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Emory psychiatry department hosts special screening of "Touched With Fire"

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The Emory Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences held a special screening and post-show discussion of “Touched With Fire”, a movie that delves into the lives of two poets with bipolar disorder.

The movie features Katie Holmes and Luke Kirby, who meet in a treatment facility and begin a relationship fueled by intense emotional extremes, from passionate highs to anguishing lows. The film was written and directed by Paul Dalio and was inspired by his personal struggles overcoming bipolar disorder.

Mark Hyman Rapaport, MD, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine, and Jeff Rakofsky, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, facilitated a discussion with audience members after the screening, which was held Tuesday, Jan. 19 at the UA Tara Cinemas.

Bipolar disorder affects 2.6 percent of the U.S. population and is characterized by dramatic shifts in mood, energy and activity levels that can affect a person’s ability to manage day-to-day tasks. The average age of onset is 25 years old. Patients with bipolar disorder die an average of 9.6 years earlier than the general population.

Audience members, made up primarily of mental health professionals or people affected by the disease, commented on the film’s authentic journey of dealing with the disease and how it impacts not only the individual, but also families, friends and work life. The movie opens nationwide on Feb. 19. 

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