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I Was Diagnosed With Schizophrenia At The Age Of 17, So I Started Drawing My Hallucinations To Cope With It
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I Was Diagnosed With Schizophrenia At The Age Of 17, So I Started Drawing My Hallucinations To Cope With It

I have always been an ‘artist’, I just didn’t realize what that meant until my mental illness appeared. I despise the term ‘mentally ill’; it implies that who I am as a person is fundamentally corrupted and broken.

Unfortunately, as soon as I tell people what I struggle with, I feel like that’s all they see me as. They see the stigma perpetuated by the media, and the inaccurate stereotypes portrayed in Hollywood. That is precisely why I am so open about what I live with.

More info: Instagram

My name is Kate and I’m an 18-year-old artist with schizophrenia

I’ve been ‘diagnosed’ with multiple labels over the years. At the age of 17 I finally was diagnosed with schizophrenia after my parents realized my mental health was getting worse

I draw a lot of my hallucinations as drawing helps me deal with it

In my hallucinations I hear voices, sound effects, random noises, and I often see bugs, faces, and disembodied eyes

Inanimate objects will look like a Van Gogh painting: warped and swirly.

I hallucinate bugs quite often, and my depression makes me feel worthless like a fly. These bug illustrations represent my illness

This is a quote by an artist named Jory, and it was something that spoke to me.

This one crawls out of the vent in my ceiling and makes clicking noises, or I’ll see it crawl out from underneath things

This is a self-portrait. I looked in the mirror and my eyes did this thing. I painted it

I have a lot of intense emotions, and hear voices telling me to light things on fire

Here is an example of the disembodied eyes I see. They surface in a mounds or masses on my walls or floors. They warp and move.

This is Birdie, she sings to me

My self esteem is at its lowest, and I feel insignificant. I always wish I could shapeshift into a “prettier” person

What eyes sometimes look like, with more of those odd colors and circles

Organization, communication, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and managing my emotions are the biggest struggles for me

What I live with isn’t easy and it can be debilitating, but I’m not living out on the streets screaming about alien abductions. That’s not to say there aren’t people out there who are that severe – there are. However, there are also people like me who just stay at home most of the time cooped up in their room. It is a spectrum of symptoms with varying severity levels. Each person’s experience is unique.

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Wezbie
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I can't imagine what the world would look like through your eyes so thank you for sharing your story and your wonderful drawings! You are incredibly talented! Have you seen the TED talk by Eleanor Longden? I would highly recommend it if you are ever feeling alone in this. I hadn't really seen a lot of people with schizophrenia talking about it and just like with your post, her talking about it helped me understand it all a little better :)

Ok Ha-Neul
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i watched the video. those were the most well spent 14 minutes of my life. i wish you well

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Marky
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think you helped a lot of people right now to understand, to emphatize, in sharing your amazing art with everyone, visualizing what most people cannot imagine is your reality...thank you. You are so beautiful and so talented !

John L
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My uncle has schizophrenia, and as it was gaining on him, he described it to me once. Its like being in a base universe, with countless ones buzzing in and out, and you can't stop it. He has totally isolated himself, and everyone doesn't understand. But its because he doesn't want others to see him that way. I totally empathize with you dear. Bless you!

Max Stern
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Good post and definitely one of the ways I see it. And ditto on the isolation. No one with a severe disorder wants to have even friends and loved ones perceive them as having become "other". Which is harsh because even after a break we are still us. Almost No One seems able to understand that.

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Wezbie
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I can't imagine what the world would look like through your eyes so thank you for sharing your story and your wonderful drawings! You are incredibly talented! Have you seen the TED talk by Eleanor Longden? I would highly recommend it if you are ever feeling alone in this. I hadn't really seen a lot of people with schizophrenia talking about it and just like with your post, her talking about it helped me understand it all a little better :)

Ok Ha-Neul
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i watched the video. those were the most well spent 14 minutes of my life. i wish you well

Load More Replies...
Marky
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think you helped a lot of people right now to understand, to emphatize, in sharing your amazing art with everyone, visualizing what most people cannot imagine is your reality...thank you. You are so beautiful and so talented !

John L
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My uncle has schizophrenia, and as it was gaining on him, he described it to me once. Its like being in a base universe, with countless ones buzzing in and out, and you can't stop it. He has totally isolated himself, and everyone doesn't understand. But its because he doesn't want others to see him that way. I totally empathize with you dear. Bless you!

Max Stern
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Good post and definitely one of the ways I see it. And ditto on the isolation. No one with a severe disorder wants to have even friends and loved ones perceive them as having become "other". Which is harsh because even after a break we are still us. Almost No One seems able to understand that.

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