“What if it sucks?”
“What if it's amazing?”
“What if it's dangerous?”
“What if it's exciting?”
“What if we die?”
“What if we live?”
Having any kind of mental health disorder is terrible. I speak from experience. I suffer from ADHD which has caused me to also suffer from depression and anxiety. My ADHD is not severe. I am ADHD inattentive where I do not act out I can sit and be quiet but my mind is somewhere else. I am impulsive with certain things and my emotions are all over the place. A few years ago I did suffer a nervous breakdown from depression and anxiety. It was scary and horrible. I hated being in my head and I did not want to do anything. As much as my ADHD sucks I am thankful that it is not severe and that my depression and anxiety do not fully run my life. I feel awful for people who do severely suffer from ADHD, depression, and anxiety. I cannot imagine what it must be like where their disorder completely takes over their life. The Road Within deals with three kinds of mental health disorders come together to learn to deal with their problems.
Vincent Rhodes suffers from Tourette’s syndrome. His mother has just died and the stress and sadness from her death makes his ticks worse. His father Robert has no idea how to deal with him. Robert and the mother were divorced so Robert is not fully in Vincent’s life. Robert sends Vincent to a behavioral center that can help him control his Tourette’s. Vincent is roomed with Alex who suffers from OCD so bad that he tries to sneak a bottle of vodka into the room to plant it on Vincent’s bed to get him kicked out and he can be alone in the room. The following day Vincent is given a tour of the center by a girl named Maria who suffers from Anorexia.
Maria and Vincent are sitting together under a tree on a bench. Vincent gets nervous and starts to tick. Kids in the park next to the center see Vincent have an attack and they start taking video on their phones. Vincent freaks out and the kids egg him on a little bit more. Vincent jumps the fence and attacks the kid. Maria and Vincent are brought to the doctor’s office. Her car keys are on the desk. Later that day Maria goes by Vincent’s room and talks him into leaving. They are going to the ocean so Vincent can scatter his mother’s ashes. He sneaks out that night and takes Alex’s CD of classic music. Just as they are pulling away Alex gets behind the car. They do not want him to freak out and get the doctor so they basically kidnap him and take him along with them.
Robert is pissed because he is in the middle of a campaign for city council and Vincent running away can tank his whole campaign. He decides to go looking for Vincent and the doctor tags along.
The rest of the movie is Vincent, Maria, and Alex learning to deal with each other and their disorders outside of their normal comfort zones. At times their adventures and their learning are funny, sad, and uncomfortable. Even Robert and the doctor learn things about themselves and how they see the kids.
The Road Within was suggested to me by a guy who comes into the library I work at. He comes in every Thursday morning and we discuss the movies we have seen throughout the week. He has read this blog and some of the other movies I have reviewed where I mention that I have ADHD, depression and anxiety. He told me that I would connect in a certain way to The Road Within and that I would like it. He was right I did connect to the story in a certain way and I did like it. To me the story was not typical in the way it handled mental health disorders. Usually movies with mental health disorders are not that good because they ramp up the disorders and the people to make them more dramatic or to make fun of both disorder and person. The Road Within did not do any of those bad things. It treated the characters with respect and kindness in way. I really liked how there was a scene where Alex describes how he hates that his disorder has taken over his life and that he wanted to be known for more than just his OCD he wanted to be known as a cool normal kid. When I was really suffering from depression and whenever I have an emotional melt down I had/have the same wish and thought as he does. I hated/hate how it took over/sometimes takes over my life.
I am very grateful for the suggestion of watching The Road Within. It is a movie I only plan on seeing this one time but I am glad I did watch it.