We Need Machine Man the Movie

As an advocate for OCD awareness, what frustrates me more than anything is the media portrayal of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. On television there’s Monk, Glee, a few reality shows or specials here and there, and the occasional guest characters with the disorder. In the movie category, we have As Good as It Gets, Matchstick Men, and The Aviator, to name a few.

To be honest, I haven’t seen all of these shows or movies, but I’ve seen enough to know that OCD is often trivialized and sufferers are depicted as quirky, crazy, or anal retentive. Even when a more accurate representation is sought, the true nature of OCD, which is so widely misunderstood, is never captured.

Print media, in my opinion, is just as bad. It is not uncommon to find the misuse and misrepresentation of OCD in books, magazines, and newspapers. And by people who should know better. I recently read a newspaper column in which Dr. Mehmet Oz advised a reader “to be a bit OCD about detoxing your fruit and veggies.” See why I’m so frustrated?

But there is hope on the horizon, and it’s called Machine Man. I first blogged about this film back in January 2011, but I hope you will visit their updated web site, learn all you can about the project, and donate if you are able.

The difference between Machine Man and the other movies I mentioned is that Writer/Director Kellie Madison and Producer Craig Pietrowiak “get it.” They get what OCD is and the best way for you to get an idea of what I’m talking about is to view their trailer. They showed this powerful clip to a roomful of people at the OCD Texas Conference I recently attended, and everyone I spoke with about it agreed: They “get it.”

Think Rain ManForrest Gump, and A Beautiful Mind. Quality, mainstream movies where we fell in love with the main characters and learned something about humanity along the way. Machine Man will be in this category, and I for one, can’t wait.

OCD is a neurologically based anxiety disorder with the potential to devastate lives. Most people don’t realize this. At the very least, OCD sufferers and their loved ones deserve to be taken seriously and the media currently leaves us swimming against the tide.

We need everyone to understand.

We need accurate portrayals of what it is like to live with OCD.

We need Machine Man the Movie.

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18 Responses to We Need Machine Man the Movie

  1. Okay, now you’ve got me all excited! I fall into the same camp– I inwardly groan when people say, “Oh, I’m a little OCD myself,” when what they really mean is that they are QUIRKY. Quirks are not devastating; OCD is.

    That’s one of the reasons I’ve been working on my novel about a Pure-O girl for the last four years. I want a “companion” for OCD sufferers– I want them to read a book that “gets it.”

    I post excerpts from my book on my blog from time to time in the hopes of illuminating the inner thought-life of an OC.

    Can’t wait to see this movie! Thanks for the heads-up!

  2. ocdtalk says:

    Between this movie and your book, we are on our way! Thanks for commenting.

  3. jacqui says:

    The movie looks powerful. It must be completed. Thank you for your blog and for educating and support those with and affected by this misunderstood disorder.

  4. Lolly says:

    Thanks so much for this post, I am very excited to see the movie! I am going to post the trailer on my blog so others can get excited about it, too. It seems like they really do get it, and the title is so fitting.

  5. Johnson says:

    Thank you for sharing you and your son’s story with us. Above all, thank you for doing all you have done for your son. Is there any way I could correspond with you? I want to share my story with you and hoping you can give me some advice and some tips. I have a story to tell. Hope we can correspond. I just graduated from college in May.

  6. ocdtalk says:

    I sent you an email…..hope to hear from you!

  7. I ran into a situation with someone the other day that really bugged me. She is a friend of my parents, and knows some of our family politics and crap – especially about my sister. (See my post from tonight for further explanation.) Anyway – she also knows that I have OCD. After hearing about how bossy, critical and rigid my sister is – she said “she sounds like the one with OCD”. People really have no idea what OCD is about. I think many people just assume that people with OCD are difficult and insist on things being a certain way because they LIKE them that way. It made me angry. Though – these days anger is my primary emotion. :o)

  8. ocdtalk says:

    Your anger is certainly understandable…….especially with everything you have been going through. Your story is just one more great example of why we need this movie….people have little to no understanding of what OCD really is!

  9. This movie sounds really interesting. As you rightly say, the media portrayal of OCD is invariably simplistic and gives little insight to non-sufferers

  10. billy sullivan says:

    My wife and I live in Athens, Ga. We struggle as all family’s due having a child with OCD. If there is anyone out there that would like to start a local support group for parents please respond and let’s work on getting something started.

  11. ocdtalk says:

    You’re welcome. I’m looking forward to the movie too. They are still in the process of raising funds for production, and are committed to making this movie.

  12. scottsmess says:

    I really don’t quite understand what people have against the character Monk and it’s portrayal of OCD. In my opinion – Monk was a very lovable, sensitive, isolated, oftentimes temperamental character who was quite debilitated by OCD in many ways that people with OCD are debilitated by their disorder. I don’t know why people complain. There was a lot of humanity in Tony Shaloobs’s portrayal and I think he did an excellent job of showing a man who was brilliant (as many of with OCD are very intelligent) and yet weighed down by OCD (as many of us are). I don’t think it could have been done any differently. If anything, his character could be construed as someone who gives hope to people with OCD as he was considered a top person in his field and was a genius at solving crimes. And yet there was his OCD – and it was brought on by his wife’s death. And that happens with people with OCD all of the time – as you’ve discussed on this blog many times. Before his wife’s death – he had OCD tendencies and then when she died – they blossomed into full-on OCD. Again, as many people experience with the disorder in real life. I don’t think this was a false or misconstrued portrayal of OCD. Did it focus a lot on the cleaning aspect – yeah – but people do suffer from contamination OCD and it wouldn’t be fair of us to say that their OCD shouldn’t be portrayed accurately in the media either just because so many more of us suffer from the obsessional aspects without visible compulsions. I was a big fan of the show and I found it heartening to see a character with mental illness that was portrayed in such a crafted manner. He was not shown as some psychokiller who destroyed people’s lives or a weak dolt who gets pushed around. I think as sufferers there are a lot of really bad portrayals of OCD in the media and the press and how OCD and mental illness is shown. People get upset over a character looking too quirky or sensitive or not being “together” enough. I think we need to pick our battles and I’ve heard people dislike the portrayal of his character. If we’re going to get upset – I think we need to look elsewhere.

    At any rate – the show has been off the air for several years now and Machine Man has been out for a while. I just thought I’d say my piece here. Great job on the blog Janet and thanks for bringing this up.

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