Digital art/ Mental health art

Happy Mental Health week!

Can you see me now?

Can you see me now? (2017)

I’ll admit at the moment I’m in a down state, there have probably been signs of it for the past few days but only now, as things have gotten to it’s “Bad,” Level where my mind is wishing for it to end. People tell me, “The mood will pass,” But what they don’t see is that I remember each one of my bad down states, they leave scars , burn marks and blisters. I hide them behind a mask because, in mental illness you have to remain strong.

With mental illness, it’s hard enough to battle with it, battling with the stigma and people’s point of views is another hill to climb over. The people with the conditions will probably think of themselves as something like, “Weak,” Or, “Crazy,” Or even something worse. We don’t need to be told any negative point of views, mental health needs acceptance and to be dealt with appropriately.

 

Body Dysmorphia CUT

Body Dysmorphia (2017)

It’s a condition which distorts how you view yourself, finding flaws in your own appearance, although it’s not always looking too, “Fat,” sometimes the viewer can see themselves as, “Too Skinny,” Or even, “Not symmetrical,” Enough. They can see themselves as being, “Disfigured.” People start working on, “fixing,” themselves doing things like obsessively weighing themselves, over exercising, needing constant reassurance, using heavy makeup or tanning etc.

Sometimes the obsession can lead to eating disorders.

Digital Art/ Mental Health Project

Defusion techniques FINALDefusion Techniques (2017)– It was part of my CBT, to get me to challenge the negative thoughts. To make it better to remember I drew this taking my pet rabbit- Poirot, as a muse. Ok, it doesn’t help all the time to challenge thoughts, especially if you have a mind like mine where you end up having arguments with yourself. I figured I’d show one way to help negative thinking. With Depression, Bipolar disorder or any mental health issue, it’s probably the number 1 trigger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall to PiecesFall to pieces (2017)- One thing about Borderline Personality disorder, I try to get across to people is the oversensitivity some of us have. One little change and our emotions can shift in a matter of seconds. Stability turns into a nervous wreck. It’s like one gust of wind and you’ll find yourself falling to pieces with no idea how to piece yourself back.

 

Fall to Pieces

Fall to Pieces

Digital Art/Mental health project

Inner Child5Inner Child (2017)- I finished CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) Last week, one of the things mentioned was that emotionally, I’m still a child. I held onto the hope of someone telling me in my childhood that, “Everything is ok,”  For so long, I haven’t grown up properly, hence one of the reasons I have Borderline personality disorder. This piece was to show that no matter what the make up, there is still that piece of me that is anxious when it comes to people because I’m worried about what they will say or do. I can hide behind the make up, pretend to be brave but in the end the part of me that experienced the emotional abuse growing up is still there and is sensitive to that around me.

Time

Mercy tree (2017)

When it comes to mental health issues, time seems like an important thing. An episode of Mania, depression and/or psychosis, can last for days, weeks or even months, the ticking of the clock can get annoying waiting for the episode to pass. You can hope that the episode will go as fast as possible but the truth is, it will last as long as it wants too. Telling someone to, “Get over it,” Never works. Each cog on the tree represents a day. You need to wait, till each cog has fallen for the clocks to stop again before the sky becomes clear blue again.

Digital Art/ Mental Health Project

FreedomCUTFreedom (2017)

If you’ve been stuck in a situation long enough, you can feel trapped in it. However, once you get out, there then comes the task of having to fix yourself. Like if you’re abused by someone, it can take time trying to get out of it but then there is the task of fixing the emotional scars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CBT (2017) – I’m cCBT9oming to the end of my CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and it’s probably the number one asked question is, “What have you learned?” Most of the time my mind is too either slow or busy to come up with a real answer. So, to make my therapist happy, I made this..

 

 

 

Painting project

3-times-a-day-7-days-a-week3 times a day, 7 days a week (2016)
One of the things about having Chronic Illnesses is the amount of medication you can be stuck with. This is some of the empty blister packets I have and decided to use. The clocks symbolise the times of day to take my tablets and the flowers are there because sometimes the medication doesn’t work and the only thing you have going is positive thinking and hope

ribs-and-heartRibs and heart (2017)

I haven’t done oil painting in a while. The feeling of anxiety had been gripping me that week. The feeling like something was tightening my chest was there.  My first thought was to draw a hand squeezing a heart, but as I painted it progressed into flowers and vines flowing down the ribs.

Mental Health Project- Hospital Art work

-Under Current projects, Mental Health Project

22nd of September till the 7th of October 2014 I was hospitalised due to my mental health. There the only things I was really allowed to keep for hobbies were a sketch book some pens and a writing book. I tried to do a sketch each day to show one of my thoughts or feelings.

One of the psychiatric nurses actually saw some of my sketches and commented
“There’s not much colour in these is there?”
My reply- “Well I only have black and grey pens.”
Her answer- “But you didn’t go looking for colour either.”

This made me realise when I actually did start adding more colour into my pictures (More towards my release date) My mood was lifting. Art can be a powerful thing but an Occupational therapist told me people can start dressing darker and that’s when they know they are going to be ill (Due to me dressing darker anyway I had to make a joke that when I get ill I must start dressing more colourful) but maybe I should look out more in my art work what colours and what the mood of the picture is to see what my mental state is.

There was also this picture-

In Passing

In Passing

Now I know I use a lot of clocks/ clock work in my work, the psychiatrist also saw some of my work via my phone and in a way I was psychoanalysed-
Nurse- “You draw a lot of clocks don’t you?”
Me- “Yeah.”
Nurse- “Do you know why?”
Me- “Nope.”
Nurse *Turns to a picture in my mini sketch book and shows it.*- “You’ve shown the answer in this. I think you connect time with your mood disorder, you know each cycle will end but it’s as you mentioned it can be stressful waiting and coping with it. All this clock work, probably represents it’s haunting you, you’ve mentioned you want it all to stop or freeze to give you a break, so maybe this is the way you process it, looking through the cogs and the clocks you are trying to find that part of you that needs fixing that will stop time, your bipolar and other symptoms,”

 

 

 

All the work I did-

Mental Health Project

A few years ago I was diagnosed with, Bipolar Disorder and also it was found out I also have something called Derealisation and Depersonalisation  since then I’ve been on Medication and in and out of NHS care.

Mental Health is something which is sort of looked down on in society, ok the facts are 1 in 3 of us will suffer some kind of mental health issue. From when I said Bipolar a few of you might have thought, “Crazy Mood Swings,” Unless you have the condition chances are you aren’t going to know exactly what it is. Websites and reading up on these things will only get you so far. Same with Dissociative Disorder, most of you probably don’t even know what that is, it means that some times I dissociate myself from myself and the world- I don’t believe this world is real at times.

2012 I started doing some drawings, because at the time I was struggling with my health. Those taking medication with mental health issues can sometimes know, sometimes you feel better when you aren’t taking the meds. The doctor has explained to me the reason bipolar patients stop taking their tablets is because, Bipolar people prefer the “High” (Mania).

Recently, because my 3 years with the NHS Doncaster Early Intervention team is up and seeing the good things a mental health support group on Facebook have done and also a bit of encouragement from the BBC’s documentary, “Don’t call me Crazy,” I decided to using digital art to look at other mental health conditions, and at least give some image which those with the condition can relate too.

All new images  will be uploaded to this page- https://nightmarecat.wordpress.com/current-projects/mental-health/  Plus the older ones are on that page too.

But for now here is the first 3 official pictures I have created for this project

2013-06-17 22_08_11 +0000

Anxiety- 

I’ve known people who think people who feel anxiety are weak, that they need to pull themselves together… But in cases telling someone who is feeling like something dangerous is going to happen thinking they are weak isn’t the best thing.

Phobias, Panic Attacks and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder all come under Anxiety Disorders, they can come in mild- severe. And also there have been a number of cases of those thinking they are having an asthma attack when actually it’s a panic attack.

You have to think, in some cases people feel uneasy for a reason, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder people often feel anxiety because they are having flashbacks. Consider having something horrible happening over and over again in your mind, by the end of that you can feel like the whole world is out for you.

Psychosis

Psychosis- 

Patients with psychosis will often suffer from Hallucinations- seeing or hearing things that aren’t there. E.G such as hearing voices in their head or seeing figures in the room.

And/Or Delusions- believing something that is obviously untrue is true. E.G They have superpowers.

Some patients will often not know that the voices or figures aren’t real, others might. In both cases though the voices and images can be terrifying. Imagine being in an empty room where you have a voice talking, shouting in your head, possibly about you. Reality soon becomes hard to distinguish.

Schizophrenia is a condition where an individual will have repeated episodes of psychosis. If someone occasionally experiences psychosis it is not to say they have Schizophrenia, other conditions such as Bipolar Disorder also cause psychosis. It is best to see a Doctor/Psychiatrist if you or someone you know is believed to be having a psychotic episode.

Dissociative disorder

Dissociative Disorder. 

Dissociation houses a range of mental disorders, the most commonly known being Multiple Personality Disorder/ Dissociation Identity Disorder, where individuals have alternate personalities, which can be completely different to the original person- E.g a Kind, selfless person with MPD could have an alternate personality which is selfish all the time. The personality no matter what qualities it has can over power theirs, becoming the primary person for a while- Like an actor becoming a character in the media only the individual may not know they are becoming this person and obviously this isn’t for TV. These personalities can take on different styles and can even be a different age and gender to the individual with the disorder.

There are other conditions that come under Dissociation such as Depersonalisation Disorder,  which mean individuals believe a piece of their personality isn’t actually them. On occasion these people can feel trapped in their own head and out of control of the actions they are doing, they feel like they are viewing their life from an outside perspective.

I will be getting around to doing more mental health related pictures as soon as I can get around to it!