Ms. Diagnosed by Olivia Trice
After a brain scan reveals that Olivia was misdiagnosed and overmedicated at a young age, the efficacy of the American medical system is put into question, as well as her identity.
Long Project Description
Ms. Diagnosed is an autobiographical documentary that chronicles the past and present of the American medical system and the experience of Olivia, a young Black Woman who was misdiagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and overmedicated with SSRIs during her formative years (14-20 years old).
This is a heroine's journey of rehabilitation and self-actualization, as Olivia attempts to gets to the root of her health and well-being by undergoing a series of brain treatments.
Olivia’s story is told through an expressionistic lens utilizing dance as an analogy for strife and triumph. The emotional story weaves in and out of reality as the process of healing progresses, stagnates, and shape shifts over the course of 4 years. This feature-length film is highly experimental with a narrative drive and its structure is envisioned to be as nonlinear as the healing process has proved itself to be.
Developed during the 2023 Wāhine in Film Lab
My film philosophy to create has been about shifting my perspective on my experience and birthing a new self. I became inspired to tell this story after discovering aerial arts. I was becoming a recluse during the first series of RTMS treatment and I desperately needed an outlet for expression. Incorporating aerial dance has breathed life into my creative process and removed any limits set by my misdiagnosis. That catharsis has played out in my real life and on film I hope that my film can reach others with disabilities and empower those who have been discarded by the medical system.
Connection to the story
This is my story and there’s no other person more qualified to tell it than I. Creating this film is howI’ve been able to come to terms with what's happened to me. It is helping make sense of the senseless overlook and neglect by countless doctors. Ms. Diagnosed is more than a project to me, it has become a motivating life force that sheds light in the darkest corner of my mind and gives me hope in a hopeless system. Without it, I fear I would’ve succumbed to the anger, resentment, and despair that resulted from my misdiagnosis. Knowing that my pain can resonate with others who have been failed by Big Pharma, reassures me that I am not alone and that overcoming this obstacle serves a higher purpose beyond me.
I intend to take my story and my healing into my own hands, while amplifying the voices of others who have been medically mishandled.
The frequency in which disorders such as Bipolar are misdiagnosed is a systemic failure. Approximately 70% of patients receive an incorrect diagnosis initially, and many remain undiagnosed even a decade later. According to the Mental Health Association of America, an estimated 2.3 million Americans have bipolar disorder. Research also shows that Women and Minorities are Up to 30% more likely to be misdiagnosed than their white counterparts.
The issue of medical malpractice is a systemic failure of utmost importance because we often trust doctors' diagnoses and recommendations regarding our health. This systemic issue can be characterized as a revolving door motorized by neglect and deprioritization of sustainable health.
While dismantling the American medical system is a tall order for a documentary, Ms. Diagnosed aims to encourage holistic methods of self healing and health management.
Olivia Trice (She/Her) is a multi-hyphenate producer and force to be reckoned with. She is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University with a BFA in Multimedia Cinematic Production & Screenwriting. With 5 years of TV/Film production experience under her belt, Olivia is credited for her work on GODZILLA VS. KONG, HAWAII FIVE-O, MAGNUM P.I., and AMERICAN IDOL. As a former ambassador of the Community & Teen’s department at Instagram, she has also spent much of her development online translating those connections into real-life impacts and business collaborations. While her artistic expression has evolved to span multi-forms of digital media, Olivia’s passions remain photography, experimental filmmaking, and storytelling through aerial dance/improvisation. As of this year, Olivia is a 2023 Wāhine in Film Lab Fellow with Hawaiʻi Women in Filmmaking.