Nothing says Nothing is Real quite like the relationship between art and consciousness. As I’ve explored Perspective, Perception, and the human experience of suffering, art has always been my anchor. Really, that’s because of the many concepts surrounding art. Specifically, it’s because the creation of art as well as the experience generated by the creation for both the creator and the observer are all are rooted in the idea that something came from nothing. If it were not created, it would not be real.
About one percent of our population struggles with Schizophrenia (3.2 million people). It may seem like a small number in comparison with other diseases. However, despite it’s rarity in our population, it has huge impacts. To me, Schizophrenia is fascinating. In fact, it played a huge role in my decision to become a therapist.
Following my undergraduate education, I went to work for a Human Services agency. Specifically, I worked in a high intensity group home for severely mentally ill young adult males. Most of which carried a diagnosis of Schizophrenia among others. It was a truly eye opening experience. One that caused me to feel that I could really make a difference in the world simply by how I related to others.
These guys were not unlike other teenage young boys. They had girlfriends, poor hygiene, and could eat ungodly amounts of food. They wanted relationships,enjoyed talking about things that made them happy, and most of all they desperately wanted to fit in. However, the pervasive nature of their symptoms often times landed them in trouble, either with the law, or within the established rules of the home. Really, the “trouble” they found themselves in was directly a result of how society has perceived their “condition”.
Depression effects 15 million adults in the US yearly. That is 6.7% of the population. It is one of the most common mental health concerns that people seek help for.
I’ve been in therapeutic relationships with many individuals who suffer from depression. There is a consistent theme in how they describe their experience. In the last few weeks, I’ve asked my clients; children, adolescents, and adults to describe what depression feels like to them.
Here’s what they had to say:
In my next series of blog postings entitled Nothing is Real I’d love to explore with you the concepts of reality, perception, and perspective. Specifically, I’ll explore how all of these play a role in the human psyche and ultimately our mental health in various ways. In addition, I will be discussing the strong connection between art and mental health. Today’s blog will be an overview of my general stance on these subjects. We’ll take some deeper dives into these concepts in the future as we discuss how they apply to specific human experiences of mental health “problems”.
“Your Entire Universe is In Your Mind. To Expand the Universe, Expand Your Mind”-Deepak Chopra
Can you respect someone you hate, or really, really, really dislike? In short, the answer is yes. Not only can you respect someone who seemingly stands for everything you are against, you should. This isn’t meant to be a preachy post about how you should love your enemy blah, blah, blah. But given the current state of the Union and quite frankly the world, I can’t help but feel that this post is just so necessary. Specifically, I want to create some structural damage to the walls of the boxes people are inadvertently putting themselves and others in. Flexibility in the right moments can make a huge difference in facilitating dialogue and finding common ground.
Walls are the antithesis of flexibility, and man-made, ideologically constructed ones are shooting up all over, and doing what they do best: dividing. People are up in arms (for good reasons!). But there’s just GOT to be a better way! Let’s break this down in both scientific and artistic terms.
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