This film follows a group of sufferers as they stay together at a remote country retreat, miles away from the nearest hospital. There they undertake an intense course of treatment administered by the Maudsley Hospital’s resident therapist, Dr Florian Ruths.
Single mum Laura, 26, is convinced she has terminal cancer. Her problems began when her father died of cancer aged only 44. Now she’s sure she’s got it too and it’s driving her friends mad.
Kevin is 36, and lives in constant fear of contracting HIV. A blood transfusion has triggered an obsessive fear of the AIDS virus, HIV. A drop of blood can send him into a state of extreme panic.
Sarah, aged 40, is convinced that the smallest ache or pain means that she could die at any moment. She is a regular attendee at her local GP’s surgery and seeks constant reassurance from all around her.
Dr Ruths conducts behavioural therapy sessions with Laura, Kevin and Sarah, and sets them exercises designed to challenge their obsessions and change their behaviour.
Jane is 37 and has a slightly more complex case for the therapists. Five years ago she collapsed and ended up in a wheelchair. She has not walked since, despite the fact that doctors cannot find anything wrong with her legs. Her treatment, conducted by her psychatrist, Dr Lars Hansen, involves her bursting balloons and wheeling herself through the local town dressed as a clown… all in the name of therapy.
The main CBT therapist is Dr Florian Alexander Ruths. If you would like to contact Dr Ruths, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.cctlb.com.
A Century North production for Channel 4
1 x 50 minutesNarrator Stephen TomkinsonMusicOrganiq MusicPhotographyMartin LighteningAlan WilsonExecutive producersRuth PittBrian HillEditorMartin John HarrisProduced & Directed byJane Beckwith
"An excellent documentary about hypochondria"The Independent
"A compelling film"Daily Mail