Back in 2010, when the insight of artistic expression began, when my depression hit its peek, I dived deeper into spirituality, and images flowed like water, as they always have. I began creative writing in November 2007, and by March 2010 my first novel, that has not been published and needs a heavy edit and revision in some parts, was completed. I still have the insights of 6 other novels and many short stories, but I have yet to sit down and fully concentrate on writing these stories – forget perfection, forget character building and story structure, and conflict, and the many other elements it takes to write true, publish worthy fiction – I just want the images out of my head, the story on paper. I need to de-clutter my imagination!
This post is on art and its relation to schizophrenia. I always wondered if I am schizophrenic or Schizo-affective, because I have never felt normal and always felt socially awkward. I learned fairly recently with my studies and experience working with a behavior health agency, that schizophrenia is not just having delusions, hallucinations or seeing or hearing voices and sounds that aren’t there in reality. Schizophrenia is not a dissociative disorder, but can be a social disorder. I am not diagnosing myself, but the more I learn, the more I wonder, and the more I become curious about learning more and more about this disorder.
Through my browsing on the internet, I came across the artist Blinko, and his paintings really struck a cord in my heart. His paintings may be a bit dark and hard to understand, but I look at the many faces in his paintings, the tiny details he created within his psychosis (though this word is not used anymore, but anywho). I see the many personalities, the many images that haunt him, that want to be expressed, that want to be part of this world, and that is blocked out when he is on medication. Of course medications are beneficial to individuals who have serious mental illnesses and who may be in danger of self or others if they are not on the medication. I find it interesting though, how a psychosis, episode, ‘mental breakdown’, you know, all those old terms that are no longer in the psychology books but modern society still use to label the mentally ill or ‘mentally unstable’ – I find it interesting how creativity and insights form our active imagination in a time of deep emotional distress, when all of our barriers and mental defenses are down, when we are forced to see behind the ‘illusion of reality’. It is amazing how some individuals – particularly those with dissociative disorders, at least that is what I’ve noticed in my research – can capture the images of our subconscious so precisely that it captivates the average person who has the typical stigmas and stereotypes to place on the ‘crazies’, the schizoids, the delusional.
While we each have an individual unconscious that is unique to us, our heritage, and social conditioning, there are primitive, ancient elements that connect us to each other. I see these faces, though different and yet somewhat the same, in Blinko’s paintings, that are similar to the ones I draw, see in my mind, and hope to make into masks one day (yes I have a desire to create masks, but only a limited amount lol). It is amazing how urgent it is to empty our minds of these primitive characters, once acknowledged, they must be expressed externally. They exist. They are real. And it isn’t rational. And it is ok.
I am emotional. Everything I do, decide, and create is with emotion –that is good and bad at the same time – and I have accepted this fact. I feel Schizophrenia is filled with emotion so intense that it affects every aspect of our conscious mind, because both the conscious and unconscious are activated, and they blend together in a chaotic fashion, that all perceptions and perspectives are open to us. I do not know if my description is fact, or just how I feel, I never spoke in depth with someone who has schizophrenia, but I know I will be working with these individuals in my future. I go with what my heart is telling, and my heart is telling me, that there is so much more to know about the mind, mental disorders, in particular with dissociative and personality disorders that even our current knowledge, despite technology and medicine advances, is still very primitive.
Schizophrenia and art relate, because these images need a voice, a place to be, even if it is a picture of distortion, chaos, nightmare, and beauty at the same time. The voices, images, have a place inside these paintings, these drawings, these writings of the subconscious mind – the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, and the abnormal.
This post may not make sense, may have grammatical errors, but it is my truth, my words, my expression. Peace ❤
P.S. I also learned that in major depression, we see images and may hear voices that we may think are dissociative or schizophrenic, so I know I personally do not have this disorder, but it is fascinating to me nonetheless.