One Man's Journey to Healing from Bipolar Disorder: Meet Ross McKenzie from the Film Bipolarized

25 Feb 2015 by Jason's Connection
Ross McKenzie

Jason’s Connection recently talked with Ross McKenzie, star of the documentary film, Bipolarized.

In the interview, Ross talks about what has happened in his life since the film wrapped, and his continuing crusade for more holistic, balanced care for people with mental illness.

“We need to become our own best doctors. Take charge and be empowered.”

Interview With Ross McKenzie

“I started to look at these symptoms as gifts…I see them as incredible gifts, these symptoms are speaking to you…your body is talking really loudly to you, and when a person can then ask, ‘What I can glean from this?’, that is the point where real transformation can take place.”

The film covers Ross’ journey with bipolar disorder. When he was diagnosed, Ross’ psychiatrist told him he would live with the disorder for the rest of his life and that he would have to take lithium to control his symptoms. To Ross, taking the drug daily felt like a chemical lobotomy, leaving him in a foggy, drug-induced haze. Ross ultimately decided to resolve his symptoms outside of conventional medicine. He progressively reduced his use of lithium at an experimental clinic in Costa Rica. What ensued was an exploration into alternative treatments for his condition and an inward journey, delving into the root cause of his mental breakdown. The film uses Ross’ personal experiences to tell a larger story about medication. It will reveal how we are labeling more and more people with mental illnesses and how, in tandem, we are prescribing more and more toxic psychotropic drugs to treat these illnesses. Bipolarized weaves together a series of interviews with activists, psychiatrists and other psychiatric survivors who have challenged the status quo as well as recounts some of the alternative therapies Ross uses to maintain his mental, emotional and physical health.

For more information about the film, please visit:

Bipolarized will be shown at the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival on Tuesday, March 3 at 7:30pm at the Esquire Theatre. For more information on the festival, please visit:

For a downloadable podcast of this interview, please visit: