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.”
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.