Here is my itty-bitty contribution to Channel 4 Goes Mad season. 4Thought asked the question: 'What is Madness?' I could have talked for hours on the subject, but if fact the producer didn't want me to answer it but tell my story in a minute and a half. I would have liked longer to qualify some of what I said, but here it is www.4thought.tv/themes/what-is-madness/dolly-sen.
What has been interesting about the 4thought this week, when it poses that question is the debate it has brought up amongst people who use mental health services themselves. Earlier on in the 4thought week there was a woman who talked about angels, and some people who use services didn't like it, that it showed hearing voices as a positive thing. What is really shocking is that so many people who hear voices and stuck in the system don't know that most voice hearers are not in the system. Romme and Esher did a study on it and they found the difference between the two groups was that those not in mental health services felt they were in control of their voices, whilst those who use the mental health sytem didn't feel in control.
Here is the angel lady's contribution www.4thought.tv/themes/what-is-madness/rosemarie-moore--2
I know this slot of the lady talking about angels would be very useful in my training around mental health to explore: What is mental health? Because this woman is probably mentally healthier than most people, in that she may be happy, contented, and feel connected to the world. It would start a discussion around hearing voices, and the fact most people don't know that most voice hearers are not in the mental health system, and most voice hearers have helpful, supportive voices. So when is the point that mh professionals deem it pathological? Because the evidence shows pathologising it is a sure way of people suffering more because of it. In societies where voice hearing is acceptable, it has a higher 'recovery' rate. It also opens up the question: what is delusion? Because a Gallup poll in 1995 found 70% people believe in aliens and 31% believed in ghosts. This is an unusual belief but a socially acceptable belief, which brings up the question: how much of psychiatry is based on judgment and social policing than on 'illness'. Believers of God think atheists are deluded, and it is true the other way round. The discussions out of that minute and a half clip can inexorably change and make people questions their beliefs around mental health. And that is a good thing.
Was cleaning out some of my room yesterday, and found the remnants of some cheap paint, so I quickly created a painting of a nude, a 99p store nude. The painting is unfinished as I ran out of paint. And I think as human being, there is something not finished, or completed about us, which causes so much pain, but so much beauty too.
As an agnostic, I don't know if there is a God who created me out of the 99p store version of genetics, or if I am solely the product of my parents' quick shag where my mum probably didn't come, I just don't know.
The last brushstroke has not left my life yet, but at least now the brush is in my hands.
Inspired by Spike Milligan, and disgusted by Atos' treatment of disabled people, I created this yesterday.
I don't know if many people know this but I share a house with a fellow artist. Her real name is Lucky, but her artist name is Lux. I have profiled her work previously on DAO.
To celebrate her birthday today, she created her latest masterpiece, called Basketcase. I think it is her most profound work to date.
I interupted her discussion with me as to why dogs have elbows in their legs, to ask her about her art.
DOLLY: Tell us about your latest work 'Basketcase'.
LUX: It is a statement about modern life, an anti-materialistic stance, basically saying: the more toys you collect, the bigger the basketcase you are.
DOLLY: That's quite powerful. But you know I am a mad person and take offence to the fact you are using the term 'basketcase' in a derogatory way.
LUX: Relax, I am just a dog.
DOLLY: So tell us what your work is, in a general sense.
LUX: My work explores the relationship between the Military-Industrial Complex and copycat violence.
With influences as diverse as Rousseau and Francis Bacon, new combinations are crafted from both explicit and implicit textures.
Ever since I was a puppy I have been fascinated by the endless oscillation of the universe. What starts out as undefined soon becomes corrupted into a hegemony of lust, leaving only a sense of undefined and the unlikelihood of a new synthesis.
As wavering replicas become transformed through undefined and critical practice, the viewer is left with a new agenda of the inaccuracies of our existence.
PRESCRIPTION OF STARS
Finally you prescribe me stars
Not shame, nor loss of soul as side effect
You prescribe me holding my head up high
To find my soul again.
It is easier to see under a light.
Finally the universe is open to me
Where I can fly, standing still.
Because I have my stars.
Anyone who knows about the Nazi's Disability Euthanasia Programme Action T4, will see unsettling parallels to what is happening to disabled people now. The current demonisation and persecuting of disabled people , the media hype over disabled people being burdens and scroungers, an ecomonic strain to society, is following the Nazi Euthansia's To Do list to the letter.
I left my last job in April due to stress, which triggered psychosis and depression (which is one of the reasons this blog has been so neglected), and knew the letter from ATOS would be soon on its merry way. And it came, as you can see from the photo I took. Forget the polite language, how I recreated it is how I should have received it. Too many people see us through these lenses of false labels, which will magnify discrimation and hatred, while the person behind it shrinks.
Fortunately - or unfortunately - I was actually psychotic when I filled in the atos form, and thought I was Jesus, and filled it in accordingly. Someone reassessed the form and decided I needn't go to the atos interview. Give it a few months and I will be asked again to go. As stress is a trigger for psychosis, I may think I am Jesus again and try to cast the demon out of the atos assessor. Or heal the sick, who are the people who work there. Because despite over 1000 people being deemed fit to work dying after their assessment, according to atos and the government, there aren't any ill people about.
Hold on a minute, maybe we have got it the wrong way round and atos are healing people through a patronising and demeaning interview.
Why I have religious convictions when I am an agnotistic, I have no idea.
I don't have the talent for cartooning that Crippen has, and I have given up performing, but my comedy still needs an outlet. Facebook statuses are ok, but still not enough.
I came across one these websites where you can add captions to pictures they have, and have been having fun since.