Patient otherwise healthy and alert

Sweden, 2014

In September 1956 Gunnel Bergstrand, at that time a 20-year-old nursing student, arrived by her own choice at Restad Mental Hospital in Vänersborg in the company of her mother and her parish priest. Once there, she was admitted and forced to undergo treatment throughout the subsequent three months.

In this film Gunnel herself shows us around the old so-called storm ward in the hospital building that is now part of the Restad Estate district. She describes the treatment at the mental hospital as well as the diagnosis she received and how it has affected her opportunities and her choices during the further course of her life. Today Gunnel is 78 years old. She had hip surgery several years ago, after which all of her traumatic memories came back. She decided that she must dare to requisition a copy of her medical journal. After being silent for 50 years, she is now determined to put her shame aside and openly share her experiences, along with working actively against strapping down procedures and other compulsory treatment currently in practice.

The film was produced at Gyllenkroken Foundation in Gothenburg, www.gyllenkroken.se.

Note: Vänersborg is a city near the west coast of Sweden. Restad was a facility for the mentally ill designed in the style of the late 1800s/early 1900s, resembling a self-sufficient estate on the outskirts of Vänersborg.