Her drawings offer intriguing insight to what individuals with schizophrenia experience.
When Kate was 17-years-old, she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. All of a sudden, the strange sensations she’d feel, sobering noises she’d hear, and fear-inducing visions she’d witness made sense.
Unfortunately, people are rarely receptive to Kate when they learn about the condition she suffers from. This is because Hollywood has perpetuated a negative stigma about “mental illnesses” (a term Kate despises). As a result, few understand what it’s really like to be affected by schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, or other psychological disorders if they haven’t personally experienced them.
To combat stereotypes about what it’s like to live with schizophrenia, Kate began to draw the hallucinations she’d experience. Not only has it helped people understand what it’s like to walk in her shoes, it offers the artist an outlet when combatting the strange and somewhat terrifying visions.
She wrote on Bored Panda:
“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.”
Meet Kate, an 18-year-old artist with schizophrenia.
She draws a lot of her hallucinations to cope with the “mental illness,” a term she despises.
“In my hallucinations I hear voices, sound effects, random noises, and I often see bugs, faces and disembodied eyes”
“I hallucinate bugs quite often, and my depression makes me feel worthless like a fly. These bug illustrations represent my illness”
“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”
Following is a depiction of the disembodied eyes Kate regularly sees. “They surface in 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”
Learn more by visiting her Instagram.
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