Monday, August 3, 2015

A Palliative Review of Inside Out [Spoilers]

by Jenni Linebarger

“… in the movie, sadness saved all their lives.”
    - Jake Hamilton

I heard these words from a 9-year old at the end of an NPR story on Pixar’s new film Inside Out. (Note: that the audio has more than the webpage written content.) I thought to myself: There is a movie explicitly about emotions? About the importance of what so many deem to be “negative” emotions? What?! I need to see this movie. How can this movie be used within palliative care?

Such sentiments were supported further as I read stories from parents who wrote about the impact watching Inside Out had on their families. One writer notes, Inside Out is a movie in which you see the “beauty and bittersweetness of grief… Deep within the theme of this movie is also the impact that tragedy has on our past memories.”

With these reviews in mind, our palliative care team went to see the movie together recently. The movie lived up to the expectations set for me. I can imagine using the “characters” (emotions) to help explain the mixed feelings encountered in the word of palliative care.

I’m also still smiling at the scene in which Sadness sits down and listens to the life review of an imaginary friend named Bing Bong… She doesn't say much at all, but afterwards he is amazed about how much better he feels. Palliative care anyone?


Jenni Linebarger, MD, MPH, FAAP is a pediatric palliative care physician at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO. 

Image credit: Found via Idle Hands

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