Guest Blog by Megan K. Fox
My name is Megan K. Fox, I am a 22 year old writer/director from Dublin currently studying for my Masters Degree in Directing in London. I am passionate about film, music and teenage mental health, so marrying these subjects in my final graduation film BATTLE and shooting it back at home in Ireland is an exciting concept for me.
Perhaps the more exciting concept for the films audience will be the refreshingly positive approach that I hope to take in portraying a teenage character suffering from depression. Our story centres around a creative young girl called Molly as she prepares herself to perform on stage at her school Battle of the Bands. Through her performance on stage she will face her demons and prove to herself that she is strong enough to pursue happiness in the face of her battle with depression. This is a subject that is close to my heart as I myself have struggled with depression, having attempted suicide when I was just fourteen years old. Many of the events and characters in the film will be based on true events and individuals that inspired me in my recovery.
What I really want to achieve in this piece is a sense of our young characters’ defiance and persistence in the face of adversity and mental turmoil, to create a more multidimensional and admirable characterisation of those that live with depression and avoid the stereotypical victimisation, pitying or demonising of such characters. So often the media tends to overlook stories of recovery in cases of depression, preferring to report on stories about individuals with mental illnesses using sensationalised and vague terms such as ‘crazy’ or ‘manic’ to hone in on the few rare cases in which persons with mental health issues have committed violent or erratic acts, thus linking mental illness with violence and painting those who suffer from such illnesses with a negative image that rejects the idea of recovery, strength or normality.
My film aims to reject these stigmas and allow young people who suffer from depression to begin exploring the many paths to recovery that are open to them, whether they be through personal creativity and expression, professional counselling, or simply the support of friends and family members. There is a way out for everyone, no matter who they are or what age they may be. Mine was through writing, music and the support of my friends. The simple story of my recovery is one that I hope will inspire other young people to find their way through the darkness, and educate their parents about the importance of nurturing a suffering teens creativity and passions as they face their daily ‘battle’.
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