Let me just share through this article my take on the remake of A Star Is Born. The movie, which stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, painfully yet genuinely, portrays the heartache brought about by anxiety, depression, and heartache. I think about my own demons that I battle when my anxiety inflicts me. The film is a must-see for everyone. It is an eye opener especially to those who are challenged by a mental illness, and to their loved ones who live and share their lives with them as well.
A Short Summary
Bradley Cooper, who plays the addict in the movie, appropriately represents his role as someone who is struggling to cope with the pains of his childhood trauma. He attempts to cure this through self-medication. Here, Bradley shows that an alcoholic/addict can be a kind and wonderful person who is full of talent and character. Anyone, even a mentally ill individual, can be a rock star, as it doesn’t really matter if you’re mentally healthy or not. You can be anyone you want to be.
“A stressful change in life patterns can trigger a depressive episode. Such stressful events may include a serious loss, a difficult relationship, trauma, or financial problems.” –Ben Martin, Psy.D.
Lady Gaga’s role as Ally here in the movie also reflects on the love and sacrifices that family and significant others should show for their mentally ill loved one. When Ally cancels her tour to take care of Jackson (Bradley), she is the perfect epitome of someone who gives up everything to see her loved one recover. Her sorrow, including those of Jackson’s brother, father, and friends, is authentic proof and consequence of mental illness and addiction. As Jessica Harris, LCPC, LPC notes, “Everyone handles positive and negative stress differently. And yes, for some, positive stress can lead to a negative response to stress, depending on the situation.” But Ally tends to work on it differently.
The Ending Can Be Different For You
In the end, Jackson lost his battle with mental illness despite the beautiful person that he was – and it was no one’s fault because it was his choice. This part of the movie where Jackson’s brother consoles Ally and tells her it’s not her fault conveys a message to all loved ones and significant others that no matter how much love and care and sacrifice you share to the afflicted individual, in the end, it is his battle.
For those who are suffering from mental illness, suicide – which Jackson did in the movie – is not at all the ending for you. You can make it your choice not to.
“Mental health struggles are real. They can be painful. You may feel alone. In some of the darkest times, you may feel like something is “wrong” with you to the core. ” –Erica Thompson, LMFT, LPCC
There Is Help
This is the good news. There is help, and when I say help, it means the real sense of the word. I have been dealing with my anxiety and depression for years now, but not alone. I am going through life with my family, whom I share how I feel, my friends, and my therapist, who has been one of the strongest support networks that I’ve had. Yes, it might be cliché, but YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Films like A Star Is Born are worth remaking, with the way they have sent waves of support and inspiration for people who feel that they are suffering from the stigma of being mentally ill. The downward spiral that you and I feel can be eliminated if we just reach out and ask for help because it is abundant. And for those we love and who love us, continue to do so. Be with us as we reframe our way of thinking. Encourage us to be positive. Let us journey together through life with joy, happiness, and success.