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Diaries of a Broken Mind

Wed Jul 17, 9-10pm, BBC3

Abby is bipolar, though her mum doesn’t seem very sure what that is. Tilly is anorexic, and is ‘managing’ her own eating programme; she’s not really managing. Bex is agoraphobic and hasn’t been further than the pub over the road in months, and Jess had dissociative identity disorder, which means she has five distinct personalities, one of them a short male American movie actor.

Nothing in this doc is predictable, except the scratchy 8-bit captions and an invasive and over-literal soundtrack of chart R&B. Its coup is allowing young people with mental health conditions to document the reality of their lives themselves: they come across as depressing, heartwarming, annoying and hilarious. Exactly like any 18-year-old. Most illuminating is their answer to the question ‘Would you not have your condition if you could?’ Excellent stuff – but ditch Kanye.


El M

Cutting to the chase, the show documents the irresponsible drugging of young people and telling them they are broken. I see nothing more than substance and video game addiction, most are tattooed and or pierced with trendy goth like make up etc. and inappropriately dyed hair. These are young people who are not mentally unwell. This is the result of no parenting as there was 30 years ago. And multiple personality, well that's a miracle as she doesn't fit the criteria from what is shown. It is extremely rate.

Much anxiety could be avoided by fitting into societal norms so to speak with appearance and behaviour, and a job!

The show dies nothing to show the important factors assessed when diagnosing someone with a mental illness or disorder. BTW the DSM is so inclusive now that everyone has something!! We are creating drugged up zombies who will chase these meds fir the rest of their life. Shame!! Sugar pills will work just as well. Also a disorder is NOT a mental illness. This makes being mental the in thing! None if these people present anything like the people I have known with mental illness for many years and in multiple continents.


I would have thought that, considering the seriousness of this programme, it could have been summed up in better words than 'Excellent stuff'. Well I'm glad you found it entertaining Chris Waywell. Perhaps this programme will hit home more significantly for people suffering one of the more prominently featured disorders, however, it was a sensitive, informative and also extremely upsetting look at mental health issues. Although the style of wobbly camera work took a moment to adjust to it was nice to hear about the illnesses for the teenagers themselves and not have the traditional documentary style of voice-overs and doctors discussing the science and history of mental heath. The increased coverage of mental health disorders in the media is showing a promising start...


If you found elements of this documentary to be predictable... well 'Chris Waywell' I find your review predictable.


people will learn about young people with mental health problems, many different ones, plus the stigma behind how everyone sees them an invisible illness