparently oblivious to his surroundings. (0:49)

Jones' friend Howard talks with Libbie by telephone while she stands in the hospital day room, patients screaming in the background. (0:50)

Libbie waits in Jones' apartment. (0:51)

Jones cries. Libbie holds him. He falls to the floor. Back in the hospital a singing mental-health technician bathes him. (0:52)

Libbie makes a videotape of Jones in her office. On her bookshelf sit numerous volumes of Freud and stacked videotapes of her patients. (0:53)

Patients engage in movement or dance treatment outdoors. (0:54)

Group psychotherapy. A nurse gives medication to Jones. He tries to work on a craft project with other patients. (0:55)

In a session with Libbie Jones talks about how his girlfriend Ellen died. (0:55)

Jones tells Libbie about a suicide attempt during college in which he took 73 aspirin tablets. (0:57)

Libbie encounters a patient who appears to have escaped from the ward. When she tries to coax him back through the doors he attacks and tries to strangle her, but Jones rescues her and talks the man down instinctively before technicians arrive and chaos ensues. (1:01)

Libbie thanks Jones for rescuing her. (1:04)

As a nurse passes out medications in the hospital day room Jones erupts. (1:09)

In a session with Libbie Jones tells her, "I really need my highs." When he begins to cry she touches him. (1:10)

Dr. Holland and Libbie meet with Amanda and her family. Amanda hugs Libbie as she leaves the hospital. (1:13)

Libbie talks to the bank teller Jones spent time with leading up to the incident at the symphony concert. Libbie refuses to answer questions about Jones. A vestige of professionalism remains. (1:15)

Libbie tries to investigate Jones' history at the music school he attended. In another session with Jones she brings up the subject of his friend Ellen. Jones tells her she is sick and accuses her of spying on him. When it surfaces that Ellen never died, Jones leaves the session angry. (1:18)

Boundaries deteriorate further: in the rain Libbie gets in her car. Jones kicks the car. Libbie gets out of the car and runs after him. He tells her, "I was too much trouble for everybody." She tells him how she would be hurt if he killed himself. He takes her hand and they kiss. (1:22)

Psychiatry staff meeting with Dr. Holland. (1:26)

Libbie in her office with a female patient. (1:27)

Libbie tries to convince Patrick to take over Jones' case, ultimately admitting, "I slept with him." So much for boundaries. Patrick agrees on condition that she sever her relationship with Jones. (1:28)

Other patients pursue Jones as he walks to Libbie's office. Technicians take him away and he appears sedated. (1:31)

On the street Jones appears euphoric and irritable. He engages in provocative intrusive behavior with strangers. (1:34)

Amanda has killed herself at her home. Libbie watches a videotape. (1:35)

Libbie tells Dr. Holland she is resigning her post at the hospital. (1:38)

Jones climbs to the roof again. Libbie follows him. He tells her he has accepted the fact that he cannot fly. He asks, "Now what?" Libbie answers, "Cup of coffee?... Decaf" (1:44)