On a societal level, schizophrenia is probably one of the most misunderstood forms of mental illness — not only is there a negative stigma attached to it, but because of the lack of awareness campaigns surrounding it, a lot of people honestly have no idea what it really is.
Kate Fenner is an 18-year-old who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 17. While it hasn’t been easy for her to deal with the delusions, hallucinations and muddled behavior, she found a way to channel these symptoms into something helpful to her — art.
Kate explained that though the hallucinations were a normal part of her life, it didn’t change the sense of malice or anxiety she felt when she experienced them.
“I started drawing my hallucinations when I felt trapped and suffocated by them,” she told Metro. “It often feels like everything is fake, and the world around me is a big conspiracy. So drawing started to become comforting.”
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A 10 minute self portrait: 3:30 AM. I would do more, but It's like I'm being watched from someone outside my range of focus. Theyre bleeding into my peripheral vision and whispering to me. Scoffing at me. The water I drink is filled to the brim with impurities, but I drink it anyway. The blueberry waffles cooking in the toaster may as well be plastic. The bugs crawling on me try in vain to eat away at my legs until I'm nothing more than a broken mannequin. This sense of inherent eternal damnation fills me with dread; I'm going to hell – like I'm not living it already. I hate the humiliation of people looking at me, even those in photos. As soon as I enter the room, they all know I'm an outsider. If I look at a photo of someone, they'll somehow be able to see me. Picking up a pencil, to draw these feelings and hallucinations is not entirely transparent; you cope with these symptoms after the fact – after they leave you, and you can stand up and live again. The photo above is my attempt at drawing something in my current state of mind: messy, corrupted, frustrated. People often commend me for being able to channel this into my art, as if drawing cute little bugs holding flowers can somehow cure me. I don't want people to be under the impression that this illness is as pretty as the art I create. There is nothing beautiful about mental illness. Rather, drawing those cute little bugs is a distraction from an otherwise hellish landscape. I feel like I'm running out of time, so I must be in a state of hurry. • • • #art #artwork #artist #love #illustration #draw #drawing #sketch #supernatural #sketchbook #portrait #pencil #ink #sketchbook #mentalhealth #lgbt #lgbtq #design #marvel #dc
Kate explained that while her mental illness often left her feeling isolated and paranoid about people’s motives, she wants others to know that they aren’t alone. She hoped that her art could help others and raise awareness about schizophrenia.
It’s important to remember that the mental illness is not always accurately portrayed in the media, where people with schizophrenia are often depicted as dangerous or unpredictable. Hopefully Kate’s art will help people reconsider their perceptions of schizophrenia and get people talking.