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Ladybird Book of the Menopause

Being menopausal is not a disability, except for the person who crosses a menopausal woman. When I was told I was heading for it, it was a surprise as I thought I had balls, until someone pointed out it was my saggy boobies slapping my thighs.

Some women who reach this stage in their life take up yoga and do fluffy things. Not me - I have to make fun of it.

I have created almost 10 of these subverted ladybird book pages. Here are a couple of them. 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 14 June 2015

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 14 June 2015

Giving up mental health and arts to start up a religion?

I have reached my mental health work burnout, and I am fast reaching my artistic work burnout. 

Maybe it is time for a completely new direction? A new religion - one that can't promise to save your soul, but will look after your hair.

So who wants to be a jojoba witness? And give out shampoo samples on the street? Here is our mag to distribute too - The Washtowel. 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 14 April 2015

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 14 April 2015

Gestures of Resilience

On 24th March I will be performing at the London College of Communication. 

The blurb for it says: 

Gestures of Resilience" is inspired by exceptional people, individuals with a gift of life beyond the narrow definition of 'the norm'. This event celebrates their knowledge and experience through personal and creative 'gestures of resilience'.

Using film, performance and autobiographical presentations for and by people with experience of alternative inner vision, the event will produce transitory objects and ephemeral gestures.

Curated by Sal Anderson and featuring filmmaker Antonia Attwood and performance by Dolly Sen.
 

My take: 

If you Google mental illness, you invariably get the head-clutcher gesture, which is a limiting, cliché gesture of mental health, but to be fair, can sometimes be true. Sometimes my gestures can go the other way to the one or two fingered gesture saying ‘fuck you’ to a world, on the whole, that doesn’t seem to care. But my most consistent gesture of resilience is to connect with the world or to try and grab grace through the gaps of my fingers, hoping some will dance with pain I feel.  

My gestures of resilience are anything that  protects my heart, whether it be art, nature, love, or humour. I will be using humour as a starting point in my performance at the LCC, by attempting to solicit funds for ‘help the normals’, to elicit serious conversations about positions in society, and why mad people have to extend their resilience beyond mental distress to the bullshit poured on them for being different. Why can’t we pity the low standards exhibited by some normals or the arrogance of their servitude? Or offer the realisation that we are all experiencing the human condition, and mad people can teach you a thing or two about it.

'More than 300 million people suffer from mental disorders' Gulbenian Global Mental Health Platform 2014

‘More than 7 billion people suffer from the human condition. The only difference is making it different.’ Dolly Sen 2015

Posted by Dolly Sen, 16 March 2015

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 16 March 2015

Bobby Baker Kickstarter Campaign

Bobby Baker wants to make 3 new animations starring Dr Bobby, Roxy and Rudi to spread the word about their fantastic arts & mental health programme, which involves me and some other artists. 

Read more about it at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/377503830/the-roxy-and-rudi-roadshow-cartoon 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 12 March 2015

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 12 March 2015

hug this blog

 I created art about an awkward relationship between reader and book where every page says 'hug me'.

Don't feel awkward enough? 

Hug this blog. Go on, put your arms around it...

Posted by Dolly Sen, 12 March 2015

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 12 March 2015

The Bored's Prayer

Reading Jane McCormick's blog 'Give us our Daily Meds' inspired me to re-write the Lord's Prayer. I don't have delusions of grandeur, but psychiatry does:

Our psychiatry
Who would section heaven
Hallowed by thy name
My freedom gone
Thy will be done
Force and restraint, let's forget compassion

Give us this day our daily meds
And forgive not our differences
As we submit to those who trespass against us
Lead us into painful sensation and mental castration
Forever and ever

Again 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 7 March 2015

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 11 March 2015

'Help the Normals' with £3 a month

Am working hard on my favourite charity case 'Help the Normals' by setting up a website.

They are a group of people who do not garner much sympathy, but I think need so much help, the poor bastards. They lack insight and need rehabilitation, and I am the person to do it!

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 7 March 2015

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 9 March 2015

Alternative Psychiatric Risk Assessment Form

Do you need an assessment form to ascertain risk from being in mental heath services? Do the T.I.A.R.A. (The Institution Attendence Risk Assessment) 

NEGLECT:

Are you at risk from neglect from services?
Is there a previous history of neglect and inadequate care from services?

EXPLOITATION

Is there a risk of exploitation? Are they going to gain financially from your vulnerability?

VIOLENCE & AGGRESSION

Is there a history of violence and aggression from staff/system?
Have you been physically restrained? Forcibly medicated? Forcibly ECTed? Has it caused you physical pain? Has it caused you trauma?

SEXUAL ABUSE

Have you previously been sexually assaulted in a psychiatric unit, by either other patients or staff? Did you report it and no action taken?

SUBSTANCE MISUSE

Have you been forced to take drugs that have known negative health implications, including death?

INSIGHT

Does the mental health system have insight into its abusive nature?

 

Maybe non-compliance is an act of sanity, eh? 

 

 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 26 February 2015

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 26 February 2015

Selfish

Suicide is selfish.

Being a burden to loved ones and society is selfish.

Still hurting after evidence-based treatment is selfish.

Helping someone is selfish.

Not helping someone is selfish.

Walking by a homeless person is selfish.

Giving them money is selfish.

Laughing with so much pain in the world is selfish.

Crying at things you cannot change is selfish.

Hurting from abuse is selfish; other abused people don’t hurt as much as you. Selfish. Selfish. Selfish.

Being excluded by society is selfish.

Not being part of society is selfish.

Not changing the world is selfish.

Changing the world is selfish.

Buying goods made by slave labour is selfish, not buying the only goods you can afford is selfish.

Being angry is selfish.

Not being angry is selfish.

Hate is selfish, love is selfish.

Writing self-pitying bollocks is selfish

Not letting people know you are struggling is selfish.

Suicide, the last selfish thing? 

Or should I be selfish in life, pain, art and dreams?

And hope I don’t hurt too many people on the way

And find this place that sells thick skins

In a world that gives me nothing to buy them with.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 24 February 2015

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 24 February 2015

If you can't say anything nice...

There is a saying which goes: 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.' Well here goes:.............................................................................................................. um.................................................................. er.

Posted by Dolly Sen, 30 January 2015

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 7 October 2015

Need a producer/organisation to support my mischief and madness

Happy new year everyone.

I am thinking about applying to Unlimited to realise two creative projects, but I need a producer or an organisation to help me produce it. 

One is to expand my psychotic website, which you can read about more at http://shortcircuit.org.uk/dolly-sen-the-internet-has-crashed/  You can view the prototype at http://internetbreakdown.com/ please do not go there if you are feeling detached or vulnerable. 

My second idea is a live arts project called 'Section 136', full of art, poetry, cuddly lambs and hugs. 

"They called me mad, and I called them mad, and damn them, they outvoted me". Nathaniel Lee.

The police can use section 136 of the Mental Health Act to take you to a place of safety when you are in a public place. They can do this if they think you have a mental illness and are in need of care.

A place of safety can be a hospital or a police station. The police can move you between places of safety.

This is typically used when someone is acting strangely, and the police don’t have an understandable and acceptable reason to make it a straightforward arrest. It is used if the police think that the person might be a risk to themselves or someone else.

But what constitutes public display of mental illness which can harm people  or those around them? Consumerism? No. Sexist ads making you feel inadequate? No. Compassion fatigue? No. Casual racism? No. Discrimination towards disabled people? No.

But what underlies all this is what constitutes acceptable behaviour in this society. You can have an argument on the phone and be left alone but if you have an argument with your voices, the police will take you a place of safety, which can be very unsafe. Last year there were almost 1,000 incidents of physical injury following restraint, and there have been at least 13 restraint-related deaths of people detained under the Mental Health Act since 1998. (Mind, 2013) This place of safety can take away your freedom, your choice, your dignity and sometimes your life.  

So who decides which behaviour warrants restraint? Or which art is sectionable? If I call my madness art does it give me more rights? More freedom? Is there any art that should be restrained facedown? When does art become madness or sanity? Can sanity not make sense? Be damaging? This project address what is mental disorder and what is a healthy and honest response to the world.

Sanity is full of ridiculous acceptable behaviour and strange double standards, such as seeing street art as vandalism but the proliferation of demeaning ads selling pointless things as acceptable. That being loud, aggressive whilst drunk is someone being one of the boys. But if someone is shouting due to being troubled by voices, it is reason to be more scared, even though you are more likely to be injured or killed by the former.

Sanity is an absurd, ridiculous career, I am more of a freelancer. I try not to take my work home with me. I want to bring satire to the streets and hopefully not get sectioned because of it! I am snatching glory back from sanity. It’s ours too. They call me mad, but I want to show I make perfect sense.

Is sanity an inclusive design? "The design of sanity accessible to, and usable by, as many people as reasonably possible ... without the need for special adaptation or specialised design? Is that design shaped by unthinking obedience?

Some street activities to be explored:

Sanity feedback questionnaire
Invite people to hug a mad person?
Collecting for help the normal’s charity
Bedlamb – having a mattress covered with cuddly lambs and inviting people to join me.
Performing poetry to CCTV to see it is lonely/signing to CCTV cameras to see if their paranoia is accessible.
Holding signs: shout at your child here/Are we queuing for something beautiful?
Holding a placard with my pic and saying MISSING
Adding angel wings to everything.
Providing interpretive dance for street preachers and Jehovah’s witnesses. 

If you are interested in potentially getting sectioned with me, please email me at: dollysen70@hotmail.com 

Ta x 

Posted by Dolly Sen, 7 January 2015

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 7 January 2015

Madvent Calendar Day Twenty-Five

They wouldn't allow gold ,frankincense and myrrh onto the unit.

To all those who celebrate it, Merry Christmas.

Let's hope 2015 is better for disabled people. This year has been a right *bleep*

Posted by Dolly Sen, 25 December 2014

Last modified by Dolly Sen, 25 December 2014