Segments in this Video

Unit for Difficult Patients (06:13)


Phillip, a 50-year-old from Normandy, describes the delusional thinking that led to him committing murder and being detained in the UDP. Mentally ill patients deemed a threat to society are housed at the Cadillac facility; many have committed gruesome crimes.

UDP Routines (09:19)

Cadillac has long been associated with mental illness. A nurse discusses the importance of routine and checking in with patients as they emerge from their cells. Another nurse helps Daniel stay rooted in reality.

Occupational Therapy (05:45)

The UDP offers activity-based treatment for patients who have problems with speech, organization, concentration, and memory. Stephanie is responsible for fetching patients who take part in these activities. Patients are allowed to use sharp tools, but only after careful observation.

Counseling Session (04:07)

Jean-Pierre’s is in the UDP for the eighth time. Dr. Flores encourages him to take responsibility for being committed. He has problems controlling his sexual urges and understanding consent.

Treating Psychotic Patients (06:28)

Most UDP patients suffer from psychosis, making it difficult for them to navigate reality. Phillip and other inmates describe their symptoms, which include hallucinations and delirium. Many do not understand they are ill.

Release Hearing (05:37)

Men who live at the UDP have are there at the government’s request. A commission of independent psychiatrists must approve an inmate’s release. Michel tries to convince a judge to release him from custody, but he still exhibits signs of delusional thinking.

Mental Illness (09:58)

The average stay in units for difficult patients is eight months, though many remain in custody for life. Eric is a 41-year-old who has been sentenced to 20 years for “barbaric acts.” He suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Eric’s mom, Claudia, discusses his illness.

Patient Finance (04:00)

Most patients live on benefits for disabled adults; they can buy hygiene products, tobacco, and other goods. Daniel asks to keep a radio longer than usual to listen to an important football match.

Medication and Rule Enforcement (07:51)

Staff distributs medicine under strict supervision. Trouble patients may be restrained in UDP’s isolation rooms. David is overcome by his OCD; Jean-Pierre tries to dye his hair.

Depression (03:12)

Anxiety often occurs at night, sometimes triggering suicidal thoughts. The staff worries about Florent, a patient who strangles himself as a means of coping with his emotions. He recalls an episode during which he attacked someone.

Conditional Release? (04:04)

Eric meets with an enforcement judge and a staff member who is familiar with his history. Eric must visit a national evaluation center, where his behavior will be assessed for six months.

Therapeutic Competition (05:53)

Patients attend the annual fair at the UDP. Phillip, Michel, and other patients compete in a series of games. Staff members observe Daniel closely, gauging his reaction to the frustration of losing.

Release Setback (05:14)

Daniel has a review hearing. He tells the judge he does not feel ready to leave the UDP. Phillip and other patients also feel safer in an institution. Eric will soon take the next step towards conditional release.

UDP Patients (10:01)

Eric says goodbye to Mr. Lecase, who visited him weekly for several years. Patients attend a holiday mass on the last day of filming. See an update on patients featured in this film.

Credits: Unit for Difficult Patients (00:09)

Credits: Unit for Difficult Patients

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Unit for Difficult Patients

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



This is an extraordinary documentary about the lives of those who live and work in the unit for difficult patients in a psychiatric hospital. We go behind closed doors to examine a facility that takes care of some of the most dangerous patients who are suffering from severe mental disorders and need of 24-hour surveillance. With unique and exclusive testimonies from families, doctors, and the patients themselves, what emerges is a comprehensive depiction of the impact of severe disorders on the lives of the sufferers, their loved ones, and those trying to care for and heal them.

Length: 88 minutes

Item#: BVL189212

ISBN: 978-1-64867-327-6

Copyright date: ©2017

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.