'Boy Interrupted' Plumbs Depths of Bipolar Disorder - NBC4 Washington

'Boy Interrupted' Plumbs Depths of Bipolar Disorder

New documentary explores Bipolar Disorder

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    On the night of October 2, 2005, Evan Scott Perry ended his struggle with bipolar disorder by taking his own life. He was 15 years old.

    Evan Perry was 15 years old when he took his life by jumping from his bedroom window. Evan suffered from bipolar disorder.

    Biploar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a mood disorder marked by severe swings in mood, energy levels, activity and even impaired judgement. While the average onset is around 25 years of age, bipolar disorder also affects children and can be diagnosed from a young age. 5.7 million adults over 18 suffer from bipolar disorder in the US, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

    Boy Interrupted is Evan's story. Evan's short life was marked by intense mood swings and dark thoughts. He spoke of death from a young age, went to therapy, took medication. He also had friends, wrote plays, made short films. Evan took his life on the night of October 2, 2005. For his mother that following week "was a blur."

    His parents, documentary filmmakers Dana and Hart Perry, did what came naturally to them: they starting filming. They did not know that one day Boy Interrupted would be the result, a film Dana Perry says, "I wish I did not have to make." With Evan's life as the focus, Boy Interrupted also serves to shine a spotlight on bipolar disorder and the devastating effects it can have on the people who suffer from it, their family and loved ones.

    Boy Interrupted debuts on HBO on August 3.